…and they all lived happily ever after.
This is the end to every fairy tale we heard as children, then years later read aloud to our children as parents as we prayed for its hypnagogic effect to kick in so we could catch some iteration of CSI before we ourselves have to get to bed. All the while we are either completely unaware or in total denial that these tales originally had enough sex and violence to be potentially optioned by the Fox network.
Along came early 19th century romanticism that called for these tales to become sanitized to make them match the level of idealism that could be found in any middle school girl’s diary. The fae, otherwise known as fairies to our Western whitewashed sensibilities, are replete with bells and dust and wands and wispy wings and benevolent magic, transformed and bastardized from their original character of being mischievous, spiteful and conniving supernatural assholes.
This is the state of the human condition… we either focus on the devastating atrocities committed by the avarice and wrath of humanity or we create Disney-wrapped ideals for ourselves to attempt to attain. The optimists like to believe that Vlad the Impaler could have become a lightworker if enough people had meditated on opening his heart chakra, while the pessimists merely claim to be realists.
I have to step aside and confess to being 82% optimist and 18% I don’t know what the hell is going to happen. Having said that, let me share my perspective on perspective: One of the most important things we can have is hope. Hope moves us through dark times, hope propels us toward taking another step forward to a future that we want to see come to fruition. Hope helps to prevent us from resigning to a bleak situation with a potentially dark outcome.
Now here’s the advisory label I’m going to slap on the idea of embracing hope: Hope does not come with a lifetime 100% money back guarantee of happily ever after. It is foolhardy to believe that any circumstance for which we hope to come to pass will serve as a permanent panacea for all challenges, struggles, trials, tribulations, knee scrapes, angry spouses, sick pets, unsatisfactory meals at a restaurant, or other such malignance.
Here’s what we often fail to realize… the seeming fulfillment of our desired outcome tends to come with a rider. What happens is we find that we have recovered from a physical condition or we find ourselves in a better work environment than our previous one, or we have come into more money, only to find that there was some secret hidden choice presented to us. We find ourselves faced with having to continue on our golden path having learned there are ruts and dead possums and bumper-to-bumper traffic up ahead, or there is a different unknown path that might be more appealing than the one we are currently upon, the one where hope’s taxi cab let us out.
The unfortunate trap of hope is that it springs from the well of dissatisfaction with our current circumstance, so it is simply the escape we envisioned, the lawn with the greener grass. It was less of something compelling that we really really really really-to-the-tenth-power wanted and more of wanting to break free from the embrace of the ogre of our current situation. Invariably what happens is when we land somewhere over the rainbow and that outcome for which we have hoped has been sworn into office, along comes the litmus test we have to take to determine if our new condition is what we truly want.
Am I saying to embrace Dante’s inscription above Hell’s entrance and dispense with the notion of hope altogether? Not in the least. Pave your path before you with the the gleams and twinkles of hope. Just remember when you get there and have thrown the you’ve-finally-arrived party, the next morning you may be waking up to wonder if this is where you really intended to end up. But that’s a good thing. It means you made the right choice. Soon you will be making another.