Hope: It’s Complicated

Desert Night © Quinn McDonald. Fabric, marbled paper, stitching on watercolor paper background.

Desert Night © Quinn McDonald. Fabric, marbled paper, stitching on watercolor paper background.

Hope is a tricky emotion. It’s necessary so we can imagine what will happen if we take action and overcome hardship. It’s useful to use as a ladder out of sorrow: we can imagine life getting better, and we go where we look.

So why have I said that I’m not a fan of hope? Heretic. Well, in a way, yes. When we expect hope to be enough, to be the only fuel to drive a dream into reality, hope isn’t enough.

When we rely on hope to create what we cannot, we will be disappointed.

When we take that word for 2014 and expect it to change who we are, to be the magic eraser that vanishes all problems, we are making it carry to much of a burden.

Treat hope for what it is–the clay that we shape into a plan with the skill and

It's not clay; it's a rendering made to look like clay. A good metaphor for hope. From: http://www.secondpicture.com/tutorials/3d/clay_render_in_3ds_max.html

It’s not clay; it’s a rendering made to look like clay. A good metaphor for hope. From: http://www.secondpicture.com/tutorials/3d/clay_render_in_3ds_max.html

talent we have.

Take another look at your word for the year and make sure it’s strong enough to last a whole year, to push you when you want to stop, and to be the chuck under your wheel so you don’t roll back.

That’s a strong hope.

–Quinn McDonald is a certified creativity coach. And the author of the Inner Hero Creative Art Journal, published by North Light Books.

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12 thoughts on “Hope: It’s Complicated

  1. I like the idea of hope being a bridge and I think PamB is right. There has to be a time between despair and the action that changes things. Maybe that between time is the time of hope where we can imagine a different way and gain strength toward something better. Hope can be a strong word and if you aren’t depending on a miracle but follow it with action (whether your own or someone else’s), things can change. Webster says hope is “the feeling that what is wanted can be had or that events will turn out for the best”. But nobody ever realized the great American dream without hope and hard work and nobody buys a lottery ticket without hope either!

  2. To me, hope is the opposite of despair. Lots of folks clawing their way out of trauma have to overcome despair before there is any energy for action. I see hope as the bridge. Wishing you great year of new creativity and action!

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