From the Heart: Why Hope is Trustworthy


My coaching client Sara had agreed to a business dinner with a fellow she found quite difficult to work with after she made the appointment. Now, the morning before the dinner, she was looking for a way to get out of it.

“When I went to the store this morning, my car had trouble starting,” she told me. “When that happened, I found myself hoping it wouldn’t start so I would have an excuse to not show up for the meeting.”

I told Sara, “You don’t have to create a broken car to avoid the meeting. You can just cancel it if you like.”

“Yes,” she concurred. “Now I see that my hope for the non-starting car was showing me what I really wanted to do. I just needed to find the courage to do it.”

Business leader and philanthropist David Mahoney said, “Trust your hopes, not your fears.” If you have a difficult decision before you, ask yourself, “What am I hoping will happen?” In the answer is your guide to your likely best path.

You don’t have to create adverse circumstances to find a reason to do what you wish to do or avoid what you do not wish to do. Just be honest. A caller phoned my radio show ( and explained that after her messy divorce a few years earlier, she had put on a bunch of weight, and even though she had tried various diets and exercise regimes, she couldn’t get the weight off. I asked her, “Is there any way you believe the extra weight serves you?”

She thought for a moment and answered, “Since my divorce I don’t really want to get involved with a man. Maybe on some level I believe that the extra pounds make me less attractive and I won’t have to think about having a relationship.”

I thanked her for her honesty and suggested, “If you don’t want to be with a man, you can just say no. You don’t have to use the weight to speak for you. You can claim your choice directly.”

The question, “What would you like to do?” is one of the hardest questions for many people to answer. We have been conditioned to think about what our parents, religion, spouse, boss or culture want us to do, leaving our true choice buried under a massive pile of “shoulds.” On the first day of a weekend seminar a fellow told me, “My ex-wife wants me to do one thing, my kids want me to do another, and my girlfriend is pushing me in another direction. I don’t know what I should do.”

I asked him, “What would you like to do?” A stunned look washed over his face as he answered, “I never thought about that.”

I told him to give that important question some thought and let me know what he came up with.

At the next day’s seminar meeting he stood and reported to the group, “Alan Cohen healed me yesterday! When I thought about what I really wanted to do, I got totally clear and found a path that was satisfying for me and would work for everyone, as well.”

I don’t claim any credit at all for healing that man. All I did was ask him what he really wanted to do. His honest answer opened the door for his awakening. Truth heals.

We don’t always achieve the situation we are hoping for, but stating our intention definitely ups the chances to attract that result. We do best to state the experience we are hoping for, and allow the universe to arrange the details. Rather than demanding the physical characteristics, age or income of your desired mate, you can state, “I want a relationship that is harmonious, mutually supportive, joyful, and based on shared spiritual values.” That kind of request gives the universe far more latitude to bring you what you want than narrowing your hope down to specifics that leave out what’s really important.

The key to getting what you hope for is to know that you are worthy to have it. Your hopes represent a pipeline to the place deep inside you that knows you deserve good. That inner well of worth may be buried under years of training to the contrary, but it cannot be lost. It is there. The part of you that hopes for your good indicates that you remember you are here for a good purpose, you are loved, and the universe can and will deliver your blessings. Reality can be submerged, but never destroyed. Trusting your hopes and acting on them increases the size of that crucial pipeline such that it becomes easier and easier to tap into your worth and live from it. Acting on your hopes is the greatest investment you can make in yourself.

You don’t have to manufacture problems as shields to keep what is unattractive or detrimental at a distance. You can claim your right to your good without playing games or making excuses. Honesty is your best friend on your spiritual path. While telling the truth may be uncomfortable at times, if you are sincere, it will take you to where you want and need to be. Then you won’t have to just hope for your good. You will be living it.

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Alan Cohen
Alan Cohen is the author of many inspirational books including A Course in Miracles Made Easy. Join Alan for his life-changing Holistic Life Coach Training beginning September 1, 2020. For information on this program and Alan’s books, videos, audios, online courses, retreats, and other inspirational events and materials, visit


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