Blog 1082 – 08.12.2018
The Problem With Hope
Now Abide Faith, Hope, and Love, The Greatest Of These Is Love. The problem with hope is similar to the problem with faith, they can both seem often like merely “wishful thinking” and leave us disappointed or illusionary to others and even ourselves. And yet, to borrow another Bible phrase, I show you a more excellent way. We do not have to just hope or believe, we can know through love. After all is said and done, this is the secret, the answer, the way – just love.
There is no problem, no question than cannot be solved or answered by love. Just look at the most difficult thing any of us ever has to face, be it sickness, death, or despair, even those love can find a way to heal, over come, or brighten for love is truly all there is and without it we would be complete bereft of all faith, hope, and experience.
One of my favorite German poets in his book titled, Letters To A Young Man, warned the younger poet to write of anything but love but I prefer a line from one of my favorite Beatles, Sir Paul Mc Carney, “Some people want to fill the world with silly love songs. But, what’s wrong with that, I’d like to know.” Sir Paul has achieved quite a lot of fame and has made a good life and living writing and performing love songs, to the encouragement of many, myself included. Even as a boy I listened to and sang his sweet love songs over and over to soothe my aching breaking heart. Like many of us I thought I just had to have this one or that one love me back. Paul and the guys singing the haunting, “Please, love me do.” moved me when I was barely a teen, when most adults thought I was too young to know anything much at all about romantic love, and even yet over fifty years later I still remember that hollow, empty, ache that I felt inside.
I told a friend recently that I was almost sixty years of age before I really came to a place where I love and accept myself for who I am. Like many of you I was taught from a child that our true identity, our true acceptance is only to be found in another. I no longer believe that to be true. It is one of the beliefs that I find no longer serves me so I discarded it. I am the one who defines me and you are the one who defines you. We dare not give that power or privilege away to another, be they mere person or supposed deity. Some of you may think I over emphasize the importance of self-love. I repeat again my understanding of perhaps Jesus most revealing words, when he said boiling down all commandments, codes, laws to three simple precepts that are really only one. He said, “Love God with all your heart, soul, and mind, and your neighbor, as you love yourself.” We often make the assumption that he thought we all love ourselves but with my departed friend Louise Hay I believe all our difficulties with life, with things and with others can be traced to a lack of love for ourselves. I went on to tell my friend after saying that I finally found myself lovable at almost sixty that I also realized how very much easier it was to love others and everything because the most difficult one to love had always been me. I hear some of you thinking if not saying out loud that argument insult lovers often use, “It is all about you.” It is true especially considering the root cause of all the difficulties we face. Jesus and the Beatles agree, “Love is the answer, Love is all you need.” And no one says it better or no one else’s words mean it anymore or as much as your own voice saying to you, “I Love You.”
I am sure all of us can look back to a time in our lives, and sadly for many that time is still now, when if all the world loved us it did not matter so long as that one special person did not. There is a truth in that but is not that cute little blonde, brunette, or red head or that boy with the haunting eyes or sweet smile but that equally if not more adorable face you see in the mirror every morning. Do yourself, God (no matter who or how you perceive Her or Him to be), and the rest of us a big favor – Love Yourself. It is the highest, best, most noble, act you or I can ever do. And when we do heaven begins anew. Spread the news, the secret is out. Love is and has always been the best kept Secret ingredient to life, an abundant life.
To me one of Elvis Presley best performances came in the movie, Wild In the Country, with the lovely then middle aged actress Hope Lange and the equally lovely though younger nearer Elvis’s age at the time, Tuesday Wells. Hope plays a caring teacher who sees writing talent in the poor boy Elvis who lacks self confidence and has yet to discover himself. It is a haunting and tragic story on many levels. And the Hope character who tries to give hope to Elvis’s character ends up losing hope and taking her own life in frustration and desperation. Hope and faith were not the answer for her nor are the for any of us. The only real answer is in love for I say again, Love is all there is, everything else is an illusion and meant to keep us from seeing clearly who and whose we really are.
Your friend and fellow traveler,