The Place Where Hope Begins


Sometimes you have to lose all hope

in order to find hope.

 

 

Here, a breath away from suicide, a breath away from the void, a breath away from the last breath, you remember. 

 

Here, in this place of utter despair, hope is realized, forged in the fires of the old life. 

Not elsewhere. Here.

 

Presence is infused with hope.

 

Not the hope of the mind. Not a mentally-constructed hope of fantasy and projection and second-hand promises from well-meaning guides, gods and gurus. Not a false hope. But a hope solidly rooted in reality. A hope infused with possibility, with open endings, new beginnings, rebirths and transformations. A hope as old as time and prior to time. 

 

But first, sometimes, friend, you need to lose all hope.

 

You need to actually digest the hopelessness and despair, the loneliness and deep self-doubt you feel today. You need to enter the dark cave of yourself, and begin to illuminate what you find with understanding, with curiosity, with love. You need to travel deep into the Unknown today, into the wild woods of the psyche, into the madness, naked and alone, with no guide, and no promises.

 

If you run from your despair, it will haunt you forever.

 

But if you face it! If you turn towards it, even though you are terrified today. If you begin to inhabit it with your attention. Breathe into this despair, irradiate this hopeless place. Yes, it sounds crazy. Yes, they will probably call you mad. But to hell with what others think. Flush this hopelessness with an adventurous awareness. Drench it with your kindness. Your attention. Your looking. 

 

Let hopelessness be here! Let the darkness have a home in you, and find your home in darkness too. Become one with the darkness, and you will know a light brighter than a trillion supernovas. For the light will be you. You are only finding yourself. There is nowhere else to go. 

 

You conquer hopelessness not by fleeing, but by facing. 

 

You scream out to the heavens, 

“It is utterly hopeless! I am done!”

 

And behold. The clouds of illusion part. 

 

And now, a great light of Hope!

A Hope only the ones who have faced their hopelessness can know!

The Hope that is not the opposite of despair, but its great Mother! 

The Hope that holds you in her arms, always!

 

That lets you weep when you need to weep, rage when you need to rage. That lets you be silent when you tire of words. That lets you die when you need to die, live when you need to live, rebirth yourself when you are exhausted with the old self.

 

You cannot kid yourself that you are “hopeful”.

But you can digest your hopelessness today. 

And you can begin again, here, anew.

In a new moment. On this new ground. 

 

You can feel your feet on the sacred earth. 

You can breathe. In. Out. In again. 

You can hear the sounds all around you.

 

You can remember that you do not know a damn thing.

 

Mindfulness emerges out of the ashes of despair.

 

Meditation. 

 

This. This is the place where Hope begins. 

 

~ Jeff Foster

 


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