Expectation is Everything—The Personal Side
I have had the feeling for a while that some kind of change is coming. I have shared this sentiment with my loved ones and close friends. I have told them that I feel changes happening around me that are definitely for the better. And I am not necessarily talking about anything mind blowing. Positive changes at work and changes as simple as volunteering somewhere new or getting involved in a cause I have wanted to contribute to, but never connected with. Whatever the extent of changes, I feel hopeful.
Since I have felt this way for at least 6 months now, I have been meditating on what change involves, how I feel about change and most importantly who I want to be during my time of change. Let me take a moment to speak to each of these ideas.
I believe change involves keeping an open mind. I talked about this in the practical blog on this piece, but I believe when change comes we must explore all of our feelings associated with it—the easy ones and the difficult ones. We must amplify our positive emotions and manage our negative ones. And we must figure out how to handle the harder emotions—especially when change is inevitable.
Second, how we feel about change is important. I am now old enough to securely say that all of my hardest changes in life have had positive aspects. I can look back at each one—those I pursued and those I endured—and say that I grew. Sometimes I grew mentally smarter or physically stronger. Other times I learned new perspectives or ideas. No matter what, every change, made me better in some way. Even losing those I love most has made me more compassionate to those who lose the ones they love. I now believe that expecting there to be some good that will come from every change helps me press on when times are hardest.
Third, remembering who I want to be helps me be mindful during seasons of change. Let me explain. I once heard a podcast from a man who went through a nasty divorce. He talked about how difficult the divorce was for him and how wronged he felt in the marriage. However, he decided early on in the almost two year process of divorce, that he wanted to be able to look back and know that he was fair, forgiving and even kind to his soon-to-be ex-wife. He did not want to regret being mean to her, displaying selfish behaviors or saying things he could not take back. Because of this, he said that he was a “better person” during the process—all because he had thought about who he really wanted to look back and see in the story years later. Just like him, I aim to always consider my story. When hard change happens, I try to fast forward and think about how I will want to see myself when I look back. It does not mean that I won’t feel some level of stress or worry during my time of transition, but it does mean I will speak with kindness, I will take care of myself emotionally (and physically) and I will seek help as I need it.
Expectation is a really powerful thing. What you expect often transpires—especially when it comes to feelings. If you are facing a change, please don’t hesitate to reach out to a trained and licensed Orlando psychotherapist. She can support you as you explore all of the feelings associated with your new life season and learn ways to care for yourself. Call Life Enhancement Counseling Services today at 407-443-8862 to schedule an appointment.