“Expectations were like fine pottery. The harder you held them, the more likely they were to crack.” — Brandon Sanderson, The Way of Kings
Have you ever looked up quotes about expectations? How many of them were positive? Most are along the lines of: don’t expect anything, and you won’t be disappointed.
Every time you set an expectation, you put your desire or goal in a box. What are boxes for? Putting things in of a certain size and shape and usually closing the lid. Think about that. With every detail you attached to your goal or desire, you add a part of that box, and with every flap or wall of the box, you cut off possibilities.
What I am saying is: the more you define the wished-for outcome, the smaller more insignificant it becomes. When you close the lid, you close out the light. You cut off the last of the possibilities you never thought to consider.
Before you know it, you’re sitting in the dark, in the box, and your hands are tied behind your back. What fun is that? Who can work that way? Well, we all work that way if we are setting expect-ations.
What if there was another way? A way to think about a goal that won’t tie your hands behind your back. A way that leaves the result wide open to possibilities you never even dreamed of yourself that were so much better!
What about Expect-ancy instead? A way of setting goals and thinking free of the limitations of our minds and wide open to possibilities. It just sits out there in the open with no box to close it in or limit it in any way!
If we can reign in our minds and free ourselves of the need to control every little aspect of the outcome, anything can happen!
It isn’t easy. I won’t lie to you. We spend our whole lives trying to live up to someone else’s expectations and seldom succeed. If I start limiting myself with expectation, I won’t live up to my own. I certainly have never lived up to anyone else’s unless their bar was set very low and I surpassed it. But that changed. When I let my spirit lead, and yes, for you to live in expectancy, your spirit must be in charge, I can accomplish much more than if I try to live with expectations.
It is Important – Not Easy!
When I was younger, in my 30s, I went to a place called High Wind in Michigan. From there I went with a group to Europe as part of a continuing education course. We traveled to several intentional communities. They were communes in the sense of the 60s, but places where a group of like-minded people came together to create a community. They used their strengths and weaknesses to create a dance of work, play, and self-governance that was amazing. Findhorn was my favorite of these communities. It was here I was introduced to Angel Cards. Small cards with meaningful words that you kept in your mind throughout the day.
Over and over I drew the same card. Oh yes, there were a few days I picked different cards, but, you guessed it, my hand was drawn to expectancy again and again. I didn’t get it. I was lucky to have someone there who understood what it meant – and had the patience to explain it to me more than once. I would think I understood, but it would slip away. I grew up with hard expectations. The fact that I was on this trip, well, everyone rolled their eyes at me when I explained where I was going and why.
Near the end of the trip, after many experiences I cannot explain even now, I finally got it. Not the dictionary version above. That one doesn’t do it justice. But once I got my mind out of the way and just watched and listened, the goal manifested in ways I would never have imagined.
Our group split up at the end of the trip. Three of us went to Medjugorje. I wanted to see the Virgin Mary. I did not see her, but I felt her presence. I turned around to see if I could see her because I felt this incredible energy in my heart.
Now you know the secret to expectancy. The heart. The Spirit or Soul. Not your brain.
We traveled on faith. Not faith tied to an institution, but faith that whatever we needed would be provided. When we left Venice (Venice felt more like home to me than any other place in the world except the Rocky Mountains), we knew there were no places for us to stay in the town. There were places being made ready in the homes of residents, but today.
We got on the bus to make the last leg of the trip with confidence because I felt there were be a place for the three of us as we arrived. I didn’t think there would be a place, I felt it in my heart, or my spirit knew. We got off the bus, talked to the person in charge who spoke English, and were informed a place just opened up for visitors. We got the last three beds in town.
It took me almost two months to go from expecting to expectation – leaving it open to happen in ways I couldn’t imagine. Needless to say, that trip changed my life in many ways. All good!
How is it we think we know better than the Creator how things should happen? We are so arrogant that we believe we can bend the will of that infinite intelligence responsible for the universe and the perfect way it works. Really?
I challenge you to try your spirit on for size.
I challenge you to move out of your head and into your heart (or gut).
Stop putting limits on your spirit – that part of you always connected to Divine.