Friday, February 25, 2011

Hope, Perception, and Expectation

Three words: Hope, Perception, Expectation. 

Such huge ideas.  Can any of us really fully understand the cause and function of hope?  Or the formation of Perception and to what extent it represents reality?  Or if Expectations are fair and how we are to know how to evaluate them. 

These are the questions that keep me up at night.  I know my introduction sounds rather metaphysical or existential, but really--everyone else has these same questions.  I process these firings in my brain through words adn writing, but others paint, draw, sing, or tell stories of these three muses.  I don't know that I have ever heard a song that did not touch on one of these three.  Every painting or piece of art is the created perception of the artist.  And why even get out of bed, or take the time to live, if we have no hope.  Thus, these three are central to the human condition. 

Honestly, I don't think I would have ever denied the incredible power hope, perception and expectation all play in our lives, but what I have recently begun to discover is the bguiling and mysterious connection between the three. 

Beginning with hope.  I think hope is the most wonderful gift humans have at their disposal.  We can remain in our present state--whether wonderful or devestated--but still see something beyond our circumstance.  Sure, the loss of hope can bring grief of uncomprehensible measures, but this is not necessarily all bad, either.  And the potential dissappointment of unrequited hope should never be a deterrent in maintaining the silver lining.  Yet, if we are to maintain hope, what are we to hope for?  Many people have hopes and desires that--unless by the divine stroke of God's intervention--are just never going to happen.  I can say, I have fallen victim to the hopeful illusion before.  But I just didn't understand what we were supposed to base hope on.  I have hope for heaven.  And for redemption.  And for a day when Good will reign for eternity.  I mean, if I allow myself to hope for these things, that should certainly give me leave to hope for mere acceptance to my choice Grad School.  Or that I will one day make it to Uganda.  And it doesn't even seem so crazy to hope that someday I may find a friend to share life with.  (WARNING: This is the DANGEROUS one.)  Because, if we can hope for heaven, what would ever stop us from placing hope in every desire? 

Well, this is where perception comes in to play.  When trying to understand why some hopes seemed healthier, or more valid than others, I began to see a patter.  Hopes thrown to the wind, with no string to draw the kite in, are empty and not tied down.  An example would be (DON'T LAUGH--I'm being vulnerable!) my desire to be walking down the streets of New York, bump into a dashing gentleman in his thirties, and him look deep into my eys and ask me to coffee, where he would tell me all about his life as a director, and make me the star of all his movies.  Ha.  I know, ridiculous.  I recognize that, but I cannot tell you how many times this scenario has played through my daydreams!  So, here is the breakdown on why this is so completely unrealistic.  I do not live in New York.  I am way too aware of people to mindlessly clothesline somone.  And I can't act.  So, although the vision is romantic and appealing, is is in absolute contradiction to reality.   To invest in this hope would be foolish.  I do not fly to New York weekly and circle the blocks, looking for handsome gents to "bump" into.  However, many people (to a far lesser extent) make these kinds of sacrifices for a hope, equally detached from reality. 

So, why is Heaven okay to hope for?  Well.  We must look at the facts. Observe the past.  Assess our perception.  For me, heaven is a wonderful hope.  But I see the evidence from my experience and my experience in my faith that has allowed me to perceive the promises of God as Truth.  As reality.  God promises a new earth.  A heaven.  I hope for this with each breath. 

What I am trying to get at is that a hope for heaven, as grand as it is, in my honest perception--my reality--is validated.  In perceiving past experience (not imagined futures), I develop an honest perception.  And then I take that perception to those in my world that I love and trust, and they help me see where my perception may be flawed or distorted.  I then continue with my hope in hand.  A solid hope.  A healthy hope based on the honest perceptions of my experience.  Granted, this method is still not full-proof.  There is a risk involved in hope.  But if your perception measures up and outweighs the risk, at least it was a risk worth taking. 

We will experience grief when the door closes on hope.  But as difficult as grief may be, and as dark and cold and long as the tunnel appears, we must realize that with time, the light of hope will eventually resurface. 

When hope enters our dark world, it illuminates all that it can reach, but it also cast shadows on what is hidden from its rays.  These shadows are the places affected by our hope, yet left unnoticed because of the shadow.  In these lurking places of our soul, we should evaluate our expectations.  I have never been sure what I can expect from another person or from life.  Without appearing too pessimistic, I have been dissappointed.  But we all have.  Unmet expectations could probably explain 99% of the world's problems.  So--if expectations cause so many problems, what is their benefit?  We should certainly use our perception assessment to evaluate our expectations.  If the reality of the past continually does not meet the expectations we hold, then we should evaluate our satisfaction with the past. If we are happy and contented, perhaps we should not hold ourselves arbitrarily to such rigid expectations.  Yet, if our past does not reflect peacefulness and happiness, we should probably work towards upholding our expectations.  We can not control the actions of other people or events, but we can decide what we will allow and what investment we will make in the pursuit of our hopes and fulfillment of our expectations. 

Simply, we may need to redefine our boundaries and commit to enforcing them.  By restricting our investment, we are creating a reality where our expectations have the opportunity to be met.  Boundaries are an interesting aspect of the triad.  They function within each angle of hope, perception, and expectation.  They reinforce the bonds between the three, keep us tied into ourselves, and keep us rooted to the reality that hope may allow us to forget. 

Overall, i cannot imagine my life without hope.  I find such peace and contentment in a place of healthy hope.  I can find solace in today.  I can be present in the present hour.  And I can allow my imperfections, knowing that each day is another step toward the goodness that I am seeking. 

Thanks for stopping by.  Be Encouraged.  Have Hope.   And stay dusty. 

No comments:

Post a Comment