Recently I went through an unexpected breakup, and it has challenged me in a lot of ways I didn't see coming.
For example, this was the first time I'd ever broken up due to an abundance of love and the recognition that being in relationship with this person wasn't for the highest good.
There were no arguments, no friction, no conflict. Just a lot of love that wanted to be experienced and expressed in ways that couldn't work out.
This was new to me. My previous breakups were always due to fundamental problems between me and the other person that eventually led to the breakup. This time, my mind couldn't grasp the idea that an abundance of love was a completely valid, real, and important reason for a breakup.
Because of this, my mind began to notice all the ways I'd attached future experiences to this person...
For example, I had planned some really wonderful date ideas. And perfect gift ideas. Not just good ideas for dates and gifts, but rather, ones that were really attuned to the unique relationship that we shared. We both also knew that we would have lived an amazing life together, especially with incredible synergy in so many different ways.
As I felt into those feelings of perfect alignment and an incredible future, I realized how much I had emotionally invested in a future that didn't exist...
After the breakup, my mind kept coming back to all the ways we fit together perfectly. All the amazing ideas and expectations I had for the future. Or in another word:
All my hopes.
In really reflecting on hope, I came to understand what one of my spiritual teachers has been saying for years about the Hope / Desire / Rejection cycle.
In a nutshell, it works like this:
First we have a hope. An idea about some way we want our future life to be. Then that hope buries itself deeper into our heart as a desire. No longer is it just wishful thinking, it becomes a heartful wish.
At first that sounds great. Especially if we want to get more out of life. Unfortunately, that very cycle of hoping and desiring a better future leaves us in a state of rejection of the present moment. And given that the past is a memory and the future hasn't happened yet, the Present moment is the only thing that exists.
In other words, by me continually running the stories (and associated emotions) of a hopeful future, I was rejecting the only thing that actually exists: Now.
And to go deeper with that, every time I find myself sad or experiencing emotional pain, I have been able to trace it back to my hope about a future that I realize will not happen.
This has been an uncomfortable exploration.
My mind doesn't like the idea that my hope is actually causing me pain. It wants to believe that hoping for a different future will somehow bring me happiness. Unfortunately it doesn't. It can't. That's just not how the future works.
Consequently, I've been "losing" hope since the breakup.
Instead of letting my mind and heart get stuck running in circles hoping for a future that won't exist, I'm being more Present with my immediate experience. I'm learning what it means to let go of a non-existent future and to more fully embrace what actually is.
What is coming more fully into my experience is a sense of faith and optimism. I trust that all is for the highest good. I trust that as I deepen into the Present moment, that will cascade into future moments that will continue to be increasingly more amazing.
I don't know exactly how that will look. I just know that by "losing" my hope I'm opening up to, allowing for, and embracing, whatever magnificence the mysterious and unknown future has for me.
Less hope, and more faith. That's where I'm headed. :)
See, faith is fundamentally different than hope...
Hope has a very specific outcome that we attach to. We hope for things to turn out a certain way.
Faith on the other hand is unattached. It knows that things will turn out fine, even amazing, and that we can't know or imagine what that outcome will be.
Hope is born of our minds. It's of our egos. It tells us how it thinks the world should be. And then when life doesn't go the way we had "hoped," we feel the pain and rejection inherent within the hope.
Faith is born of our hearts and spirits. It's of our True Nature. It tells us that no matter how the world is, it is for the highest good. And then when life unfolds naturally as the mystery it is, we get to experience ourselves as heros on an adventure. Not knowing where the next turn leads, and still knowing the next turn will take us someplace important.
So yes, I'm "losing" hope. And I'm more optimistic and faithful than ever before. :)
Your Partner In Losing Hope,
Liberate Your Life
P.S. Some wonderful shifts I'm experiencing by "losing" hope are...
A much faster transition through the breakup process. Pain is much more quickly transmuted into love. Hopes shift into faith and optimism. Unfulfilled expectations flow into gratitude. Feelings of being left behind or abandoned show me all the ways in which I'm incredibly supported.
I also am more fully experiencing and expressing unconditional love. My heart is expanding in directions I never could have "hoped" for, and for which I am grateful.
I've also learned that if I can walk away from an enjoyable, good, and loving relationship because it truly isn't for the highest good...
I'm making space in my life for the truly incredible, amazing, abundant relationship that I know is waiting for me... and that will be in alignment for the highest good.
I have no "hope" or expectation about how that Divine Right Relationship will look.
I just have faith and optimism that the Divine has got this one covered. :)