When we have children, we often say-

I only want you to be happy

Now, I’m pretty sure that I’ve written that wanting someone to be happy is a fools journey… that this is a very big lie that we tell our children. When you’re trying to find happy, you miss out on the ride- which may be bumpy, but not necessarily bad…

What should we wish for our children? you may or may not have asked.

Hope.

We should wish that they always have hope…

Hope that the rainbow shows up at the end of the storm…

Hope that first impressions aren’t always the last one

Hope that when one door closes another opens…

If we have hope, we can get to tomorrow to see that life does indeed go on.

Happiness is something we search for, often illusively. Hope is what moves us forward even if happy doesn’t even glimmer on the horizon.

If we have hope, we just might be happy along the journey. We will realize that happy is not necessarily a destination, but a way of thinking about what we are doing. When we wake in the morning, maybe we won’t think about what will make us happy in the moment: when we wake up maybe we hope that we get to do something we haven’t been able to, or see something wonderful, or whatever it is that makes us smile.

Hope does not mean toxic positivity. Hope does not mean that you walk around whistling as chipmunks help you do the laundry. Hope does not mean that random people break out into song as you walk to the subway. Toxic positivity sets you up to believe that anything can and will happen if you believe hard enough…but you can click those heels a thousand times and you probably aren’t going to end up in Kansas…

Don’t set your kids, or yourselves, up to think that happy is right over there and you can attain it. A big house won’t make you happy. Car? Nope. A better job? Maybe: maybe not.

What happens if you achieve all these goals, buy all these things, and you’re still not happy?

Happy is a state of mind, not a goal or something to check off your to do list.

See, that’s why hope is a better option. You learn to bounce back if something doesn’t quite go your way. You realize that it’s part of the journey.

Hope gets you out of bed when you don’t feel like it. Hope gets you out of the house. Hope gives you the opportunity to live.

Without hope, we are truly lost.

So as you meander on the journey that we call life, remember that the sun coming out tomorrow might not make you happy. But remember that tomorrow is indeed another day- a fresh start- a day filled with promise and hope.

side note: I felt like writing today. i may not feel like writing tomorrow. But if I don’t, I will be back

67 thoughts on “Hope

  1. Now that was a brief hiatus 😉 Welcome back ;-p
    I see where you are coming from here although I think your interpretation of “only want you to be happy” carries overtones that I don’t share. Do we search for happiness? I think we might say that to ourselves but really we search for more mundane things. Happiness is as much a state of mind as hopefulness. Perhaps we can be all-embracing – ‘hope. health and happiness?’ haha 😉

    Liked by 3 people

    1. I look at hope and happiness juxtaposed from the way LA looks at them, especially when it comes to my children. I want them to be happy now in the exact spot where they are at this moment in their own individual journey. That’s why I consciously decided to be different from my mother in that I want each of them to define happiness in their own terms and not as a reflection of what I hope or desire for them! It took me a long time to be able to figure out what makes me happy and to enjoy and appreciate it in the moment for this same reason.

      My hope for them is really for their generation and all the generations after mine, really. That is that they will leave behind them a world or a person or whatever that is at least just a little bit better than the way that generation or my children found whatever it is. This goes along with what I have discovered about myself. I want to leave a legacy and I currently see that legacy embodied in my children.

      I think it’s too late for me and my Baby Boomer generation to do much else in that regard. Maybe it’s not. Of course I don’t tell my children, when I tell them I want them to be happy, that they are my legacy. Sometimes I do tell them about the hope part, though!

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Yes, happiness is so subjective and leaving each to decide their own is totally understandable!
        I found your comments rather touching!! Stay well and may you and yours be happy, healthy and hopeful! 😉

        Liked by 2 people

  2. In my life, faith goes hand in hand with hope. As to happiness, it is temporal. Our founding fathers were wise when as a right, in the Declaration of Independence, they included the PURSUIT of happiness. I agree, LA, that life is a bumpy road. Hope for each day helps us get out of bed and move ahead.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Hahahah, there are the words….fantastic.

    Indeed, I agree with you about hope versus happiness. Completely. I also like the concept of joy instead of happiness. Joy points toward an inner experience, whereas, happiness, as you write, typically is associated with something that is located outside of ourselves. And, all things outside of oneself can be taken away…..

    Liked by 2 people

  4. I don’t remember my parents wanting me to be happy, not that they were against it. They wanted me to be self-sufficient, but I suppose hope played into that idea. Interesting topic

    Liked by 3 people

  5. Hum… for me Hope is not a positive word. Hope lacks confidence. I prefer Faith, because Faith means conviction, determination and that if I want something to happen, I have to be doing my share to HELP make whatever it is I want happen. Faith = hard work. Hope = melancholy. Hope makes me think of someone who has given up, they are putting no effort into making something happen, they just “hope” that what they want will materialize, come true. THAT someone else will make it happen. Words are interesting, right. We each have to CHOOSE the word(s) that spur us on to success or victory, keep us strong through tough times! LIFE IS NOT EASY!! I’ve been sad these past few days… not sure exactly why, so I turn to FAITH knowing that I am the ONLY person who can turn my sad state into a happy one. It takes real effort – that’s for sure. THAT is what I hope to teach my children, DO NOT give in to sadness, IMMEDIATELY take charge to turn their thoughts around… music, exercise, books, podcasts — so many things can change our minds for the better. A trip away for a few days. HOPE YOU FEEL BETTER with your medical situation.

    Liked by 3 people

  6. Mid-pandemic I desperately looked forward hopeful people online. Almost all of my Twitter feed was doom and gloom and no good at all. I needed hope to make it through. I don’t know how the doom and gloomers survived

    Liked by 4 people

    1. theycallmetater-I have a mystery to solve on my blog. I know you have good research skills. I would be curious to know what you think of my gift received. Thanks! And to LA, if you are better, I hope that you will search out and give me your opinion.

      Liked by 2 people

  7. Hope. Happiness. Peace. Love. Health. That’s what I wish for my kids (and for everyone else). Sure, I’d love to add wealth, satisfaction from a life well-lived, etc. 🙂 I hope you’re doing better. Nice to see you today, but understand if you need more of a hiatus. 💗

    Liked by 2 people

  8. I love that. Instead of saying to our children, “I just want you to be happy,” how much better to say, “I just want you to have hope.” It’s so much more realistic. We won’t always be happy but if we have hope, it gives us a better chance at being content with our circumstances in knowing it won’t last forever.

    Liked by 3 people

      1. It was necessary to create the habit of always looking for new, better, more in order for a consumer society to grow. I think we are in the beginning of a reverse of that trajectory, by necessity and because people are figuring out that more is not always better.

        Liked by 2 people

  9. Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. ~Hebrews 11:1 Yes, hope is one of those things we cannot live without because when we give up hope, we give up any chance of being happy. I believe happiness is largely based on circumstance. And, it’s overrated. If I just had everything in life that made me happy, I would not have learned anything from the struggles of challenge or despair. And, those experiences are where we learn the most about ourselves and life. Would I like to change some of the circumstances in my life that were unhappy. Of course, because we’re all fed that being happy is THE most important thing in life. But in reality, those unhappy times increased my faith, made me stronger emotionally, psychologically and spiritually. Both good and bad experiences has made me the woman I am today and I kinda like her wisdom. I definitely would wish for my children and grandchildren to have hope. I would also wish for them to have faith. Together, they could weather any storm life unleashes and come out better for it.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Well said!! Hope, faith….these are the things we should wish for our children. Happiness is fleeting…it depends on other things…hope is from us inside

      Liked by 2 people

  10. Excellent post. Thank you so much for sharing.
    I encourage my sons to make sure they do not forget to care about themselves. No matter how challenging life becomes. They both work long, hard hours in creative jobs. So as their mom i remind them to tend to their health and not to overlook or neglect themselves. My oldest son is the father of three who works multiple jobs in conjunction with heading up a non profit organization. Plus, due to my illness, he has at times become vital in my cancer treatment care, and he is the main dependable person in his own household. To me he is over stressed and over worked in an attempt to give his family everything he thinks they need or want. Don’t get me wrong, he has kind, gracious and loving children. But as a parent who dearly loves my grandchildren, I still worry about my own child first and foremost. (Even if he is a grown man). My advice to my sons is always to try and take a moment out for themselves when they can, and to remember that they can’t be responsible for everyone else’s happiness and well being. We discuss positive thinking not necessarily hope. Attitude is everything. And if we stay positive then hope naturally tags along. Both have good attitudes but life is often difficult.

    Yes hope is certainly important on this journey of ours. We should cling to it for sure. But reality is important as well. I’m in a unique situation due to my diagnosis and 98% of the time I’m really positive. I’m hopeful my new treatments will give me a lot more time. However, I also have to prepare for the future. So I live in a different reality from most of your readers. I endure uncomfortable treatments with the hopeful goal that I’ll get to live more years. A good goal. So far it’s working.

    But, the thing we all share in common on this earth is that during our time here we need to be
    as joyful as possible! Don’t obsess about what you can’t do or didn’t accomplish. Continue to make new goals.. Don’t neglect yourself . Tell others how much you care about them. Be kind to people. Listen to them. And encourage. Hope is rather relative too. So is faith. Quite honestly, I am extremely grateful and accepting of prayers from all faiths when people learn I have cancer. But, seriously, I know a couple people whose views are so extreme that I want to run the other way. Personally, it’s gets weird when they make absurd claims that I’ll be cured if I become a member of their specific church. Hey if it makes them happy then great. But, quite honestly, I don’t want to hear how this religion’s version of god or that religion’s god will cure me 100 percent or to immediately stop chemo, forget my doctor and let JC take care of everything all will be fine. I’m pretty sure from reading history that JC was an intelligent ancestor of mine ( yeah he’s a member of the tribe so technically my DNA and his would be a really close match.) But, even He wouldn’t tell me to stop going to the best oncologists available. BTW, Faith and science can coexist! So I’ll use both.
    Does that stop me from from believing in miracles? No way. The fact that I’m still alive due to a talented oncologist/surgeon is a miracle in itself. So, I’m continually hopeful. But I don’t believe in dwelling in the negative or living in la la land and throwing away science. What we all need in life is Balance.

    Yep, We need balance. We all need time to feel doubt, feel sadness, fear, insecurity and a time to cry when life gets difficult. And then we need to stand up and focus on the joys and set some new positive goals. If we reach them great. If we don’t, then at least we tried. So yeah, hope, gratefulness, perseverance and to enjoy life. And to love ourselves and love each other.
    Thanks for making me use my brain today LA. I had chemo yesterday and will be feeling crummy as the day progresses so waking up and reading this was a positive way to get me going today. Many thanks for your motivation! ❤️

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Always happy to help motivate!! I’m thinking of you as you go through treatment. I can’t imagine the stress it’s taking on your body and mind. Sending thoughts! But yes….the toxic positivity police….you’re right…there is a point where blatant reality has to come into play and the pragmatic side of me battles this. I’m going to write a post about this at some point when I am less emotional about the subject…

      Liked by 2 people

  11. Hmm I recall you’ve blogged on the theme of happiness MANY times before, and I’ve noticed which is interesting to me…………you didn’t know this but yesterday I was thinking about ‘the pursuit of Happiness’ as contained in the United States Declaration of Independence. I hadn’t known these declarations are said to have been given to humans by their creator! Human’s obsession with happiness IS an odd one, the Human Right to contentment pleasure cheerfulness seems is open to abuse and often is lol.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Well….it’s funny that you said that…we are guaranteed the pursuit of happiness, but not happiness. People don’t distinguish this well…in America anyway…people think they should be happy and act accordingly. That’s a problem

      Liked by 1 person

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