Hope. It is a necessary thing for us to hold onto. Whatever may be hurting and frustrating you today, you can hope that the problem goes away or at least hurts less down the road.
It seems strange that there could be a negative side to hope. Some problems just don’t seem to improve no matter how hard you try. That is the risky side to hope. Have you ever set your sights on the following week being a lot better only to have a solution fail to materialize? When that happens, your hope is dashed to pieces, making you feel worse than before. Resentment, bitterness and self-pity may harden your heart.
If you have a loved one who is addicted to heroin or methamphetamine, then you know only too well about unfulfilled hopes. The life of an addict is a rollercoaster ride of promises, lies, despair, recovery and relapse. It feels like every rising wave of hope crashes against rocks on the shore and disappears.
The answer isn’t to give up hoping. Instead, try not to pin your hopes on a specific outcome, timeframe or event.
I have been down this road with an addict. I wish I had an answer that could remove your hurt and mine. I don’t have one. What I do have is a stronger and more focused faith and hope. I haven’t proven to be very successful in shaping other people’s outcomes. I am learning to let go and let God do the work I cannot do.
When I stop trying to control outcomes, I become aware of the role I am supposed to play to be helpful to others, not only the addict. I do my best and leave the rest. The person I love may get sober eventually, and I wish this with all my heart. Either way, I am going to live with serenity and purpose, secure in the knowledge I am doing my best. And, yes, no matter how many times my hope has been crushed, I am going to keep right on hoping.
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