Hope is a poison. No, that is not quite right. Hope is a poison depending upon the dosage. Most things are harmful in sufficient quantity, and hope is no different. I resent people who suggest I should be hoping for a miracle. I resent people who tell me that I should not give up.
That sort of hope, in the face of odds that are impossible, is a cruelty. It is a cruelty because it a paralyzing thing. It catches the victim, and freezes them in “If only”, and “Someday.”
That’s fine enough, for a time. But we are human, and time passes, and we cannot stagnate, frozen in time, waiting. Hope is a paralyzing thing, because it keeps you frozen on the edge of anticipation, dreaming.
There is a time for dreams. But there is a time, too, for planning. For accepting. For improving. I cannot better live with the challenges I face if I am frozen, hoping for them to fade away.
Do not ask me to hope, or to pray for a miracle, when I have moved onward, past hopes and dreams, and into acceptance. I have done my grieving, do not ask me step backwards into denial. I do not need hope, as you would feed it to me, that things will disappear and obstacles will vanish.
I want no miracles. But I want the quiet victories, of learning new ways to do things, to experience things, of finding new and different joys. I want to explore the world that is left to me, to find its limits, and surpass them. And I will. Perhaps it not hope, this calm, accepting and dauntless confidence. Perhaps it is. Some things are only toxic, when mixed with others. And perhaps hope is one of those.
If you tell me to pray for a miracle, I will tell you that I have had all the miracles that anyone has a right to ask for, and more. I will tell you this, and it will be true. It will even be polite.
I am not certain, though, that it will be right. But how do I say that this medicine of hope, which you are trying to provide is a poison, in the mix that you are handing me is not a balm but a poison?
I’ll thank you kindly, for something well meant. And maybe someday, I will find the words that will stop you offering this poison-laced kindness to anyone else.
Note: No, it has not been that kind of day. But I’ve been searching for the words for a long time, and the thought crossed my mind that I might be closer to finding them now.