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On the surface, Pandora’s box teaches us that no matter how bad things get, there is always hope to help you endure. Dig a little deeper and it is clear the story is a warning against the dangers of hope. After all, hope was included in Pandora's jar of curses.
It intrigues me to ponder the intent of the god who placed hope in the box along with all those curses. At first we interpret it as a blessing, to help us endure suffering. But as Nietzsche pointed out, “...hope is the worst of all evils, because it prolongs man's torments.”
Hope is the optimistic notion that things can be better than they currently are.
Which is good when dreaming about the day you can quit your 9 to 5 and focus on your soul’s calling, which may look like travelling the sacred sites of the world with your family, eating lots of amazing food and laughing with interesting people you meet along the way. (The truth is that I have extremely high hopes for becoming this location independent lifestyle entrepreneur, and if i am ever to make this vision manifest for myself, I've learned that I must spend a little less time hoping and a lot more time doing.)
But when hope prevents you from living authentically, it serves no purpose.
Hope is a bad thing when it becomes expectation. It's good to plan for positive outcomes, but not so good when the hope becomes an expectation. Anytime you hinge your desires on unreasonable goals, you set yourself up for disappointment. Unreasonable goals are those things that are out of your control, like winning the lottery or making another person change their behaviors. Better to save and invest your money wisely or just accept someone for who they show you they are.
Hope is a bad thing when it prevents you from appreciating the now, missing the wonder of the little things that add up to a big deal in everyday life. It can interrupt the process of surrender, of accepting "what is" and finding the lesson in your pain.
Hope is a bad thing when it keeps you from acknowledging reality. For instance, to be in a state of hope that your abuser will stop hitting you ("he can change!") When we choose to live on this kind of hope, we run the risk of deep disappointment. Better to acknowledge your situation for what it is, cut your losses and move on -- because really, that is not a loss, but a gain for your most authentic life.
Finally, hope is a bad thing when it’s not acted upon--when you have dreams but, for whatever reason, do not take action to make them reality.
In my experience, hope is a lot like wine-- lovely in the proper amounts, but too much of a good thing can be a bad thing.
"Hope for the best. Plan for the worst. Don't let anything surprise you in between." ~Maya Angelou, "I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings"
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My name is Dawn Champine and I am the Creatrix of The Goddess Diaries. I am very passionate about helping women remember their REAL GODDESS selves.