Expectations. It was Alexander Pope who said, “Blessed is he who expects nothing, for he shall never be disappointed.”
Let me share a story about expectations in my life.
Expectations Are Running Your Life
My daughter was about 10 years old when I first gave her a book about praying. Her puzzled look is one that will always remain with me. “Have you gone fully nuts Mommy?” was clearly the question asked in that almost crossed-eyed stare.
Abigail was not the only one who thought I had just about lost what little sanity remained with me. Who could blame me anyway if I had? My and her life had gone through so many ups, downs and turnarounds by that point, our collective head was in a constant twirl!
She laid the book aside atop the journal that was also gifted to her by me. My instruction was that she should read the book and write daily affirmations. Who tells a 10-year-old to read a book that has challenged scholars, scientists, pastors and thousands of others with its density of words and thought-provoking perspectives?
Dynamic Laws of Prayer
Catherine Ponder’s “Dynamic Laws of Prayer” was my second read from her collection. I was desperate for things to change in my life, for money to start flowing to me like the River Jordan and for my family life to heal. When the teachings of “Dynamic Laws of Prosperity” ‘failed’ me, as prosperous was not what I was feeling, I turned to prayer.
What I failed to realise was that for all my affirming and praying, my true expectations were my blockage.
Expectations Were My Blockage
That lesson would take another 10 years to sink in. Meanwhile, I wanted my daughter to join my prayer group and she did – for about two days.
Accepting that it was all up to me – Part One of my lesson – I refocused, not immediately and not before further falling into a financial rut, migration, sinking further into both a monetary and emotional despair.
Reaching upwards to raise me from the bottom of the pit, I started reading more scientific articles, books and papers. YouTube became my “church” as most of my Sundays were spent there scouring for information on quantum theory and physics, The Big Bang (not the television series which I love very much), the hyper-connectivity of our world and mind-body-spirit explanations that went way beyond the Trinity.
I have a very inquisitive mind, always questioning, never accepting one thought as the be-all and end-all. This had gotten me in lots of trouble with my mother and had lost several friends as I will not accept fundamentalism of any sort.
Thoughts Are Creative
As I searched for a way “up” from the floor of my despair, through the myriad of sources one thing seemed to continually reappear. Thoughts are creative. With my questioning self, I thought about this and it struck me that despite the attempt to dismiss this as “new ageism,” it was an old truth.
“Truly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be taken up and thrown into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that what he says will come to pass, it will be done for him.” Mark 11:23 ESV
There could be no more clear guidance on expectations and doubt than this. What you expect to happen will. In the medical/scientific circles, this is demonstrated and termed “the placebo effect.” Patients with the same illness given the real deal and “placebo” pills expecting it to cure them – will get the same result – healing!
Healing The Horse
Soon after giving my daughter that book, she was out playing one day with a neighbour. Horse playing would be more like it. They both had a tumble and the other child broke her shoulder and my daughter hurt her hip. Since my daughter was the horse whose back the other kid fell off, we had to pay thousands of dollars for treatment. Luckily, Jamaica was not a litigious society so we were not sued.
We had no money to take Abigail to the doctor, so I gave her my own brand of “placebo” pills. Affirmations of wellbeing and positive thinking wrapped in hot/cold compresses and painkillers. By the next day, she forgot about the aching swollen hip and was out swagging again.
I am in no way suggesting that you treat any injury or medical issues in this manner. This is merely an example of the many that I could offer when healing, a favourable outcome, doors opening, etc occurred because it was expected, no other option was harboured or contemplated.
Expectations: The Challenge
The challenge that you and most certainly I often face is when something unfavourable occurs and we are sure that there is no way under the sun we expected that! But are we really sure?
“Guard your heart will all diligence as from it flows the issues of life.” That is another of my often repeated and favourite quotes. When “whatever” turns up in my life, and I pay particular attention to the unwanted, that is a signal for me to check the recesses of my heart. There in the dark corners lie all the feelings that I would disown:
- Petty resentments
- Secret grudges
- Baby green monsters (jealousy)
Here are the final points of the lesson I had to learn:
- You get what you expect even when your words or thoughts are focused on someone else’s life.
- Every word and thought is an expectation when powered by emotion. The result will be an equal match to the emotion.
- Whatever you look for you will find.
So, check your expectations!