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Hope amongst Strangers and Villains…

Disappointment and pain amongst friends..

A coworker mentioned they were feeling sick. Two days later I messaged them that I hoped they were feeling better. Later, in conversation, I mentioned that I was not a fan of large public outings, and she seemed surprised that I would be against being around people. She pointed out how I was always kind and considerate, friendly and happy to talk to people online.

This gave me pause… it’s true. I hope she feels better, and I treat people kindly. The truth is, I hope they will treat me that way I treat them – with honestly, kindness, and respect. But hope is the root of heartache. Hope is a beautiful way of saying an expectation. I hope they will treat me in kind in return: I expect with kindness I will receive kindness. Thus, making hope the root of heartache.

I hope, aka expect, they will be kind in turn as response to my kindness, but my experience is that my kindness does not guarantee equal treatment in return. And when people do not give us the kindness, attention, and love that we give them, that hope is crushed and we are heartbroken.

Hope is the root of heartache.

Hope is only ever really hope amongst strangers and villains. It is a dream wrapped into an expectation. We hope the stranger will become a new friend. We hope the villain becomes a hero. We hope that people we don’t truly know will in fact prove us wrong on our preconceived notions of stranger danger and evil villains.

Villainy is also a tricky one. Because everyone is a villain in someone else’s story.

Read that again. Then again until you get it.

No one is so pure that they have never wronged someone even in an unintentional manner. Cut in line, dinged a car, did not return the romantic interest, got the promotion you both applied for.

Everyone is the villain in someone else’s story. And that someone else hopes you will not be evil to them again or anymore. But maybe their idea of evil is your idea of a boundary – and you are an impasse of crushing someone else’s hope.

In my humble opinion, the best place to be is in acceptance of pain and disappointment. Your mom won’t like your hair, you may not get that job, they may never love you back the way you want them to. Disappointment is inevitable. And the more you care about someone, the more you hope for their approval, and the more likely you will be disappointed. It is a deep enough emotional investment then it becomes pain – of varying levels. Because you care more about the hope you place on someone you love, versus someone you don’t know or see as a villain.

This is not to sound bleak.

Truthfully, hope comes down to this – in my book anyway:

Hope is knowing the risk of disappointment but willing to bet on something that is worth it.

As you can tell, I have been thinking a lot about this lately. I have had a lot of hope in my life, and more heartache than I can bear to admit. But I just can’t stop being who I am…

“Still a hopelessly hopeful wounded child seeking wonderful…”


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