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Saturday, March 5, 2016

Whether hopeful or hopeless, be happy!

If being hopeless makes you peaceful, be hopeless. What’s important is that you be at peace with yourself!

Yesterday a reader wrote to me saying she didn’t want to be hopeful about her Life anymore. She said she had made peace with her miseries. I did not disagree with her. If she is peaceful, even while she’s ostensibly in a lot of pain, that’s what matters the most. It is wrong to assume that people can’t have a truck with their problems. Always, that’s how acceptance comes. But the key is that you must be happy accepting your Life the way it is. If you are not happy, if you are not at peace, then such acceptance is, virtually, no acceptance. An intrinsic effect, an outcome, of acceptance is that it puts an end to all your suffering. The pain continues to be there. But the suffering ceases. If you are still suffering then you have not accepted your situation fully, you are still grudging it.

I have found that being hopeless is not a bad thing to do – as long as you don’t sulk, brood and become depressive. Hopelessness is nothing but acceptance. You reach a state when you decide that things are going to be the way they are and you can’t do anything but endure the Life you have. So, if this is the state in which you find inner peace, then it is completely irrelevant whether you call it hopelessness or acceptance! But there’s a caveat here – don’t complain or grieve about your situation. Just learn to cope with it and live with it. You of course can continue to work on trying to solve your problems, but with acceptance and not with resentment!

Now, whether you accept a situation or not, whether you are hopeful about Life or not, your Life will change over time. Everything changes. And every situation passes on. What comes, goes away. And something new comes in its place, to soon go away. Hope and hopelessness are human inventions. They are mere labels we stick on otherwise listless events and circumstances. Think about it: if you are likely to get what you want, you are hopeful; and if you are unlikely to get what you want, you are hopeless. But neither your wanting something, or resenting something, is going to stop whatever is coming your way. This is how Life works – it has a mind of its own and it keeps on happening to you, irrespective of how you feel. So, why label situations as hopeful or hopeless – and sweat over either? Just go with the flow, living with what is. But if you can’t avoid labeling, live with the label too – like the reader who wrote in yesterday. Whatever you do, be at peace with yourself, with your Life, and, important, be happy!

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