This I Believe

Sarah - Durham, New Hampshire
Entered on July 9, 2007
Age Group: 18 - 30
Themes: hope, integrity, love

There is a terrific freedom in being told you are not wanted, that you are not loved as much as someone else. Because when you are told this straightforwardly, all the hope you had been holding onto, disappears. Most people say that the death of hope is a tremendously bad thing. But I don’t see it that way. Sometimes the loss of hope is exactly what we need. Sometimes.

When I was in college I met a boy who I became deeply infatuated with. I toyed with the idea of it being love. But I think, in the end, no matter what it was, it didn’t last. We dated and then broke up and were in each others lives on and off for the next two years. I clung to hope that we would get back together, that he would realize what he had lost, that he had made a mistake. It was always in the back of my mind. And he fed my hope by calling me late at night or when I least expected it or when I thought I was finally over him. He told me things that weren’t true but that he thought he needed to say in order not to hurt me. What he didn’t realize was that he was hurting me even more by placating me.

Then, finally, one day after a fight, he told me the truth. He told me everything I didn’t want to hear, things that hurt, bad, but in reality things that I already knew. He finally after two years did what I had needed him to do all along. He let me go. He allowed me to get over him by allowing me to let go of hope. He told me the truth. And no matter how much it hurt, it was the nicest thing he ever did for me. Clinging to hope was paralyzing me from moving on.

So looking back on it I wonder, what if I had been able to tell myself the truth about the situation instead of waiting two years for someone else to tell it for me? The truth has more power than we sometimes realize and it comes in more forms than just as a release for the guilty. Good, bad or benign, truth lifts the haze and gives us strength to stop hiding and sometimes to stop hoping. And sometimes giving up hope is a good thing, because through the death of one hope comes the birth of another.

This I believe. I believe in the freedom of truth, in the freedom that brutally honest sometimes hurtful truth can bring, in hope no matter what its form.