Hope – Is It Worth the Time?

As Emily Dickinson said,

“Hope” is the thing with feathers –
That perches in the soul –
And sings the tune without the words –
And never stops – at all –

No offense to Ms. Dickinson, while the above is a beautiful stanza to her famous poem, comparing Hope to feathers is not altogether accurate.  In my life, and for those of us struggling with anxiety and depression:

“Hope” is the thing with tentacles
Grasping me everso tightly
Until the act of breathing becomes impossible
And I am lost – scared to death –

Personally, I think the concept of Hope is a scary one – it is paralyzing and has prevented me from acting on things I should have.  I continually “hope” that something will change in my life to create less anxiety; I “hope” I will have enough money to pay my bills each month; I “hope” I will be able to find a job and that my fear of screwing up won’t get in the way; I “hope” I can learn to love myself and get it through my thick head that I am worth more than I give myself credit for.  But lately, “hope” has become “hopeless.”   How does such a small word create such a large physical and emotional reaction?  The heart palpitations, the shakes, the lack of focus and above all,  the ability to overlook the good in one’s life while “hoping” for what may or may not come?”

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Perhaps it is because I am a planner – I admit it, I have an irrational fear of the unknown – I have to know what will happen – and the uncertainty of what the next hour or day may bring ignites thoughts of worry and frustration.  Is this how “Hope” is supposed to feel?  Unfortunately in my case it does, and I’m sure it does for others who struggle on a daily basis.
Before I close, let me say that I applaud those of you who have lived positively with Hope and are able to be excited about what the future has in store for you.  That is the way life is supposed to be – as the saying goes, “Hope for the best and prepare for the worst”.  Unfortunately, in our anxiety-filled world, the saying has become, “Expect the worst and prepare for the inevitable.”

~Sophie

 

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