Tonight we’re celebrating the life and death of hope. Not all hope, mind you, but a very specific kind. The hope that makes us hold on to relationships that are harmful because we refuse to acknowledge their slow and silent deaths. The hope that makes us blind to the gangrene that spreads to our hearts when we refuse to give up, even when we’re hearing its death rattle.
We have to celebrate it as we mourn its passing. It grew within us a super human strength of character. It proved to us that we would not give up at the first sign of trouble. On the other hand it taught us what being weak and foolish looks like so we can choose differently in our new life without it. We’ve learned the importance of boundaries and honest communication.
We’ve learned to quit lying to ourselves.
There are those who look at us and don’t see us. Their reflection takes up the whole mirror. They don’t have the time or inclination to love us, and that’s okay as long as we see the truth of this and let go. Our hearts can go on to flourish as long as we don’t allow the contamination of our belief in who we are and what we deserve.
This is where we failed, isn’t it?
Yes, they should have walked away, but the point here is that we didn’t either. We read the books, listened to the tapes, tried all the “guru” advice because we can’t change anyone but ourselves, right? Growth and learning is critical to our personal development if we don’t want to stagnate. The fine line we missed here is that healthy growth is not trying to morph ourselves into someone who deserves love and attention.
We already do.
Here we are now, celebrating lessons learned from holding false hope as we mourn its passing at the same time. We saw it coming, but it didn’t make it any easier to admit that there was no sign of life left in our relationship. It didn’t make it a simple thing to unplug the life support while we prayed and worked for a miracle.
The miracle is that we have a second chance if we want it.
We can see our own value, and love and forgive ourselves for our foolishness. We can promise ourselves that we’ll give away only the parts of us that have been earned by those who offer us respect and a heart brave enough to try. We can quit blaming them for not loving us, and ourselves for staying and taking the hits of failure for years too long.
It’s time to get over the picture of what should have been. We’re overdue for an overhaul. It’s the witching hour, that moment between darkness and dawn that allows who we’ve been to look into the eyes of who we’ll become. This is the power moment, it’s Genesis all over again. It’s time we admit out loud that we allowed ourselves to be treated as poorly as we treated ourselves.
Shame on us.
We must let who we are burn brightly, without apology, in spite of any fear. We deserve to be everything we can imagine, we are worth the effort of working just as hard to get to know us as everyone else will have to from this moment forward. The fire that destroys what is, makes room for new growth, a new beginning.
Now, let’s drink to the death of false hope… Let the funeral pyre burn.