How not to Despair about Despair
One of the things that makes hope so difficult is the pressure it entails. The pressure to be positive, to be hopeful, to see the best in everything.
The whole positivity movement that has dominated our self-help literature and understanding in the past few decades has undoubtedly been transformational. But it also has some downsides — the biggest one being the premium it puts on the idea of positivity at the expense of the frustrating, day-to-day struggle to be human.
Being positive is great. But to expect people to be positive all the time is unrealistic, unhealthy and deeply problematic.
Emotional turmoil is an integral part of human existence. Any idea that refuses to acknowledge or account for it is short-sighted and problematic.
Being positive doesn’t mean that you’d be magically free of all negativity. Just as being hopeful doesn’t mean that you will never despair again, and that your state of being will suddenly be nothing but unicorns and rainbows.
To be truly positive, one needs the ability to process and deal with negative emotions effectively. To be hopeful, one needs to cultivate an ability to process and deal with despair..
Despair is not unwarranted. It is natural and healthy. Everyone of us feels hopeless from time to time. It is an essential part of human experience and life’s emotional rhythm.Despair becomes problematic only when it is left unprocessed and allowed to fester.
Hope is not the absence of despair. Hope is an ability to process despair and move beyond its crippling shackles. Hope is an ability to bounce back from the depths of hopelessness and look beyond.Hope is surviving despair and finding possibilities.
Remember, you don’t have to escape despair. You just have to survive it