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Wednesday, August 28, 2013

What's Left In Pandora's Box

Sometimes we become so despondent that we cling to the wrong things.  A man sinking in quicksand might reach for a poisonous snake if he thought it could support his weight and help him escape.  Desperate times call for even more desperate measures.   Cliches as long as your arm will come to mind.

In your life, you may find yourself having to open a Pandora’s Box.   You do it, not because of curiosity, but because there is no other way to begin the healing process.   You dread it.   You rationalize keeping it closed.  You bargain with yourself that it will get better without getting worse.   However, in the end, the box gets opened, consciously or subconsciously.  All you can do is let it envelope you and swim against the current to dry land.   The worst part is that you can’t see the shore.  You have no bearing on where it is.   You could unknowingly swim back towards the whirlpool that looks to suck you down into the dark abyss, and almost not realize it.  

Yes, there are days when you want to crawl into that hole, turn on the depressing music, and poke at the scabs on your soul because feeling that pain is better than nothing at all.  And in that hole, you see the one thing left that wasn’t let out of Pandora’s Box.  That’s when the evils in the world look friendly and safe.   Drugs.  Alcohol.  Harming yourself or others.  And there in the darkness is that one thing, above all else, that you could cling to.   Hope.   

But sometimes, we need hope.  Sometimes the pain is too deep and great to simply let it all in.  Sometimes to get through the darkest parts of the process, we need to latch onto a life raft full of needles while we wear a suit of armor made of water balloons.  We could ultimately end up drowning from within, but there is a chance we can survive it and that is better than drowning out in the open.   Hope is something that if handled correctly, could be a lifeline. 

The problem is that you can put too much faith in hope.  Hope is still an evil.   You may hope that you can fix everything and go back to the way it was.  That could very well be, but most likely, it won’t.    Hope can also push you blindly into another direction.  You can put all your faith in hoping for a certain solution and you don’t see that it’s not a solution at all.   When that hope gets dashed, you fall faster and deeper back towards the brink.  You may even go over.

I’m saying you shouldn’t rely on hope.   It can be a powerful thing.  Hope can be a light in the darkness.  It can be a magical sword that slays any and all monsters in your path.  

The one thing to remember is that hope best serves you in limited stretches.   It’s like the star in Super Mario Bros. that makes you invincible, but it’s limited and will run out.   It’s that tire in your trunk.  You put it on, when you have a flat, but you can’t drive fast or take on tough terrain.  You slowly work towards the goal of getting a new tire at a service station down the road.  Don’t abuse hope or put all of your faith in it.  It’s just a temporary fix.   

If treat hope with respect and fairness it will help.  If you use it as a shield, running headlong into danger, it will crack and leave you defenseless.    But, sometimes, in the darkness, it’s the best choice to light the way out.  That is why hope was trapped in the box.  If left open, it would have escaped with all the other evils into the world.  In the box, you can use it when you need it, but you have to put it back or it will escape and betray you.   Never lose hope.

Other people can be your hope, but not your savior.  They can give you hope but you are your own savior.
Religion can be your hope, but without faith in yourself, it’s only temporary.

Trust in you.  Trust in the process.   Trust that hope will carry you to the shore and will then let you lead, never interfering with choosing the right path.  If others are with you, then that’s great.    However, if you are alone, that’s OK, too.  You are all you need to survive.  You and a little hope tucked away.

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