Holding the space for Goodness in our lives is a powerful mindset and the expectation of Goodness can permeate all aspects of our lives.
At the same time, fears can play an important role in calling us to seek further, for Peace.
Have you ever found yourself, even when things are really good, waiting for something bad to happen? Do you prepare for potential tragedy by running things through your mind to see how you might react? Have you ever been in a relationship and find yourself thinking about how you will feel when it is over, when he/she walks out, or when you grow apart? This process of preparing for the worst, just to feel in control and ready for bad things is very likely to have just the opposite effect we are trying to guard against.
My husband used to commute to another state, 2 weeks a month, early in our marriage. I dutifully made sure to know exactly when my husband was flying. However, that increasingly meant I was ill at ease for the duration of his flight, every time he traveled. I had emotional melt downs if I did not hear from him within a “reasonable” time after the flight. I would work myself into a tizzy, with pent up worry and frustration and then erupt when he did finally call for “making we worry” . I carried some deep fear about losing him. However, I was thoroughly busy ignoring the real fear with mind preparation drills for the possibility of future tragedy. At the time, I really thought I was being responsible, in caring so deeply. Right motivation, wrong execution.
I did not realize what I was doing was feeding my worst fears, those which were truly unspeakable. I was so conscientiously preparing for the worst, that I was really feeding the beast within me, which I had completely created. I vividly recall the pit in my stomach, the fear in my mind and the tenseness in my breathing of those times. I was truly capable of making myself sick with fear and dark imaginings.
One of the worst outcomes of this, was that this fear seeped into all manner of situations. I would worry about my husband going to the store and being run into. I would obsess about walking around the block at night by myself. I would even imagine strangers breaking into my home while I was alone. Clearly, my mind had run amok. Thankfully, I still had some small perspective on what I was doing to myself. I did stop watching violence on television as one positive step towards more peace.
One day, years later, a book came to my rescue which I felt was written specifically for me. It was called Fear No Evil, by Eva Pierrakos. Talk about direct and to the point! My number was up. This book literally fell off a shelf before me in a bookstore even though I had let some of my darker fears subside. It changed my habit of preparing for darkness and fearing evil, for good.
Those months of commuting would have been so much better if I could have faced my fears and focused on the Goodness we had been graced with. We were awash in Goodness with good health, good jobs, supportive families, good friends, disposable income, a nice home, etc. I had regularly strayed into the darkness though and did not have the faintest inkling about trying something else. The fear of losing the Goodness I had been given was instrumental in my spiritual journey but perhaps you may avoid this particular detour.
What I recall from Fear No Evil is that I learned that fear comes from the part of us that is un-whole and hurting. Fear shows up when we feel disconnected from Divine Peace. I learned that what we focus on grows. All the fears that I felt were from the exact places where I was disconnected from God. I learned that fear was my own creation and therefore wonder of wonders, I could let it go.
For all those years, I had thought fear was real. I felt as though someone had released me to Goodness, to the very real possibility that Goodness attracts goodness. I learned when bad things happen, the Goodness is still present even when it seems covered by the darkness. I felt that “Someone” had rattled my cage and helped me remember Goodness.
Step by step I took a look at the real fears behind those manifesting in my life. I was afraid of my husband dying because I myself was afraid of being alone, unloved and bereft. I was afraid of being attacked and losing my safety because I was afraid of losing the Goodness of my life. I was so into thinking it was all up to me that God was a way distance second to ME. These real fears propelled me front and center into dialog with the Divine Presence. When I realized I had created and grown my own fears, I could let the fears go, and focus on the Goodness of Life.
I now highly recommend the practice of Expecting Goodness. Train your thoughts to expect the Goodness, think about it, nurture it, focus on the Goodness you have and see it continuing. As I slowly learned to do this, Goodness beyond my wildest imaginings showed up. To date, the Goodness given has always been infinitely better than what I might have envisioned. It’s a God thing!!
Steps towards Expecting Goodness
1. Name your presenting fears, those showing up in your life and then seek the deeper core fears fueling the feelings and actions in your life. (I am afraid my spouse and I won’t be able to have children. Core Fear- I am afraid I will miss out on one of Life’s irreplaceable blessings and that my spouse and I will grow apart. )
2. Release the fears you no longer want, to Divine Presence. We are never alone in facing our fears. ( I release the fear that my spouse and I will suffer and remain sad by missing out on one of Life’s blessings which will cause us to grow apart.)
3. Train your mind to see the goodness in all situations by actually speaking about it out loud to self and others. (My spouse and I will find infinite ways to love in this world, in ways we can equally share. )
4. Expect the Goodness — I call forth the Goodness of Life into all aspects of my thinking, feeling, acting self. I expect the Goodness of Life in whatever way it chooses to manifest in my life.