Love Self

Trail of Hope

Photo by Gabriela Palai on

Hope is a funny thing. That’s not to say it makes you laugh but it does have an interesting way of popping up now and then. Life is cyclical. For the people who understand math, it’s like a sine wave with continuous peaks and valleys. It tends to be crushing at times and acts as though it is trying to steal what little hope is left.

We look for hope as if it will be strung out across a billboard in big bold letters. So much time is spent searching for this grand expression of hope that we fail to see the hope that is hidden in plain sight. In my personal experience, it often comes in small ways; easily missed when we are not looking for it. Of course, we want things immediately but mostly things happen over time.

In the world of dating, it comes in what I like to call crumbs; little morsels of hope. When working through the many challenges that come with dating, it’s easy to become overwhelmed by the downsides. Hours, days, and even weeks of talking to someone can disappear instantly over a seemingly minor thing. It isn’t always the sting of rejection that is hard to deal with, but the way in which people reject, such as disappearing without saying a word.

I doubt this ghosting is always intentional. Without realizing it until I typed these words did I acknowledge that I have done it to others. The last thing I wanted was for someone to be hurt by my words or actions. But I think the entire process can be so frustrating that a person temporarily gives up. I’ve done it myself numerous times when it felt hopeless. Why else would we give up if it were not hopeless?

While bumping along in a hopeless way, I would catch a glimpse of something, a sparkle, a crumb. In dating, it could be an interaction with someone in a store or an unexpected message from someone new. For those experiencing sickness or pain, it could be the trials of a new medicine. For the person hoping to see a change in their partner, family member, or friend, it’s the minor change that person exhibited in their behavior.

Is this the hope I was looking for? Could this really be it this time? We’re scared to follow the trail of hope for fear it may lead us back to where we are now in our current state of hopelessness. Here’s what I want you to consider. What if it is the thing you’ve hoped for all along? All the hoping, waiting, and rejection would be over. If the choice is made to follow the trail, you will surely risk losing hope again. But what will you risk by not following the trail hope leaves behind? Possibly everything you once hoped for. The truth of the matter is that it might not be what you hoped for. But if you choose to follow the trail of hope, even if it is not the thing, it could be the thing that leads to the thing that leads to the thing you always hoped for. Don’t lose faith. Follow the trail of hope!

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