By TompwerWomper

Hope, like most everything else, is neither good nor bad. Hope’s value is in how it’s applied. Hope propels a great many ventures into being, hope helps them succeed against the odds, and helps a person when they don’t. Hope also keeps us from acting when we know something hard has to be done. Hope keeps us from seeing that we have reached the point of no return, can trip us up from doing what is best, and divert our attention from what will succeed into something that promises a perfect resolution disconnected from reality.

Hope can be cruel. Hoping that your child will change from being LGBT because your faith says that they are damned if they don’t is devastating for both them and you. Hoping that your loved one will stop self harming/medicating/abusing is a set up for failure that leaves you and them in harm’s way. It can also be the one thing that keeps you going when there is no reason to which is the experience of most POWs, domestic abuse victims, and children in abusive homes. Hope can be the one thing that gives you the strength to deny the odds, fight against the obstacles, and achieve a better life.

So hope isn’t some magic panacea, it’s not unicorns and rainbows. Just hoping something will come out the way you want isn’t going to help, necessarily, in fact it might do damage not only to you and to others. Don’t believe the memes which say to hope and keep going. Sometimes the best thing, the safest thing to do, is quit. Perhaps even run. Sometimes it’s exactly what you need to make the difference. The only one who can know that for certain is you. So if hope hurts, let it go like a hot potato. If it warms you from the inside out, hug it close.