There is a parable regarding two farmers praying for rain. One farmer prepared his fields as if rain were on the way. The other farmer continued to pray, but took no action. Who do you suppose received the rain? God sent rain to the farmer who prepared for and expected rain.
When I heard this parable it struck a chord within me. I understood preparation very keenly. My life motto was: Hope for the best, but prepare for the worst. As a survivor of abuse, I learned to always prepare for the worst. I never knew when my abuser would strike, so I had to remain vigilant. And hoping for the best was really a superficial type of hope because I was unable to “see” the best ever happening to me. This skill remained with me into adulthood. No matter the situation I would always try to determine all the worst possible scenarios. The next step required me to determine what I should do in order to survive. My mind was always on overdrive. Sleep tended to be restless and futile. I lived this way for years, even after the abuse and abuser had been removed from my life. I did not know any other way.
On this journey of self discovery, I’m learning a new way to live, a new way to think and a new way to be me, an authentic me. Not too long ago I said a prayer. I needed help and direction, because everything seemed to be closing in on me. I’ve seen doctor after doctor, talked to friends and each gave me their own advice on how to climb out of this hole. Don’t get me wrong their advice was valid. But the night I cried out to God was the turning point. He said, “Just write.” Huh? Just write? That was going to help me? I did not see how, but I was obedient. I started writing this blog again. Writing has not solved my problems, but it has helped me more than I could ever have imagined. Sharing this journey of “exploring abundance” with others is helping me tremendously. I hope it is helping others as well.
So far, I’ve learned there are many steps to happiness and living an abundant life. The greatest news is that each step that I’ve encountered has been very simple. Simple doesn’t equate to easy. It is hard to change your habits and yourself. Transforming the way I think has been one of the most daunting and challenging “jobs” I’ve ever held. I realized that if I’m always planning for the worst, I was going to get the worst. Duh. Pretty simple, huh?
“You cannot expect victory and plan for defeat.” – Joel Osteen
Hoping and preparing for the best instead of the worst is a daily battle. So the first change was small. Every morning I hope and expect to witness something that will make me smile. I’m on the lookout when walking my dog Lucky. Like I said, I started small. Amazingly, I come home from my morning walks in awe. Just yesterday, I was almost home and I had not seen anything smile worthy. Then I happened to look over my shoulder and there was a ladybug hitching a ride. He stayed there until I reached my gate. Yes, it was simple, but it made me smile. Since I’ve been expecting and hoping for smile worthy moments, I’ve watched a blue bird capturing its breakfast, a hummingbird drinking nectar and a found a gloriously colorful garden. If starting this small can garner this many smiles, I know I’m on the right track.
Hope for the best. Expect the best. And take actions toward your expectations. Great things will come your way.
What are your daily expectations? Are you taking action toward your expectations? What is the motto you live by?