“You’ve got to have something to look forward to.” My father, often.
The young mother and son were traversing the pedestrian crosswalk as I left the Y. She had just picked him up at childcare after her workout and they were happily on their way to lunch, until . . . the meltdown. Son suddenly felt he was going to be happier sitting on the white stripes on the roadway than being pulled along by mom. By the time he was picked up and hauled away, it was clear that it was not his preference to leave.
In my office, for years, I’ve posted bits of wisdom on shelves and desktop. One such bit of wisdom says: ask, expect, believe, receive. In the incident above, son began asking for something other than what was happening. He was not getting his way and he had honed in very carefully on what he preferred. Since he wasn’t getting his way, he was making his displeasure known.
Remember as a child how when you really wanted something for Christmas you could picture it so vividly that it became almost real to the touch. You could feel the freedom of your own big, shiny bicycle. You could feel the licks of the puppy you wanted so much. We expected those things to appear for us! We lined up our expectation so vividly that while we were sometimes disappointed, the aliveness of expectation itself felt great.
Once our expectation becomes our belief, we are on our way to the manifestation of whatever we desire. Beliefs are patterns of thought. What we think about, predominantly, will become our experience. If a pattern of thought makes us feel better, we will follow it and we will reap the harvest of it, for better or worse, until it no longer feels good.
We receive what we put out into the Universe. Anger begets anger; love, love. Gloomy beliefs leads to a gloomy life experience, and, say what you will about Pollyanna, it seems that a series of joyful beliefs about life creates a much more joyful ride.
We’ve all done a lot of asking, but I think the expectation lags behind. Just as we did as children we need to hone our expectation and belief. The nexus of expectation and belief is where the magic of leavening occurs, where all the ingredients are blended. Whatever we expect strongly and put great thought to becomes our belief. Our strong beliefs become our thought forms, and our thought forms become the manifestations we receive.
Notice your preferences, those things you really desire. You are putting those out into the world in search of fulfillment. Our job now is to learn to expect what we want and to believe it so fully that we begin to find signs and get feelings that tell us we’re on the right track. Living with positive expectation and belief is the way we learn to reclaim how it felt to be a child, living in a world of big possibility.