That Hope’ll Kill You

hopellkillyouHope. It’s a wonderful, beautiful thing. In almost every situation it’s the best choice. Hope will keep you alive. Hope will carry you through incredibly hard times. Even the tiniest bit of hope has inspired nations to overcome insurmountable odds. I’m a big fan of hope.

But what about when you’re hoping for the wrong thing?

I will never forget when I was at the ripe ol’ age of 26, sitting in therapy, really the first time in my life, and my therapist told me that my hope in my husband ever changing was something I had to let go of. I must have looked at her like she had three heads. Never in my two and a half decades of living had anyone ever told me that hope could ever be WRONG.

But the more I thought about it the more I realized she was right. And it wasn’t because he wasn’t capable of changing it was because of what I had specifically in my head that I needed him to do. You see, he struggled at that time in his life with self love and it came out as constant, harsh criticism towards me and everyone else. The words he would use, the way he would yell at me and eventually even started throwing and smashing things, was just so awful. Traumatizing. I had this HOPE that I held on to with my life that one day he would realize how badly he had treated me and he would wake up and be just so brokenhearted at how he had treated me that he would spend the rest of his life worshiping the ground that I walked on only to make it up to me.

Now, I had no idea I really felt this way until I took the journey to uncover layer after layer of the beliefs that I was telling myself, but once I found that core thought at the center of why I was allowing myself to stay where I was not being treated well, and took it out and examined it, I could no longer deny it. I had to confront this painful thought: I was being a martyr.

I had never swallowed a pill that ugly and horrible before. I had never confronted my own shadows until that moment. Not really. And there I was. I had just been woken up and I could no longer deny that I was holding out hope, and tolerating bad behavior, for something that was never going to happen.

Oh was that ever painful! I had to let go of something that I had put so much into and get nothing back. I had stacked experience after experience on top of that crazy train, knowing that one day it would leave the station and it would heal all of these previous experiences. It would melt away all the trauma. It would be the answer and the balm I needed for my wounded soul.

But that train had no traction and was not going anywhere. And I was left with only the heavy, and yet empowering thought: that I had chosen this marriage, that I had taught him that I would allow him to treat me that way, but also that I could choose to allow a new standard of treatment.

The next steps were hard and unclear and felt like learning how to walk all over again. But so worth it. And that is a story for another time.

What are you hoping for that may be killing you slowly?


Join the Meant for Joy Community and get a FREE Copy of
Are you Managing STRESS or Are You Managing Joy

3 Responses to “That Hope’ll Kill You

  • That was wonderful Naomi 🙂 You’re a great writer. I think there’s a time to hang on to hope and a time to surrender it. I think the timing in your story was perfect.

    • Thank you so much Belki! I really appreciate you taking the time to comment about that. I am happy to share, especially as I know it’s helping others. ♥

Trackbacks & Pings

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Join the Meant for Joy Community and get a FREE Copy of
Are you Managing STRESS or Are You Managing Joy