how do you judge what you believe?

Like, how do you test the things you believe? or... like... Hope?

Hope is only proven right or wrong by the results, right? Did what you hope for happen? Is there a time limit  on it at all?

I am trying to remove hope and expectation from my life. Thus far, they have only disappointed. In my experiences in life, I have learned not to hope. Not saying it's wrong or unwise for anybody to hope, only that what other people have told me about hope does not stand the test of my own life experiences. And at this point, my life experiences are holding more authority. I'm trying to avoid hopes, dreams, expectations, because it only serves to remind me what has not happened, and what is unfulfilled about my life.

One day at a time, Drew. just try to be kind and be wise. That's really about all I can figure at this point.

I would say I'm hoping that something good will come of it, but really, I'm not. If something good happens, then good. If not, then oh well, at least I'm not disappointed. Rejection is a powerful deterrent to hope.

I'm trying not to sound depressed, because that's not exactly what's happening here. There is a certain amount of... sobriety in realizing that hope disappoints. There is certainly a hole in that part of my mind/heart that had been reserved for such visions and dreams and planning. I will fill it with something less intense I'm sure.

But, I won't constantly be worried and stressed about how my life is not meeting these expectations I have of it. Love? The Payoff of Persistence? Career Path working out? For me, they have been unreasonable. But now, no problem.

There is a second thing working in my head. Peace with God. I strive to find it... Some days I feel like I might have it, most days, nothing. I've realized some things about feeling peace with God/right with God/righteousness/loved by God/anything like that; First, it's been scarcer than... a moderate or liberal Rush Limbaugh fan, and second, it hasn't been dependent on any of my actions or lifestyle choices. Prayer Life, Money, Lust, Pride, Gluttony; None of this has had a real effect one way or the other...

And most all of my life, I have been taught that these morals, these idioms, these paradigms of rightness; They are WORTH living by because of the benefits they bring, most notably: peace with God and peace with man... And while I have seen the latter to be somewhat true to an extent, I haven't seen the former. Or rather, it has not been my experience that those paradigms and morals are what leads me to experiencing peace with God. I'm really really growing weary of standing up for and fighting to maintain and live by these paradigms and morals when for me, they're not based on or backed up by own life experiences. I don't feel peace with God when I decide, again, not to get drunk, or not to hook up with a girl, or whatever other vice it may be. When I resist temptation and choose wisdom, I don't feel close to or loved by God.

On the other hand, I feel terribly when I do make mistakes, but mainly because I am letting down the expectations of my community... I don't feel convicted from God. I don't feel ANYTHING from God one way or the other. But I do feel bad that I let down the people in my life who believe me to be a better person than that.

I really really want to believe that what I have believed for so long is true. I just want to be able to say that I know it's true because I have experienced it in my own life.

Does anyone relate to any of this?