It is not hopeless.
It sure feels like it, but I promise it is not.
Trust is a sacred thing, just like optimism is a rare thing. When either is bruised by experiences with yet another seemingly identical situation, we creep further into cynicism and distrust.
At times, the world feels cruel.
“Everything is going wrong. The world is against me.”
“What’s the point?”
“I hate people.”
“I’m never trusting anyone again.”
We make these grand statements and promise ourselves we will never get into that position again, knowing full well we rarely have control over that. We get wounded and refuse to let anyone heal us. We don’t want to give someone else the chance to save and then break our hearts all over again. It’s a defeatist attitude, to say the least, but it’s a common one.
The big question is, then: How can you possibly trust again after you have been given so many reasons not to?
No, not in some “this person has it so much worse so I have no reason to be upset” way. No self-demonising pain comparisons. But some perspective of the world and the sheer size of it.
It’s a simple idea, but it comes with a whole host of potentially exciting and life-affirming actions.
Riding what seems like a constant cycle of momentary happiness, followed by a crushing betrayal or heartbreak is exhausting. It’s draining, it’s painful, and after a while, all you can see is the cycle and never the break in it. But there is always a break to come. Whether it’s a few more laps around or it’s right in front of you, it’s always there.
The way you find the break is by counting the people around you. Not just your friends, not just your family, but the strangers and the acquaintances. As of writing this article, there are 7.7 billion people in the world. In just my country of England, there is almost 67 million. In America, where no doubt many of you are, there are 329 million faces and hearts wandering the streets.
That’s incredible. It’s also refreshing. Why? Because you have yet to meet so many of them. Some you will never meet. Some will become the greatest additions to your life, and many will revive that optimism in your fading soul.
But first you have to allow trust and hope to exist.
The human mind is so powerful that it becomes its own deadliest weapon. If you do not make a conscience effort to allow trust and hope into your heart, they will not be found. But if you understand the world is this humongous hub of beautiful people, you can start to open your mind again. Have a conversation with a stranger, go on holiday, and meet new cultures.
Sometimes we are so unlucky that we meet some of the worst people in the world. Sometimes we meet the right people at the wrong time. And sometimes we are the ones in the wrong, too.
All of these circumstances combine to create a whole host of complications ready to kick us in the gut and threaten our trust levels. But by taking ourselves away from our own little world and broadening our perspective, we begin to understand that there are still so many people to meet. There are still so many people in our lives that have been there for years or even for months that show us endless love. There are so many examples of reasons to be hopeful, but when we take yet another hit, the first thing to go is our sight.
It is not about trusting the same person after being shown that you shouldn’t.
It is not about throwing all your care and attention at the first person who shows you affection.
It is not about believing that everyone has the capacity to be nice.
It is not about being careless and reckless and giving your heart to those that will clearly not look after it.
It is about getting hurt, grieving, and being consoled. It is about recovering enough to remember there is more to the world than shitty people.
If nothing else, you are a prime example of that. You are not hopeless. You are just learning.