The double edged sword

“Hope is the hat-rack I hang my dreams upon”, this has stuck with me ever since I first came across it as a young girl. I could instantly relate to it and it has never failed to make perfect sense till this day. Hope is something that has kept many a souls alive through bleak days that never seemed to end, through times of war, fear, failure, loss and despair. Hope for a better tomorrow, for a better life, for a better me and better times got me through several dark days. My favorite teacher once said to me that success is not how far you reach in life or how well you do, but it is the ability to get up every time you fall. Just like Naruto, to never give up.

But there are times when the light of hope flickers and glows so faint that despair envelops you almost completely. You can’t seem to fight it or change it even when you try, even if you wanted to. You may feel helpless, too pained to smile, too tired to hope and too afraid to dream. It is during these times, that the mighty sword comes to rescue you from the chains: “This shall also pass, nothing stays forever”. Unlike hope, this just asks you to hang in there, just survive today, and just hold back the tears for today. Whatever tomorrow is, just gather the flecks of courage to survive through this today.

However, this sword always comes with the other edge silently nudging in times of ecstatic happiness that this will also pass. We often choose to see what we want to see, especially in times of happiness. The whispers are lost in translation, drowned in the songs you hum. But again, the goal was to just survive that day which perhaps had been a breeze.

“It was only a smile, nothing more. It didn’t make everything all right. It didn’t make ANYTHING all right. Only a smile. A tiny thing. A leaf in the woods, shaking in the wake of a startled bird’s flight. But I’ll take it. With open arms. Because when spring comes, it melts the snow one flake at a time, and maybe I just witnessed the first flake melting” ― Khaled Hosseini, The Kite Runner

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