Hope is good. For many, it is the only reason to keep on living. The prisoner 
hangs on, thinking of the day when he will be released. The cancer patient looks 
at statistics, and finds solace in a greater than zero odd of remission. The 
spiritual seeker draws much strength from reading accounts of happiness 
awaiting. The participant in MBSR training keeps on coming to the group, 
inspired by tales of others before her who have cut their pain symptoms in half. 
The abused child seeks refuge in fantasies of another life, one day . . . 

Hope is sometimes the only thread left, between life and death.

Hope is also a double-edged sword, and a state of mind that keeps us in the 
future, and seals the deal of our present unhappiness. So many times, I find 
myself not liking the current moment, and hoping for, rehearsing a different 
life. If only . . . When . . . Some day . . . So many variations in the mind, 
around what really amounts to a profound hatred of the present experience, and a 
denial of life itself. 

Hope lures us with its false sweetness. 

Hope is ok, as long as it comes with an acceptance of the now. A tricky balance, 
best maintained by keeping hope contained in the broad field of big intentions, 
and out of moment-to-moment living. It's somewhat akin to steering our boat 
towards a lovely place, and then forgetting about our destination, and making 
room for all the experiences along the way. Not expecting anything else but what 
is offered to us, right now. The storms, the rough waves, the sleepless nights, 
the beautiful sunsets, the stillness, the dolphins . . . Not wasting a single 
minute of the journey.

~ Marguerite Manteau-Rao ~ 

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