In a comment posted by Lucy Monroe last night, she mentions that hope is addictive. I agree. (Hence the last part of my blog name.) But like any addictive substance you gotta use it properly.
I was definitely addicted to hope when my first boyfriend returned my feelings (or seemed to). But I didn't even think about the need for a reality check. I hoped for the best and couldn't see any reason I couldn't get what I wanted. I was so hopeful in that relationship (us together forever) that I dismissed anything that threatened my hope. I didn't see that he wanted me, but didn't truly cherish me. Even though he told me repeatedly that he loved me (he did -- in the way a man loves his television), my needs were important to him only as much as he could use them to get what he needed and wanted from me. My hope was a tool he used to manipulate me.
For a long time, I swung back and forth between blind hope and blind cynicism. I was definitely juiced up on cynicism when my ex-boyfriend/rapist scolded me for my wildness a few months after we broke up. (He was a friend of my brothers so he was at my house regularly so I avoided being home whenever I could.) If my tongue had been a knife, my response would have severed an artery. Letting him have it felt good, but bitterness turns corrosive and can weaken your structure.
I've come to believe that healthy hope is the belief that things can get better mixed with the knowledge that the road to getting what you need and hope for can be rocky and dangerous.
For hope to work, you need to protect yourself, be careful how you treat others and keep moving forward even if it's inch by inch.