A note to those who have lost hope
Louise Lane concludes the film Justice League by writing: “True darkness is not the absence of light, it’s the conviction that the light will not return”.
Has life ever become so dark that the idea of light is merely that, an idea? Have you lost someone you loved? Has the monster of depression ever crawled up from under your bed and held you hostage? Have you ever been in love with someone that can never love you back? Has anxiety ever snuck in through your face book news feed, and spread like a virus that is impossible to block or delete? Have you ever been vulnerable with someone, only to be taken advantage of? Have you ever loved with ambition, only to be met with hatred and disappointment? Have you ever been lied to?
Have you ever lost hope?
Someone asked me the other day, “Jordon, what in your life gives you hope”? I still haven’t answered them. Hope is a funny thing. Sometimes hope feels like the ex that lives in the same town and decided to start dating all your best friends. Hope was great once, but he hasn’t been playing his part lately. He actually just decided to up and leave, he moved out without even leaving a note. I thought I could depend on him, but hope proved me wrong.
In reality, sometimes we dig deep, we try really hard – but we still lose hope. Life gets difficult for one reason or another and just like that, hope is gone. But is it? Is hope really gone? If you would have asked me a few weeks ago I think I would have said: “Fuck hope. Hope left and probably isn’t coming back”. Luckily I think I was mistaken. Sometimes the fog of depression is so thick that we can’t see hope even when it’s right in front of us.
Maybe hope looks a little different than I remember him, but he’s still there. He’s peeking through my morning cup of coffee, hope was the glimmer on the smile that stranger so generously gave me, he is sprinkled throughout the stories I hear during the Holidays, hope makes guest appearances on the Ellen DeGeneres show. I might not have a surplus of hope, but hope can be borrowed; sometimes our friends have to have enough hope for the both of us. Hope says hello in a good morning text from an old friend, and he says good night through my favorite artist on Spotify. Hope doesn’t leave – he exist in the most mundane things. Hope is begging to be seen, so don’t ignore him. Hope is doing the best he can.
When we initially encounter hope we experience a honeymoon phase. He gives us everything we want and nothing can go wrong. And we expect hope to always be that way. But life isn’t that way. Life is a whirlwind of situations that doesn’t slow down because hope says so. Life keeps going, and sometimes life punches you right in the gut, then stomps on your face when you’re still on the ground. Life is like that manipulative high school kid, telling you lies about your best friend Hope, making you believe he’s something he’s not. So don’t bite at the bait, don’t be divided from hope.
For me personally, I felt like hope couldn’t exist in the midst of deep sadness and pain. I think somewhere along the line I learned that hope equaled happiness. So depressed Jordon didn’t have room in his life for hope. That’s not true though. Hope isn’t happiness, hope is the shot of espresso that gets you through a really long day. So if you’re down, if you’re sad, if you’ve reached your end – I encourage you to look for hope in the most mundane parts of your life. Be real, be authentic, be true about your pain and your emotional state of being – but don’t lose hope.
In the midst of my depression someone told me to “Choose happiness”. Honestly, I don’t really think we get to choose happiness. I don’t think we get to go to Bath and Body Works, choose which scent of happy we want for the day, and then spray it on like perfume. I wish it were that easy. Rather, life is like a beautiful Southern California sunset. The air, full of pollution and smog, meets with the light and creates a red, breath taking sky; one you look upon and say, “Wow – that’s beautiful”. So maybe we don’t get to choose happiness. Maybe life, like the air in Hollywood, has all sorts of unwanted pollution. But when the rays of light invade the pollution of life, let’s call that hope, and take solace in the fact that hope makes it beautiful again. That’s what we all are anyway right? Broken and beautiful – like a Southern California sunset.
Peace and Blessings.