We often hope for things to happen, or hope for things not to happen.
I hope it's sunny tomorrow.
I hope it doesn't rain.
I hope they get here on time.
I hope we don't have to leave early.
If you think about it, we spend most of our lives hoping for things.
But hope is bad. Hope causes suffering. It goes hand in hand with frustration, sadness, fear, and plain old bad moods.
When we say we hope that something will or will not happen, we're really saying that there's only a tiny handful of outcomes in which we'll be okay, but if anything else happens, we can't be okay.
By hoping, we're essentially limiting our happiness to one fraction of a potential sliver of reality. And if you haven't noticed, reality is way, way, way beyond our control. Reality has the power of the universe behind it.
What chance do you and I stand up against reality? None, which is why we need to learn to harmonize with it rather than fight it.
At the end of the day, hoping for things to happen is only a recipe for unhappiness.
Instead, we ought to learn to be comfortable with whatever happens. When you catch yourself hoping, just notice it, relax, and smile. Then, the real you can step in and remind yourself that you'll be okay no matter what.
We should question our dependency on events unfolding a certain way in order to feel good. Why isn't anyone learning to feel good no matter what events unfold? That doesn't mean we're going to like everything that happens, but we're sure as hell going to deal with it in a productive manner. And I don't know about you, but my 28 years on Earth have confirmed to me that suffering is not productive.
Your preferences are actually what's causing you to be unhappy in the first place. If you learn to let go of your preferences of how the people, places, and things around you need to be, then you can be okay with anything.
This, my friends, is what we all ought to be striving for. Forget hope. Embrace reality.
Live with substance!