While looking for a picture to post with Roberta Allen’s new prompt yesterday for the Sandbox Writing Challenge, “What keeps you going?”, I ran across a quote by Eckhart Tolle that kind of set my teeth on edge.
Now I LIKE Tolle’s writings. I especially enjoyed and was challenged by his book “A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life’s Purpose.” It was one of those books I’ve underlined more words than not. Whether this quote was from that book I can’t remember and I’m too lazy to get up and look! But if it set well with me then, it left me feeling really conflicted yesterday when I reread it in light of the fact that I’ve been working on NOT living in the past or the future, but trying to be present in the now.
The thought that HOPE drives a person toward the future and makes them miserable at the same time just doesn’t fly for me. My brain immediately countered with:
So there I sat feeling irritable and unsettled with a shadow cast over my whole day. A weird reaction to say the least. But then, the very first response on the blog was from my friend Opher over at Opher’s World. His answer to the question “What keeps you going?” was very simple — HOPE. Thanks, Opher! I needed that. Made me feel tons better as I grappled with Tolle’s quote.
The problem is I can see the truth on both sides of that equation. And I’ll probably continue to mull it over for awhile. I think, however, I’m going to come down on the HOPE IS EVERYTHING side because I’ve believed that all my life. In fact, on my desk I have the famous quote by Emily Dickinson,
Hope is the thing with feathers
that perches in the soul – and
sings the tunes without the
words – and never stops at all.
The cartoon is kind of hard to see. It’s done by Australian artist Michael Leunig. There is a bird inside the cage-man looking up at a free-bird in the tree. I’ve felt like that all my life… The quote is just so perfect for the picture and is one of the things that has kept me going more than once.
So I leave you with a question today. How would YOU define HOPE? I’d love to hear YOUR opinion! Is it a positive or negative emotion?