A different sort of hope

 
hannahtoo
 
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hannahtoo
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22 December 2018 08:54
 

I was talking with a friend yesterday about a tough situation in my family.  It involves mental illness and estrangement.  My friend, who is Christian spoke of hope and that anything is possible through God.  She recounted a story of a couple she knows, whose daughter was rebellious and heavily using drugs.  The couple had resigned themselves to life without her, as she had not contacted them in 20 years.  But then she did, clean and sober, wanting to rekindle their relationship.  So there is always hope, my friend concluded.

I don’t agree.  Though I see how living with hope could lighten the heart and push away coming to terms with a sad situation.  Of course, there’s always the believers’ hope (or faith?) that everything will be resolved perfectly in heaven.  I can’t see much wrong with this point of view, except that it is, to my mind, unrealistic.  Maybe the worst that could come of it is dealing with pain later, rather than sooner.

Still, there is another aspect of hope that I am learning to embrace.  And that is the hope that I can eventually bear unfortunate situations without too much sadness.  That is, able to see, enjoy, and deeply appreciate the good without the bad souring it.  Bittersweet, if you will.

It’s a sentiment hard for some people to accept.  There is a human tendency to hope for a cure, hope for reconciliation, hope for a turn of fortune.  Some might say that the deeper, truer understanding of the different religious philosophies is the acceptance of suffering.  However, I do not see suffering as the defining experience of human life for all of us, but rather one aspect of experience.  Joy is not to be overlooked or unappreciated.

Not sure if this viewpoint is part of the reason I could not sustain religious faith, or the result of not having it.

Thoughts on hope?

 
GAD
 
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GAD
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22 December 2018 09:48
 

I’m pretty much inline with you. It’s hard not be sad (fracking brains) but being sad doesn’t really change anything. I told my daughter (girls!) that many times when she was sad and crying but the last time she yelled that it makes her feel better, I laughed, but it seemed fair enough and I have said it since. As an atheist there is no better in heaven, but in death there is nothing so happy, sad don’t matter, well, because you are dead and the dead don’t feel anything.

 
 
icehorse
 
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icehorse
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22 December 2018 09:48
 

I agree.

It seems to me that what you’re talking about is the quest to achieve equanimity. That’s a goal I’m always working towards. Another spin on this is the saying: “Work to achieve good outcomes, but don’t be attached to the outcomes.”

Is this in keeping with the OP?

 
 
Jan_CAN
 
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Jan_CAN
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22 December 2018 10:39
 

There is a time for hope and optimism, and there is a time for resignation.  When we have no control over a situation and the chances of a happy ending are slim-to-none, hope can be agony.  We must grieve for what is lost, do whatever can be done, and try to find a way to live with things as they are.  Sometimes one might feel that giving up hope is giving up on another, when it can actually be more a matter of acceptance and self-preservation.

 
 
hannahtoo
 
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hannahtoo
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22 December 2018 16:06
 
GAD - 22 December 2018 09:48 AM

I’m pretty much inline with you. It’s hard not be sad (fracking brains) but being sad doesn’t really change anything. I told my daughter (girls!) that many times when she was sad and crying but the last time she yelled that it makes her feel better, I laughed, but it seemed fair enough and I have said it since. As an atheist there is no better in heaven, but in death there is nothing so happy, sad don’t matter, well, because you are dead and the dead don’t feel anything.

Crying seems to be a physiological response to sadness.  A good cry really can bring relief.  Also, crying is a cue for others to comfort us, strengthening the interpersonal bonds.  Of course, a person can employ tears for effect, and every parent has witnessed a this sort of toddler tantrum.

It really is good to hear from humanists on the subject of hope.  I remember several years back when a man dying from cancer posted on the forum because he wanted to talk about life and death without religious overtones.  I found his thread to be a very poignant experience.

 

 
GAD
 
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GAD
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22 December 2018 19:49
 
hannahtoo - 22 December 2018 04:06 PM
GAD - 22 December 2018 09:48 AM

I’m pretty much inline with you. It’s hard not be sad (fracking brains) but being sad doesn’t really change anything. I told my daughter (girls!) that many times when she was sad and crying but the last time she yelled that it makes her feel better, I laughed, but it seemed fair enough and I have said it since. As an atheist there is no better in heaven, but in death there is nothing so happy, sad don’t matter, well, because you are dead and the dead don’t feel anything.

Crying seems to be a physiological response to sadness.  A good cry really can bring relief.  Also, crying is a cue for others to comfort us, strengthening the interpersonal bonds.  Of course, a person can employ tears for effect, and every parent has witnessed a this sort of toddler tantrum.

It really is good to hear from humanists on the subject of hope.  I remember several years back when a man dying from cancer posted on the forum because he wanted to talk about life and death without religious overtones.  I found his thread to be a very poignant experience.

Crying seems to help her (shes a tween now teen) and everything, down to who texted who can get deeply emotional for her. But I love her so what can I do, hug her, tell her it will be alright, and not let her see me rolling my eyes.

 
 
nonverbal
 
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nonverbal
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23 December 2018 09:38
 
hannahtoo - 22 December 2018 04:06 PM
GAD - 22 December 2018 09:48 AM

I’m pretty much inline with you. It’s hard not be sad (fracking brains) but being sad doesn’t really change anything. I told my daughter (girls!) that many times when she was sad and crying but the last time she yelled that it makes her feel better, I laughed, but it seemed fair enough and I have said it since. As an atheist there is no better in heaven, but in death there is nothing so happy, sad don’t matter, well, because you are dead and the dead don’t feel anything.

Crying seems to be a physiological response to sadness.  A good cry really can bring relief.  Also, crying is a cue for others to comfort us, strengthening the interpersonal bonds.  Of course, a person can employ tears for effect, and every parent has witnessed a this sort of toddler tantrum.

It really is good to hear from humanists on the subject of hope.  I remember several years back when a man dying from cancer posted on the forum because he wanted to talk about life and death without religious overtones.  I found his thread to be a very poignant experience.

It seems likely to me that the younger you are, the more other-informing crying is. The older you get, the more self-informing it becomes.

 
 
GAD
 
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GAD
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23 December 2018 10:21
 
nonverbal - 23 December 2018 09:38 AM
hannahtoo - 22 December 2018 04:06 PM
GAD - 22 December 2018 09:48 AM

I’m pretty much inline with you. It’s hard not be sad (fracking brains) but being sad doesn’t really change anything. I told my daughter (girls!) that many times when she was sad and crying but the last time she yelled that it makes her feel better, I laughed, but it seemed fair enough and I have said it since. As an atheist there is no better in heaven, but in death there is nothing so happy, sad don’t matter, well, because you are dead and the dead don’t feel anything.

Crying seems to be a physiological response to sadness.  A good cry really can bring relief.  Also, crying is a cue for others to comfort us, strengthening the interpersonal bonds.  Of course, a person can employ tears for effect, and every parent has witnessed a this sort of toddler tantrum.

It really is good to hear from humanists on the subject of hope.  I remember several years back when a man dying from cancer posted on the forum because he wanted to talk about life and death without religious overtones.  I found his thread to be a very poignant experience.

It seems likely to me that the younger you are, the more other-informing crying is. The older you get, the more self-informing it becomes.

I like that.

 
 
nonverbal
 
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nonverbal
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23 December 2018 10:37
 

Thank you, GAD.