They sometimes say “expectation is the root of heartache,” which I dare say can be a self-fulfilling truth.
Expecting the best takes a lot of practice. It takes reminders many multiple times a day… But after a time, it becomes more of a habit than it is not, and that’s when the magic starts to unfold. . .
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It’s a simple phrase – two words, to be exact – but it can have a profound effect on how your life unfolds. I’ll share an example below…
It is a human problem to get caught up in “should,” in “what is,” and “what could be” – everyone projects at times, and everyone worries. We also often mix up what we can change with the multitude of external influences that we can’t. Here’s a not-so-secret secret:
CONTROL WHAT WE CAN – US
Yes, I know…humbling. But, so true. We have absolutely ZERO control over anything but ourselves. Don’t lose hope, throw in the towel, or begin assuming that means we are on a predestined path-‘o’-doom just yet, though. We aren’t! By controlling ourselves – the only sphere in which we truly have power – we are able to affect what goes on around us.
Think of the ability to impact our surroundings, therefore, as the positive byproduct of managing ourselves (our reactions, our responses, our non-responses, our attitude, our actions…) It’s kind of like lead by example…only the student to follow suit in this case is destiny...
OUR INTERNAL DIALOGUE MATTERS
As per my post yesterday, Speak Victory, Not Defeat, the conversations we have internally can literally map out how our path unfolds before us. Positive thinking, energy, and words can – oh yes, quite literally! – attract the good you are hoping for. Ever heard “be careful what you wish for”? There’s a reason people say it…because enough people have experienced the “hoping-for-the-worst-and-that’s-exactly-what-happened!” Another sterling example of how life is shaped by the input we provide it – I’m willing to bet you’ve been there.
The energy we put out tells the Universe what we want – without judgment it tries to match our “desires.” The intense focus and power we give to our thoughts is like handing over a blueprint to the powers that be. “Thoughts become things,” they say… Yes. They do.
SHIFT OURSELVES, SHIFT THE UNIVERSE
I’m not saying it’s wrong to want to buffer oneself against disappointment, by the way. I also don’t think it’s necessary that we lower our standards. Rather, it’s about altering our own perceptions and expectations. When we see and expect great things, they often find their way to us. When we don’t, life can become a merciless tidal wave.
So how do we shift that little thing called the Universe? We rephrase. Instead of “I can’t afford that,” we could say “I have more than enough to do all the things I want and need to do.” Instead of “I can’t” try, “I can do anything I put my mind to – I attract positive opportunities all the time.”
Here’s an example from my own life…
Somewhere around three weeks after meeting my husband, I told him a story about magic and miracles. Until I finished speaking, I’m not sure he knew I was referring to him…
We were having dinner at a diner in our hometown, and I remember – wholly unabashedly – explaining how I had (only a few months before) announced to the Universe that I was all-in for a change. A complete overhaul. I was so committed to being happy and healthy, that nothing was to stand in my way. I had decided that either:
- I’d go through life solo, and be 1,000% okay with that (and I was) OR…
- I’d meet a man who was everything I ever hoped for, and the man I would marry.
Yes, I was that specific.
And…even more so…
I made a vision board and described – to a T – the man I was sitting with that night, and the man I married one Halloween a year and a half later. I described qualities that I so desperately wanted in a partner, but ones I never had. I described a man who was loyal, honest, gentle with my heart, accepting of me in spite of my quirks, who would respect and love me more with each day. I described the kind of person who would be as excited about my passions as I was, for no other reason that they brought me joy. I described the kind of man anyone would want in their corner because he’d have a heart brighter than the sun…
And then? I took it further. I embraced the “AS IF.”
New Years passed and I not only continued to remain committed to myself, but I made it a point to practice daily. I thought about what it would be like to come home to someone who was actually happy to see me at the end of the day…because no one else ever was. I acted AS IF that actually happened, and I’d hear him in my mind coming home and speaking to me with kindness. I’d make myself feel what it would feel like to be held, and loved, and cherished…AS IF I already had those things.
I not only focused, thought, spoke aloud…but I believed. I believed I was worthy and deserving. I believed those things AS IF. It took some practice as I had not known what such things felt like…but I did everything in my power to try.
I remember the look he had in his eyes when I finished speaking that evening. I remember my voice saying that I had dreamed so deeply that my thoughts became real, and that in a moment of magical manifestation, he walked out of a snow storm and through the door at the coffee shop where we met. I remember the hug he gave me before I got into the car after dinner, and the feeling of safety, comfort, warmth, and joy.
STAY IN THE DRIVER’S SEAT
I was never the kind of person who needed to be in a relationship. I never felt that I needed to be “completed,” and I wasn’t desperate to be in another situation after so many that had failed. I was a shell of a person for a long time, and it still takes work to be a better human being each day – something I ever strive for. But I decided that the only thing that would hold me back is ME – my thoughts, energy, action, and words. I needed to do an about-face, jump back on the positive bandwagon, and to act AS IF the things I wanted had already come to pass. When I did, my life shifted dramatically…
I remember, also, when I shifted jobs earlier on in my career – I remember whenever I started to feel unappreciated, not challenged enough, or that I wasn’t growing on the trajectory I had set for myself, something else came along. When I think about it, I was envisioning being promoted, or being eagerly offered something new. And opportunities always managed to materialize. Maybe I was young and felt naively impervious – that may be true. But I recall not having the sense that I couldn’t – it just felt like opportunity was there and I could have it. (I also, by the way, remember leaving my last job in Fashion…which was horribly unpleasant. It was, however, something I sincerely believe I “wished for.” Tale for another day, but let’s just say, I was heard by someone upstairs!)
Life is tumultuous and we have no way of knowing what is to come. We can stay worried and stressed, which is a horrible way to exist (we rob ourselves of joy and the ability to experience life!) OR…we can practice positivity and act AS IF. Trust me, I’m working on it too – being an Empath means I feel my own emotions (rather loudly!) and everyone else’s too. I have to work at not taking things that aren’t mine, and finding the space to breathe. But…I DO. I turn the radio down and talk to myself ALL. THE. TIME. I make it a habit to say something nice to myself, and to act AS IF as much as I can. Even when we know it’s the best way to be, it isn’t easy! But…it’s possible, and it’s the “possible” we want to aim for.
- Focus on what you can change, not on what you can’t. That means getting to know YOU intimately.
- Speak victory! Try shifting perceptions and expectations to GOOD and GREAT. Expect wonderful and you might just find yourself having a better day, or presented with exciting opportunities.
- Think about times when you got what you “wished for” – good, bad, otherwise. This might reveal quite a lot…
- Rephrase everything you say and think to positive statements.
- Remember that you are worthy and deserving of good things.
- Picture all the wonderful things you want in your life AS IF you already have them. Be specific. Be clear. Focused intention can bring about miracles.
- DON’T GIVE UP! Keep practicing. Fake it until you make it. It takes time to shift our thinking but…everything is possible, and the Universe will follow suit.
I have always believed that people come into our lives for a reason. And I believe that – in time – it has always proven to be so…
Whether a stranger with whom you briefly converse, or a best friend of many years, there are always lessons, blessings, or both that we gain as a result.
There is ever an underlying purpose in paths crossing. . .
Sometimes people bring a lesson we so desperately need in effort to grow in our strength and resolve.
Others teach us just by being who they are . . .
Perhaps they expose our rougher edges, much in need of love, repair, and polishing…
Perhaps they awaken the idea that what has worked for so long no longer truly serves us in a positive way.
And perhaps they bring out what is best in us – our ability to love, to cherish, to smile, to laugh…
One of the most valuable lessons we learn is that we are all different – sometimes drastically so!
We process differently…
We see the world through lenses colored by our own unique experiences which are, therefore, of a hue no other person will truly comprehend first-hand.
We learn that our ways of doing things may work best for us, but that they may not work for others…and that’s okay.
We develop an overarching understanding that expectations based on what we know / believe / feel may lead to disappointment (because we don’t all think alike). . .but also that we have a right to how we feel.
Being human means, ultimately, a very complex life! But we can find freedom in recognizing that we are different, and only in control of ourselves… In that way, we accept what is, we accept others as they are, and we do what we can about our contribution.
Some people will drift out of our lives as quickly as they came. . .and others will profess a love and commitment so deep that they will ever be by your side.
Both have given us gifts.
Either way…we are changed (and, in spite of human “baggage” that we all may carry, I’d argue for the better – Opened eyes don’t close as easily, and hearts that have weathered many storms are stronger in the end. . . )
Sometimes I annoy people with my positive outlook. Other times, I flat-out frustrate. Maybe they aren’t internalizing that I have days where I feel down, discouraged, angry, and disappointed too – trust me, there are plenty! Maybe they just don’t understand why, in spite of the ugliness Life can occasionally dish out, I even want to focus on the good.
For me, energy is everything – I view the world in energetic terms, and (again – for me) it matters what I put out, and what I focus on. I have witnessed “unfairness” at it’s finest – whether in suffering, death, abuse, misfortune, or debilitating pain… I’ll never gloss over the “tough” without tears, reflection, acknowledgment, and sometimes despair… But I will try – my damnedest – to find the lesson, the blessing, and the good in everything. There have been times I’m not sure I’ve actually found the “good”…but I try to at least go in that direction knowing that in doing the opposite, I may as well surrender my own wellbeing.
Whenever this “Thanksgiving” holiday rolls around, I feel like I actually become a little bit annoyed myself. I’m not on board with the idea that we have one day of “thanksgiving” but I guess if that’s what gets people together, and in a positive mind frame, why not. That said, thanksgiving is something I personally try to make room for each day.
I’ve had a lot handed to me – neither will there be a day that I am not acutely aware of the sacrifices made to make that happen, nor that I am not immensely grateful. There is also a lot I had to work my ASS off to have, and lot I’ve had to work through. There might be only a small handful of people who fully understand the “work” I’ve put in, and just how far I’ve come, but I’m okay with that. I’m thankful for my own journey – the good, the bad, and the downright horrifying.
I don’t always remember to write out those things for which I am thankful – generally I think them, or say them to myself. Writing, though, is a phenomenal exercise – not only in mindfulness, but in self-learning. When we take the time to sit down, peel back the layers, delve deeply and feel, we come up with a lot more than we might have expected.
You can be thankful for little things as much as the substantial.
What you feel thankful for is never “wrong” because it is what feels right to you.
Gratitude goes a looooong way energetically, sharing with the Universe what other “good” should come your way.
I’m thankful for so much I think I could fill a book…but why not, after all? The more, especially in this case, the merrier. ❤