I Feel Hopeful About the Future

Hope is the way through the narrow gate.

I’m a skeptic, and I’m skeptical of myself, too.

I think that’s a good thing.

I don’t believe everything I think.

But sometimes in life, it’s hard to know what to think, or what to believe, or what to do.

I was talking with a dear friend this afternoon. We were talking about life and choices and uncertainty, and I said something like this:

“I don’t know, man… Most of the time, I’m really hopeful, but am I hopeful just because I’m afraid of the consequences of being more realistic?

There’s no way to know whether my hope, which is solely my own feeling and story, is warranted.

There’s no way to see outside my own subjective experience, so there’s no way to assess whether my hope is “blind” or whether it’s justified, or neither, but it doesn’t really matter, because at the end of the day, all I can ever experience is my own internal, subjective reality anyway, so if I feel hopeful, that means that it’s correct.

Could I be lying to myself to try to avoid future pain, or because of fear of loss?

Could I be experiencing hope because I’m anxious about what might happen if I accept a dimmer view of the future?

Maybe, but since I currently feel hope, I am hopeful.

I, Dallas Hartwig, am hopeful.

And for today, that’s good enough.”

I got rambly, sure, but the idea that I don’t need to second guess my own subjective experience really soothed my nerves in that conversation.

Right now, I feel hopeful about the future, and that feels good, and I’m not going to talk myself out of it.

As they say, the only thing stronger than fear is hope.

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  • Sarah

    Be truthful, gentle and fearless.

  • Bonnie Forbes

    Hope is the converse of worry. Why worry for nothing? Most of the time that’s what we tend to do. And, most of the time we wasted our energy worrying about something that didn’t come to pass.

  • Anne London

    I tell my students..it’s a good thing we don’t have to base whether our experiences are worthy on objective principles. We’re all on a different journey and in general, don’t use the same map or directions to get where we’re going on foot or in our cars. Why would we subject ourselves and our own personal journey to these standards? Happy that you have found what works for you and that things are looking positive. Be well!

  • Elissa

    “No matter how dark the moment, love and hope are always possible.” -George Chakiris <3

  • Bill Petsch

    Thus says the Lord
    “Cursed is the man who trusts in man And makes flesh his strength,
    Whose heart departs from the Lord.
    For he shall be like a shrub in the desert, And shall not see when good comes,
    Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord,
    And whose hope is the Lord,
    For he shall be like a tree planted by the waters,
    The heart is deceitful above all things,
    And desperately wicked;
    Who can know it?
    I, the Lord, search the heart,
    I test the mind,
    Even to give every man according to the fruit of his doings.
    Jeremiah 17: 5,6,7,9-10
    I’ve learned to not trust my feelings, more then not feelings usually caused lots of errors and mistakes. but to put my trust in God, who asks us to trust Him with faith and faith alone has been the best path to follow. After 67+ years I’m still learning and still making mistakes, when I try and do it “my way”

  • Joanna Bare

    Glad you’re in a less unhappy spot than last time. And… have you ever thought for just one minute that maybe, just maybe, you have the most insanely normal life? That you are just exactly like all the other guys who are trying to be mature adults, have decent relationships, be more fit and capable of doing their jobs? That every single guy who walks or runs or bikes or swims past you is experiencing the exact same things, with the exact same frustrations and doubts and fears?

    This is just to point out that sometimes you write as if you are the only one — and therefore the broken one — when you experience these things. I assert that they make you completely, utterly, totally normal. And human.

  • Mary

    Love your post! I am hopeful too!

  • Deidre

    I believe hope is really the only thing that keeps us going. It keeps us from going crazy when life tosses us around like a rag doll. Hope is the very foundation of human existence. Behind every risk is hope. Without risk, there is no change. Without change, there is no growth, and without growth, what kind of future do we really have?

  • Elisabeth

    I can relate to your story more than you know. It could have been my words. Thanks for putting it out there. Now I don’t feel quite so alone.

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