Tag Archives: Surprise

Making Predictions

27 Feb

As we go through our lives and interact with those near us we gain an understanding of their reactions and over time we may think we know what they’ll do and what will happen.  We may begin to feel comfortable anticipating the future and get so confident we make predictions before situations even arise.  If we’ve seen the same things happen again and again we may decide they’ll always go that way.  Even if we feel sure of an outcome, and even if the same outcome has happened before it’s dangerous to assume anything.  Sometimes our ideas of what will happen may be right but we can’t know everything and there are bound to be times when our predictions will be way off the mark.  Change is constant and even if things have been the same for a while, those around us can change at any time.  Making predictions will work against us and it’s always wiser to leave the doors open to all possibilities.  We can use all the experiences we’ve had to help us understand situations and the people in our lives, but it’s important to remember everyone has the ability to choose anything at any time.  We can honor their ability to make choices without deciding ahead of time what we believe those choices will be.

We know ourselves better than we know anyone else.  We know how we feel about things, we know where we’ve been and we know what we want.  There are times in everyone’s life when things go wrong and if we focus on instances when we’ve made bad decisions or chosen something that didn’t work out, our confidence may suffer.  If we lose confidence in our ability to make good decisions we may not take advantage of opportunities that come.  If we’ve failed in the past we may believe we’re destined to fail again.  Failure is never a predictor of the future but only a reflection of something that has already happened.  What’s behind us is gone and can never be changed.  We can learn from what we’ve experienced and let it go.  Our futures belong to us and we can be confident, no matter what’s happened before, that we can make excellent choices and achieve anything we want.

Some people like to keep their lives the same as much as possible.  They aren’t comfortable doing new things or being in unfamiliar places.  If we’ve watched them do the same things again and again we may believe we can predict what they’ll do in the future but we may be surprised.  Just when we’re sure we know what others will choose, they may change.  Instead of predicting their choices, we can keep all the options open.  If they stay the course, we can work with their decision.  If they change the pattern, we can work with that as well.  Nothing in life is written in stone.  Being receptive to new ideas and open to all possibilities will open doors for us and help us going forward.

Today if you’ve been making predictions about what will happen or what decisions will be made, revise your thinking and be open to any possibility.  If you’ve decided against trying something new because of a mistake in the past, remember what’s happened before does not control what happens now.  Life is filled with change and nothing is permanent. You have everything you need to do anything you want.  There is greatness in you.  Today bring it forward, open all the doors and consider all the possibilities.

Locked Away

8 Feb

When things go wrong in our lives, and we get hurt, it’s sometimes hard to see past the pain. We may become cautious going forward, fearful of what could happen. Things can always go wrong, but they can go right too. If we’ve been hurt and are afraid we may forget that. Sometimes after a big disappointment we might determine in order to be safe from additional pain, to lock ourselves away. It seems reasonable that if we don’t allow people to get close to us, they can’t hurt us, and we can protect ourselves going forward. The problem with that thinking is our greatest pleasures in this life come from the close relationships we build with others. If we lock ourselves away, we might prevent getting hurt, but we’ll also prevent getting close. In the big overall scheme of things, that’s a huge price to pay for emotional safety. Is it worth it? Only we can answer that, but it seems the price is greater than the reward it offers. There is no doubt that getting hurt is painful, but living a life on the periphery, unable to connect to others is a superficial existence. If we want a deep, rich, experience here, we have to be willing to get close to others, and face the possibility of getting hurt.

There are no guarantees in this life. We can try our best to know those close to us, and understand them, but people don’t always show us everything. Sometimes we may be fooled by someone who has an agenda, or wants to keep secrets. Other times we may be hurt by someone close to us because they don’t tell us the whole story. People are complex and sometimes they aren’t as forthcoming as we would like. Anytime we open our lives, or our hearts to someone else, there is some level of risk. If we’ve taken the time to know them well, that risk may be minimized, but if they are adept at hiding facets of their personality, we may still be surprised. We all have personal choices to make. We can’t control anyone but ourselves and if someone close to us chooses to, they may hurt us. We are strong enough to accept that and still choose to build close relationships.

Having courage to move forward and trust others after a difficult and hurtful experience may take time. We don’t always want to jump back into the pool after finding a shark there. We can take all the time we need to heal, and there is no rush. But if we really want to move forward, we can’t close the door and lock it. We need to leave it open, even if only just a tiny bit. If we are brave enough to think about the possibility of new relationships, we will be open when they arrive. Being open takes courage, especially after a bad experience, but it’s the only real way we can move forward and grow. If we shut ourselves off we will be stuck where the damage was done, and being stuck doesn’t allow us to grow. It might seem wise and safe at the beginning, but it will not bring us happiness in the long run. Just because one person deeply hurt us doesn’t mean everyone will. We can be cautious, and careful, and still let others in, and in time can learn to trust again.

Today if you’ve been hurt badly and don’t want to risk opening up going forward, remember there is no guarantee that the next relationship you build will hurt you. Every relationship is different. Some relationships are wonderful and a great benefit to our lives. It’s not worth missing out on those because of one bad experience. You have a lot to offer and are worth every happiness. Trust yourself. There is a lot of good in the world. And a lot of it is waiting for you.

Worth It

30 Aug

When we’re making decisions about what we want to do, it’s important to remember that everything we do creates a reaction of some sort. There is no free space for decisions. They always affect something – our lives, other people’s lives, our freedom, our finances, and a dozen other possibilities. Some decisions are trivial, like what we’ll have for lunch today, but even that will have a result. If it’s a good lunch for us, we may feel satisfied and happy afterward. If not, we may have another response. For the important decisions, for the heavy matters that weigh on us, it’s very important to consider not just which way to go, but what the ramifications of those decisions may be. Some responses may be predictable, and some may be surprises that come unexpectedly.

We make so many decisions in our lives that we take the process for granted. We look at a situation and pick the answer that looks best, or easiest, or quickest. Sometimes it’s a good decision and things go well, but sometimes there are complications we may not have considered. We can’t know the future so taking a moment to ponder where our decisions might take us is helpful. Our perspective is ours alone and nobody will share it completely. Nobody knows what we need better than we do, but even then we sometimes make mistakes. So, it’s important to think about our decisions before we make them – even the small ones.

If we’re in a relationship with someone and decide things have gotten too intense, we may decide to back up for a time. We don’t want to end the relationship but we want a little space. Explaining that to the other party may be difficult but if we need the time, it should be addressed. The question is, what will be the cost of stepping back? If we are dating the other person and we take some time away, they may find someone else to spend their time with. Are we willing to accept that? If we are in a friendship that has gotten too intense and we want to take a break, if the other person is offended by the request we may not be able to re-establish things afterward. Can we live with that? Everything we do will bring some sort of reaction. It’s important to think about what that may be before we go storming forward.

Today as you make your decisions, take a moment before you decide and think about what the results may be. Let your mind go wide and consider all the possibilities. Nobody can read the future and it’s wise to ponder what could happen before we choose. If the decision is worth whatever may come, go forward. You are capable of making good, wise choices, and only you can determine what’s best for you.

New Shoes

18 Aug

We go through a lot of changes in our lives as the years fly by. Some of them are small and easy to navigate, and some of them impact us in deeper ways. If we’ve lost a loved one, had a dramatic shift in our career, or had to adjust to a big lifestyle change, it may take us a long time to adjust to our new reality. Like wearing new shoes that pinch, we know that eventually everything will stretch and we’ll feel better, but as we’re going through the adjustment, it’s difficult. We may feel lost, and out of our element. We may need support, and even then it may take a while before we regain our footing.

Change is normal, and happens every day. But practicing with small things doesn’t necessarily mean that when big changes come we are ready for them. Sometimes we’re surprised and shocked by a new development, but even if we know something is coming, it may still be hard to navigate. We get used to our lives going a certain way, and feel comfortable. When a ringer is thrown into the mix and everything is shaken up, it’s hard to figure things out right away. Sometimes it’s hard to understand what to do, and how to go forward.

They say that time heals all wounds, and in some ways that’s true. If we give ourselves time to adjust, time to find a new way through, and time to find our path, it will help. When we are facing big adjustments, we don’t need to rush. We need to give ourselves space, time, and patience. There are feelings and emotions involved we need to work out. Sometimes there are physical things that must be explored and defined. It’s like a pendulum – if the change is small, the adjustment is short, and if the change is big, the adjustment takes longer. The greater the change, the more time we’ll need. It’s important to give ourselves all the time it takes. Just like stretching out a new pair of shoes, it doesn’t happen the first time we wear them. We have to work on them little by little.

Today if you’re trying to adjust to a big change in your life, take your time. Give yourself patience, and room to figure things out. There is no need to rush. You will find your footing again, and you will know how to go forward. Give yourself the space you need. You will conquer this, and you will find comfort. One step at time is all you need to do. One step at a time and you’ll get there.

You Never Know

27 May

Some years ago I had a neighbor who loved her flower garden. She found great pleasure in planting lovely flowers around her home, and was always scouring the greenhouses for something new. One year, she had three children in college, and her budget was very tight. She told me she couldn’t afford to buy anything new for a while, including flowers, which was disappointing. But she said she would be fine because her garden was full and beautiful already, and it was.

One day I saw her sitting on her front porch, and walked over to say hello. She told me she had just returned from the store and had seen some gorgeous, double blossom, red hollyhocks she just adored. “I wanted them so badly,” she told me, “but I just can’t spend the extra money right now. When every penny counts you have to count every penny. It was so hard to walk away! They were so beautiful!” She laughed at how much she wanted the new flowers, and we sat and chatted for a while.

Later that summer I saw her in her yard tending her lovely garden, and I walked over to see her. She was on her hands and knees weeding, so I joined her, and together we began cleaning out her flower bed. I saw a thick, green stalk growing out of the soil and wasn’t sure if it was a weed or not, so I asked her about it. She looked at it, pondered for a moment, and said, “I don’t know what it is. It looks like celery.” I thought, “Celery? Does that grow wild?” Since we weren’t sure what it was, we decided to let it grow, and see what happened.

A couple of weeks later, my neighbor appeared at my door all excited. “You have to come and see!” she exclaimed. I had no idea what the excitement was all about but she grabbed my arm and pulled me along until I was in her yard. When we got there she pointed at her flower bed and the “wild celery” we had let grow. There before my eyes was a tall hollyhock stem with bright red buds all over it. “How did that happen?” I asked her. “I don’t know,” she said. “I just came out to do some weeding and there it was. It’s a double blossom, red hollyhock! Just like the one I couldn’t buy at the store!” I stood there staring at the plant, in wonderment. We laughed, and she said she figured it got there from seeds blown by the wind, or maybe bird droppings had planted it for her. Whatever brought it, she was beyond delighted.

As time went by, that one hollyhock became a whole flowerbed full of gorgeous red blooms. Every time I passed her house and saw them I thought about how they just appeared out of nowhere, and to someone who wanted them so badly. She lovingly tended them, and gleefully told the story of how she got them again and again.

We never know what will come to us in this life. Every day brings surprises of one sort or another. Some surprises are difficult, but some are wonderful, like my friend’s hollyhocks. Every day has potential for something new to come to us. Today, look for a surprise that may come your way. It may be quiet, so you’ll have to listen, and it may be small, so you’ll have to watch. But there will probably be something surprising for you if you just take the time to notice. This life is a wonderful gift. Every day is a blessing. And perhaps the best surprise of all is that we get to have another day to enjoy it!