I’ve been thinking about hopelessness a lot lately. I’ve been bumping into it for years now, but lately it’s been different. It seems that the way we think about and approach hopelessness is completely upside down and backward.
We treat it as if it is something to be gotten rid of as quickly as possible. We have become so adept at squashing the first traces/rumblings of hopelessness that we don’t even notice we’re doing it. I think it’s almost even reached the level of taboo to feel hopeless without trying to do something about it.
Good vibes and positive vibes only are popular statements and hashtags (usually paired with pics of super happy looking beautiful people in exotic locations) that get a ton of positive feedback and social reinforcement, but they’ve nagged at me for a long time. They are one side of a two sided coin and I’ve never been comfortable with only hearing one side of the story.
Have you ever thought about this…what if taking a hard stance of #goodvibesonly when something comes up that doesn’t feel good is actually a defense that keeps you from intimately interacting with what is really happening here and now in this moment?
Think about that. Seriously. I bring this up NOT to say there is anything wrong with approaching life from a positive vantage point. I’m talking about this because there’s more to the knee jerk “good vibes only” reaction than meets the eye and I believe we can only benefit, both individually and collectively, from persistently and unapologetically questioning our feelings, thoughts and beliefs.
If we really are these powerful beings, not defined by our bodies or our physical experiences then how could it possibly be detrimental to allow so called negative things into our experience. How could it be harmful to really examine what is happening presently instead of having the socially reinforced reaction of #goodvibesonly be the only acceptable place to go?
How is this related to hope and hopelessness? Well, what is hope but simply a judgment and rejection of what is happening right here and right now? Hope tells a story about the past, relates it (usually negatively) to the present and then projects into a future better scenario. Usually one where something goes according to a predetermined outcome that we deem acceptable based on our conditioning and preconceived notions of good and bad; right and wrong. Hope can be thought of as the equivalent of #goodvibesonly. There’s nothing wrong with it, but blindly looking to a hopeful future limits your present experience and when your present experience is limited can you really know that you’re living?
So, what about here? What about now? What about all of these orphaned moments and feelings that we ignore and neglect. These moments that are so uncompromisingly present that they’re uncomfortable to look at and be with and truly hold. What about them? There’s something very intimate to be found by taking the approach of #allvibeswelcome. The irony and paradox is that when you allow what is here in the moment to simply be, it gives space for the peace you’re looking for to come in.
Maybe all that you’re seeking, the endless promises that hope dangles like a carrot on a stick, are already here. If you’ve been on this path for a while, then I know you’ve heard this countless times before…everything you’ve ever wanted or needed is within you right now…but have you heard it like this…in this moment with these ears that are ready to hear an age old message? Nope.
Think about that…really let it sink in. This is NOW. The beautiful, boundless NOW and you’ve NEVER heard these words expressed in this way before. How cool is that??? You’re hearing them now, and this is your invitation. This isn’t some cheesy “Kumbaya” moment. It’s absolutely practical and available now.
What do you hope for? Peace? Comfort? Security? They are all present NOW. Seriously! They are only waiting for you to stop and acknowledge them. All those things you want in the future…those things that you hope will make you feel a certain way…What if I told you that you have the ability to feel those things now? Get out of the future. Come back to the present and allow whatever comes up, no matter how uncomfortable, to lead you to the presence of peace that is always inside.
This is what is so hopeless about hope. Like a clever pickpocket, hope distracts you, steals what you presently have and promises to return it in the future, all without you suspecting what happened.
No matter what the situation, the only one who is stopping you from feeling all you hope for is you. Only you can give yourself that permission even if you haven’t fulfilled the long list of conditions that you’ve placed on yourself. Even without meeting those conditions that you say must be met in order for you to feel peaceful and present, you can still feel peaceful and present.
When you reach a goal that you’ve hoped for, you don’t feel good because of what you’ve accomplished or the new thing you have or place you’ve gone. You feel good because in that moment you’ve given yourself permission to connect with the peace and joy that are already yours.
So sit with this a bit. Play with allowing yourself to feel all the vibes no matter what is happening around you or inside of you. Even if you can only do it for a few seconds. Do it. Give yourself that gift. The gift of hopelessness and welcoming #allvibes! And, yes, the peace and presence that start to come in as you practice this are real and they are yours!
Until next time,