I had been doing some self-reflection and thinking about situations I had previously been in that hadn’t worked out or that hadn’t been too healthy, and I wondered how I seemed to have been blind to the bigger picture and how at the time I couldn’t snap out of it.
When I was in the situation I had thought ‘Well, I am hopeful that things will be different, that things will change. Perhaps if I wait long enough …’ etc, etc. And it occurred to me what a false friend that kind of hope had been. With my view on some place in the future and having some illusion in my head, I was not facing the here and now. Rather than being honest with myself in the present and being prepared to see that ‘it is what it is’, my hope duped me into side-stepping my current reality.
The other day I came across a passage by the ancient Chinese wise man, Lao Tzu, in Tao Te Ching and it confirmed these musings:
‘… Hope is as hollow as fear,
Hope and fear are both phantoms’.
In other words, hope has no substance. And the words encouraged me to be right here, right now; in the present – not putting life on hold for the what-if’s or maybe’s, but living, today.
The Tao went on to say
‘… Have faith in the way things are’
Today is enough. The present is what you have; be content in the present – and if something isn’t right, then change it and and sort it.
Don’t live hopefully. Live presently.
[Tao Te Ching, 13, Stephen Mitchell’s translation]