Monday, August 11, 2014

Great Expectations-guest post by Terry Drew Karanen

Have you ever suffered disappointment at some time in your life?

I suppose that's a rhetorical question since the answer is, "Well, duh!" We all experience disappointments. Most of my disillusionments have come from when I fall short of reaching my own goals or expectations for myself, not when others fail to live up to my desires. If you, like me, have been given the title of perfectionist (as if that was a badge of shame!), you are well aware that someone who is always striving for perfection is usually harder on him/herself than other people. We SO want to do it "right," whatever "right" is for us, for others or society. It begs the question, Is perfection is really possible? Are we running on a treadmill of frustration by trying so hard? In fact, why have expectations, great of otherwise, at all?

It's never perfect and it's always perfect.

Let me explain what I mean by that. I've been privileged to officiant for at least a hundred weddings, holy unions, commitment ceremonies, baptisms, christenings, funerals and memorials over my twenty years in ministry, as well as house blessings, pet blessings and a few exorcisms (more about that another time...). What I can report to you is that when planning the event the people involved want it to be "perfect" - this is particularly true for weddings. The belief is that we have "one shot" to get this right. No retakes. No revisions. One shot. Period.

One of the places I perform weddings in our area has a beautiful, expansive Italian garden. Most brides select a processional that goes from the very top of the gardens to a pavilion at the bottom. With a large wedding party it can take up to seven or eight minutes, but choreographed correctly by "moi" it's a beautiful and memorable event - unless it rains, as it often can in the summer here in south central Pennsylvania. We had an absolute downpour one day, but the bride was adamant about the processional. So it took place, in the downpour, with huge golf umbrellas provided by the resort for some protection. And ... it was perfect.

HOW could it have been?!? The couple had great expectations of their special day and a near monsoon was not part of the plan. I've heard there's an Italian tradition that says when it rains on your wedding it means God is showering you with blessings. If that's the case this couple was blessed beyond all expectation! The bride got exactly what she wanted - a beautiful processional - even if the gown and bridesmaids dresses were a little worse for the wear upon arrival at the lower pavilion. You might think I was dealing with a bridezilla who, come hell or (in this case) high water, was going to have it her way or the highway. Not at all.

I don't see it that way. If anything, I believe it showed a willingness, tenacity, dedication and determination to fulfill the desire of her fiancé and her. Have you had your plans go array to this extent, or even more severe? Did you think it was a failure and did you suffer the event? It's never perfect and it's always perfect. What that means to me is that it, whatever "it" is, is going to be exactly what it's going to be. We can plan or outline every single detail and be disappointed if things don't go according to plan, or we can go with the flow and enjoy the moment for what it is. Scripture says, "Time and unforeseen circumstances befall us all." What does that mean? It means life happens. "Shift" happens.

How we deal with the changes and shifts in life about which we seem to have no control will determine our moods, our attitudes about life, how much people want to be around us, and our future. Without "great expectations" of our future we will most likely end up with a less than a stellar or satisfying life. What do you "expect?" When Emma Curtis Hopkins, New Thought teacher and mental healing expert, was asked by Raymond Charles Barker why she thought a particular case for which she was present seem to have a healing that occurred so quickly and easily. Her answer? "It was what I expected." Can't you just imagine in the story of the resurrection of Lazarus when the great teacher Jesus proclaimed, "Lazarus, come out!" but nothing happening? Excuse me? The healing was, again, what he expected.

What do you expect from life, from your future? I invite you this week to think bigger than ever about what you want your life to look like. Would you be willing to do that? You could sit quietly, calm your senses and uncover the joys you desire, the peace you seek and the healings you require. Write those down, without regard to how many come up, and then pick just three. I'm not talking about a new car or a new job. I'm talking about how you envision a peace, a more harmonious life. Then give it to Spirit and expect great things! Let me know how that works out for you!

Special thanks to: Terry Drew Karanen
                             author, life coach, blogger, speaker

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