Thursday, April 21, 2011

The Opposite of Fear

The opposite of fear is hope. And I've already written about fear. So today is all about hope.

Hope and fear actually have a lot in common. They are both ways of perceiving the future. They both can influence how you make decisions. And they both can cause you to obsess.

I know you're supposed to live in the moment. Be present and all that. But you can't be present all the time. You have to think about the future, too. And when you do, common sense tells you thinking about it hopefully is the way to go. But hope can stop you dead in your tracks just as much as fear can.

Have you ever had the feeling that something good, really good, is about to happen? I felt that way right before Julia's Kitchen came out. At that point, I was so excited and hopeful about my first book being published that I was actually unable to do anything productive. I was just walking around in this haze of hope and happiness. I enjoyed it most of the time, but I would have enjoyed it a hundred times more if I'd been writing my next book then. I wasn't exactly resting on my laurels. It was more like resting on my hope. Either way, it was too much wasted time.

Lately I've been having that feeling again. That something-good-is-about-to-happen feeling. Mmmm. It's lovely. I can sit around and enjoy it. I can think about it, journal about it, obsess about it. But at the end of the day, I'll have nothing to show for it.

It honestly feels like the good thing that will happen in the future is so wonderful that its energy is seeping into its past, my present. That's how firmly I believe. That's the level of hope that's bouncing around inside of me. So what can I do with this energy? I don't want to waste it. I want to use it. I want to take that energy and all the benefits that come with it - self confidence, joy, excitement, and power -  and I want to let that fuel my writing and living right now.

So that's the plan. Think of it as mental time travel. Or buying on credit.

And for all you pessimists out there who think it's dangerous to invest so much hope in an uncertain future, I ask you, what does it hurt? If the good thing doesn't happen, I'll be disappointed for sure. But disappointment doesn't scare me. I've been there, done that, and lived to tell the tale.

Here's to hope!

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