Why would anyone want to abandon that?
Now that I've spent a decade living with the affects of addiction, however, I get it. Other than knowing how easily I could lose my son to death, having my hopes repeatedly dashed on the rocks is the most painful thing I have gone through. I hear the same thing from almost all my readers.
With addiction, knowing there are things we cannot change, hope is often all that remains. My son would agree to go to detox, but when the acute phase was over there would be no bed available in the facility and he'd go back to using. When he did finally get a bed, he'd pick an argument and leave after a few days. When I took one of his heroin source's names to the local police station they told me they knew about the guy, that he was just a small fish and they were after his supplier. Seriously?
I wanted to quit. I was angry. It was unfair. And, I love my kid. That's another thing I can't change so I have to accept it. I have to learn how to live with it and I can't do it without hope.
But the card does not ask me to abandon hope. It's suggesting that I let go of the part where I can't breathe until something hopeful happens. Where I can't be happy until my addict is sober or in treatment. Where I can't let go of the big knot in my belly until the next bed opens up and he's in it. And stays.
It suggests I give up all the thoughts, plans, ideas and pictures in my head about what that fruition will look like and when I hope it will get here.
Hope lives in the heart space. Right there in the chest. The energy of hope is about being willing to have patience. Infinite patience. Without knowing the outcome, the fruition. The energy of hope says, “I'll wait. I'll be here. I'll believe in you even when you don't believe in yourself. I believe in you.”
So, how can you do that? It really is a Herculean task, and becomes a practice in itself. The key is stepping into the present moment.
Hope of fruition, by its nature, is not a present-in-the-moment kind of thing. That kind of hope always dangles a better picture of the future. It is the stuff of expectations. Hope of fruition is the pocket where we stick our happiness so we can pull it out when our dreams come true.
Being in the present moment is about acknowledging what IS, right here, right now.
When you are in the present moment, the energy of Hope transforms to Love. It's when hope gets all sticky with the future and past that it has the ability to cause us pain. With no hope of fruition, you can gently hold that fragile present-moment egg of hope because you love your addict, you love yourself, you love your other children. But you are no longer tortured by the cycle of hope and pain, lusting after a desired future outcome and feeling destroyed when it does not come.
The Compass meditation below will guide you through a short, simple exercise to set your energy to the present moment.