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Before getting deep into the ins-and-outs of breakup recovery, you must find the hope to recover in the first place. For without it, you’d just sit in your room and feel sorry for yourself. You’d avoid participating in your own rescue. You’d keep stagnating, wasting your life away.
Hope is the catalyst and facilitator of strong mental and emotional health. Without it, our whole apparatus shuts down. If you don’t believe that you’ll get better and that there’s a future after your loss, you’ll die spiritually.
After all, if there’s no hope of things ever getting better, why do anything? Why try to make something of yourself? Why not just shoot yourself in the head and get this shit over with?
This is why a powerful sense of hope, and with it, the willingness to move forward despite the existential angst, is so damn important.
Hope is a coping mechanism and an emotion that propels us to participate in our own rescue and push through a certain obstacle or setback. In other words, it’s when you still give a fuck about something despite your heartbreak.
But, as soon as you find yourself indifferent to it, you’re brushing at the contours of hopelessness. Now hopelessness is a belief that nothing matters, that the future is meaningless, and that regardless of what you do, you won’t get better.
Put differently, hopelessness is nihilism, and not the good kind. It’s the rejection of meaning. The belief that all is meaningless. The certainty that everything is fucked.
Don’t get me wrong, focusing on overcoming these things does help. But it shouldn’t be a priority. The priority should be constructing hope and then doing everything else to combat your emotional problems. Because its hopelessness that is the source of all of them.
This is not an overstatement.
Chronic anxiety is a crisis of hope. It is the fear of a failed future. Depression is a crisis of hope. It’s a belief in a meaningless future. Delusion, addiction, obsession — these are all mind’s desperate and compulsive attempts at generating hope one neurotic tic or obsessive craving at a time. (1)
How To Find Hope
The way to find hope is by picking something to live, strive, suffer, and, die for that’s more important than your dead relationship. For most people, this is some sort of a life purpose.
But not to the spiritual bullshitty version with all the lofty expectations tied around it. What I’m referring to is the simple, down-to-earth purpose of “What should I be doing in my life that I like, that I’m somewhat good at, that I can make a living around, and that feels important.”
Figuring this out — especially now that we’ve stripped it of all the lofty woo-woo cosmic significance bullshit — is far simpler than you think. Usually, your purpose will be right in front of you, and it could also be more than one thing.
When I started my online business in 2016, I’ve been dabbling with all kinds of platforms, looking for one I was born to base my career around.
I wrote blog posts, filmed Youtube videos, recorded Podcasts, designed pins for Pinterest, and ran Facebook, Google, and Reddit ads, all at the same time. I’ve been all over the digital entrepreneur landscape. Looking back, the only thing that really stuck with me was blogging.
But despite writing three books (now discontinued) and hundreds of articles, it still didn’t occur to me. I still kept searching for that one thing I was meant to do, even though It was crystal clear that I should double down on blogging.
On the one hand, what held me back was my lack of self-awareness —finding a purpose comes down to observing the mundane and obvious aspects of one’s life, after all. But on the other, it was my fear of failure. But that’s how purpose works.
Chances are, you already know what your purpose is but are just too afraid or insecure to pursue it. It’s okay. Don’t beat yourself up about it. Just work on overcoming those fears and insecurities, and you’ll eventually gather the guts to pursue your purpose. It’s really that simple. Sometimes you don’t even need to do anything else but just start working on it.
Pursue Hope Even Though It’s A Ghost
As much as hope is vital for leading a happy and fulfilling life, the uncomfortable reality is that it’s nothing but an illusion. The universe doesn’t care whether you find solace or put a bullet in your head. It doesn’t care about your happiness and mental health. It couldn’t care less.
It’s you who cares.
So you delude yourself that there’s some grand importance behind accomplishing your post-breakup goals or that there’s some great meaning behind bravely enduring and overcoming your suffering for whatever cause.
But all of this is bullshit — bullshit that you’ve just made up to cope better.
Truth is, there is no inherent importance or meaning behind whatever you and become. Your entire self-worth and importance is made up. Your actions mean nothing in the grand scheme of things. You literally are nothing. We are all absolutely nothing.
Any rebuttal to these things is only your hope talking. But that’s okay. Because you need some healthy delusion to keep hopelessness and, with it, nihilism at bay. So be brave and embrace the whole charade.
If you at the moment feel hopeless, or are simply lacking in hope, go and work on finding it. But don’t just pursue any form of hope. Pursue one that is sustainable, realistic, robust, and powerful. A form that cuts through the infinite static a breakup entraps you in and pushes you forward instead of keeping you stuck.
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