“Abandon hope, all ye who enter here.” Such a clever line, but it begs the question: where is “here?”
Here for me has been a myriad of people, places, and things. Ever naïve and hopeful, I have entered relationships, new places, and acquired things with every expectation that “here” was laid my true path to happiness and self-fulfillment. Surely bright and shiny people and places and things, when gathered in sufficient quantity, would fill my life with purpose and meaning.
It never did.
People came and left. Either they abandoned me, or more likely, I abandoned them. As the song goes, “disappointment was my closest friend.” Places shifted according to financial necessity or in my awkward attempt to substitute geography for responsibility. And things, well, I’ve lost everything I’ve owned several times and I’ve never truly missed any of it. It became clear to me that lack of commitment and abandonment were my sunrises and sunsets.
The funny thing about life, though, is no matter how utterly you screw things up; no matter how isolated and diminished you allow yourself to become, it comes looking for you, continually seeking to make amends. It is relentless. Life only abandons you once, and in that moment, it doesn’t really matter anyway…you’re dead!
Abandonment is a shifty thing. We are never truly alone, nor could we be. We are all threads in the colorful tapestry of life and together we are woven into a continual fabric of oneness. I’ve long since stopped confusing abandonment with growth…being ruthlessly thrust out in new directions for my own spiritual good. If I find myself alone, in a new place, surrounded by new things, well then, I’ll grasp a little less frantically and simply enjoy the moment.
I still hope.