Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Hope and Expectation

Here I am again! I am answering the call of my Inner Nudge, who is urging me to start up a more disciplined writing practice. Plus, my friends Donna Rich and Spike Gillespie have challenged me to write 15 minutes a day on this blog. I imagine these posts will be a bit disjointed for awhile, until I get my creative juices flowing (and/or small children aren't interrupting me as I write!).

Let's go!

I've had a lot of great stuff going on lately. First of all, it's Spring! And of course I can always go on and on about my beautiful kiddos, who inspire, amuse, confound, and challenge me daily. I've made a new songwriter friend, Terri Fann. I'm really seeing some results from my efforts to get more organized and de-cluttered in my office, after months and months of chipping away. I've been getting in more time to practice guitar and piano. And, on a quite superficial note, I have a new flat iron which allows me to super-hyper-shine and silkify my hair! Woo hoo! Isn't being a girl great? :)

So that's some of that. But isn't it funny how my mind just cogitates on discomfort instead of all of the goodness?

One thing that's been stuck in my craw over the past couple of days is about what it's like to try to be present--attentive, listening, willing, open--around people who are not. Keep in mind these are not folks I have a choice about spending time with. And also this question: when I hope that these absentees will somehow or someday "get me", is that just my ego talking? I asked my friend Cynthia, and she said, "yes, that's your ego wanting things to be different." But another friend made a distinction between "hope" and "expectation," and said that when we expect, yes, that's our ego, but hope is something different.

Now, here's some definitions of the word "hope".
Many of them actually contain the word "expectation," so that's not very helpful. I think this one is my favorite: "the feeling that what is wanted can be had or that events will turn out for the best."

For "expectation," I like: "the feeling that something is about to happen."

Here's the deal: I think we're all wired up to connect with one another, and when we're spending time with someone, we orient ourselves in relation to the feelings invoked by these attempts. We can either be very earnest and open, or aloof and distant, or light and humorous--there are so many different ways to be. The people who make me feel good are ones who, somehow, are open to a moment of connection, who seem to "get" me, or receive what I bring to the table. When I "hope" that one of these moments will occur, it means that on my end of the relationship, I have a certain amount of openness. Which is a good thing. But there are times, with certain people, when being open is disorienting and painful because of the energy it takes, the level of vulnerability, and the disappointment I go through when "it" doesn't happen.

What I am working on these days is to just be open because I'm an open person, to not close myself down because I'm not getting one of those wonderful connecting moments with someone. I have been ruminating on the ways in which I can psychically "walk out" on myself, and trying instead to stay connected with myself even if it's not really happening with the other person. If I stay present and connected with who I believe I came to the planet Earth to be, then there is hope in that. When I wish so hard for "the moment" that that it hurts a little bit, well, then I think I've moved into having a very specific picture I'm trying to fit the other person into, which is not what I want to do.

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