Choose courage. Not as an alternative to hope, but as a focal point between the two. Hope alone is in danger of becoming a passive gateway to disappointment but courage comes with a deep surrender, an active stance allowing the things to happen and having the confidence in your ability to handle them (despite the fear).

An equivalent practice to this in psychology is called “exposure therapy” where you can never make your anxious, panic attack or phobias ridden patient less afraid. You just make them braver by slowly exposing them to that which they are afraid of.

There is a beautiful Taoist name for reality – the “suchness” of things – things are as they are. Some of them you’ll be able to change and some of them you won’t, and there is no point in denying the suffering as an integral part of life just as much as joy and love. Hope without courage in a way burdens you with expectations if it becomes a chronic though of how you expect things to unfold and it will stop you from seeing the potential to act, while you’re slipping into performing rituals to make yourself feel better and have an illusion of doing something when in fact at no point you had to ignite the lionheartedness inside to actually do something. Every outcome is possible until it happens the way it does. Hope is beautiful but courage and non-sentimental clarity are more necessary if you don’t want to live in a phantasy.

Faith and hope were promoted as huge virtues all through history, as if it were more virtuous to believe in a thing that has no evidence than to question what you can do. If not balanced out with courage it can degenerate into a form of denial and magical thinking and magic trick seems magical only because you don’t know how it is done. Once you know it’s only a clever use of dexterity, objects and diverting attention. Let things roll out as they do and train your consciousness to default into courage to move, not just blindly hope. This does not mean to slip into hopelessness, but to act with courage in hope that no matter where you are you can always be helpful, change something and help someone, tip it towards the good, even if it is a miniscule effort.