Have you ever written and email to someone, done something for someone, or had a future date for something that did not meet your expectation? The word in and of itself imparts the future. Something that none of us know. Sure, you may expect dinner in the evening, or that the water comes out when you turn on the faucet, that is not what this article is about.
Many times, if a client of mine is struggling with how to have a tough conversation I encourage them to write it down, get it past the skin as I say. Yet, if these words are going to be said to another human being whether it be in an email or in person I remind them not to have an expectation on how it will be received. This can be hard especially when our intentions are good. People have expectations. Not being received well can also bring up feelings of being misunderstood. Have you ever shared a feeling with someone and the outcome of the conversation was different than you thought? Did it leave you feeling bewildered?
Being a grief counselor, it is important for me to listen, and whatever I do to help another human being needs to always be open and free. What I mean is not having an expectation about future outcomes for them. This leaves space for something greater to happen. Here is an example, Mary has conflict with her brother. Recently, she was deeply hurt by something he said to her, and it has happened more than once. She decides to write him a heartfelt email and tell him what she is feeling. Mary was coming from a good place, she read and reread the email several times before sending. Her expectation was he will get this email, think things over and all will be back to normal. She received a scathing email back. Her expectations were crushed. She was hurt and felt misunderstood. Family issues can be challenging. Another example, is a mom who has 5 children, dad has a terminal diagnosis from cancer. Each child had a different expectation about dads passing. Mom has been taking care of him round the clock. A son who lives close by, comes by 5 times a week after work to help. He helps mom feed dad and put him to bed. The other brothers have not been helping mom as much. When they visit, they say and do things with an expected outcome. Do you see where I am going with this and what the outcome might be? I guarantee it won’t be a peaceful one.
In both of these scenarios what would it look like to just be present?
In our first example Mary wrote an email she hopes for the best but does not have an expectation of how her brother will react. The email is more for her than for him, as I said getting it past the skin. Not holding on to it, a kind of release. One could even say to themselves, it’s okay whatever he decides I did my part. That statement right there allows the heart to relax, frees up space for something even greater to happen. The second is a classic example when someone is coming into help, especially with hospice. In hospice there can be no expectation because when someone is dying the days can be long, but one also has to be ready for anything. Again, this is staying open, to more of let’s see what happens.
Next time you have an expectation about anything stop, think, and ask yourself if you are okay with whatever happens. If you’re not, give it time. Staying open to outcomes whatever they may be will be easier, plus you have learned a huge lesson that will bring peace for the rest of your life.
Wishing you peace on the journey.
Radio Host for Voice America, Inspiring End of Life Conversations, Award-Winning Author and Intuitive Guide Specializing In Grief Counseling. Nina Impala is a highly intuitive multifaceted individual. She combines her intuitive abilities with professional education in the End-of-Life Field. Author of Dearly Departed What I Learned About Living From the Dying, and a Reiki Master Teacher for the last 20 years.