What Are Your Hopes And Expectations for 2018?
What I’ve learned along life’s journey is that experiencing hope and having great expectations for the near future are nearly impossible for those of us who’ve suffered social injustices in life. We’ve been conditioned since childhood not to discuss the bad things that happen. What will people think? I’ve found the best way to find hope & expectations of positive outcomes is to be open and honest with those I trust and love.
When we keep the bad memories locked inside our minds, they migrate to our hearts. It’s difficult to feel hopeful during and after the holidays when the demons of our past continue to weigh on our hearts. It’s not necessary to broadcast the pain you feel to everyone. What’s important is to start by confiding in one person. All of us need to get beyond the painful memories and claim the life we desire.
Do You Feel Unworthy and Inadequate?
My abuser used to refer to me as ‘A Day Late and a Dollar Short.’ It was nearly impossible to get beyond the stereotype I was repeatedly given as my mantra in life. Those words created a sense of unworthiness in me. It set me up perfectly for the bullies in school to further hammer my confidence. Whenever anything went wrong, that little voice in my head repeated, “Yup, you’ve always been a day late and a dollar short.”
For me, the worst part of the abuse was the underlying belief that if I could just do better, the abuse would stop. Who else did you know in high school who stayed up until two or three in the morning studying to try to get straight A’s on their tests? It seems counterintuitive to think that good grades would be the answer to all my problems. That’s the thing with kids…our thoughts don’t always make much sense when we’re young. Far too often, we gear our expectations to the thoughts grownups put in our heads, whether they make sense or not.
I’ve seen other victims of abuse who do the opposite. They make even more trouble for themselves as a cry for help. Rarely does this work either. Unfortunately, I was in my fifty’s before I finally realized I had real value. It’s not that I didn’t have some incredible accomplishments prior to age fifty. No, the sad truth is that I couldn’t truly accept the accolades. I’d been conditioned to not believe anything good about myself.
It’s that attitude of “not being good enough” that prevents far too many from enjoying the blessings they already have.
Personal Empowerment Is Yours
The coming year isn’t going to be a cake-walk. You’re going to need to work hard to meet your goal of personal empowerment. Our hopes and expectations are totally dependant on the amount of work we’re willing to put in to find the change we seek.
It’s totally possible to control your attitude and allow yourself to boost your positive expectations for the coming year..You may not be able to visualize it today, but the benefits of moving toward personal empowerment are more than you could imagine. The key is to support an objective mindset. The future isn’t predetermined based on your past experiences. It’s an incredible blank palette waiting for your first brush stroke.
The first step you must take is to strip your thoughts of all negativity. I don’t think I even realized how negative my expectations were fifteen-twenty years ago. When my sister-in-law invited me to go along to her art group one year, I laughed. The thought of me doing anything worthwhile in the field of art was far beyond my mindset. I told her that her husband was the one who received the brushes, palette, and oil paints for Christmas in the sixties. I was the one who received a coloring book and crayons. On the day I decided to learn about watercolors, the only positive thought I had as we headed out was that I could probably paint inside the lines.
Today, I have multiple blue ribbons from the Dunn County Fair on my paintings and one grand prize-winning ribbon.
Goodreads has a great list of books on self-empowerment.
The Possibilities are Limitless
People try to tell us to “take back the power.” For those who suffered abuse as I did, there is no power. Those who attacked us made sure we felt helpless. That’s what gave them their power.
If we don’t depend on power, what can we do?
It took me nearly a lifetime to realize I was the only one who was responsible for how my today and tomorrow would go. Once I realized I was responsible for my happiness, everything changed. I no longer allowed the bullies to control my life. I stopped listening to those who told me I was fat and ugly. They no longer mattered. You can do the same thing. You’re the only one who can take complete responsibility for maintaining a happy and healthy attitude toward hope and expectations.
Competition Destroys Hope & Expectations
The most incredible moment of self-discovery in my life came the day I realized it was pointless to compete with people I perceived to be better than me.
That moment when I realized the only person I wanted to compete with was myself became a turning point. I made a conscious decision to stop competing with everyone else and to concentrate only on doing better tomorrow than I did today. That’s when everything changed.
I met incredible goals in my business life and taught myself to do things I never dreamed I could tackle in my personal life. You can do the same thing. Stop looking backward at those who made your life miserable. You cae look sideways at those you envy any longer either.
No, your job is to evalute your attributes and challenge yourself to be better. As long as you try to compete with others, you’ll find it impossible to reach for the brass ring. Power comes from within. Nothing in your past, present, or future will ever provide the incentives you need to reach out and grab hope for today and positive expectations for tomorrow. Those things truly aren’t illusive. They’ve been within your grasp forever.
Anchor Your Hope and Expectations On Unlimited Possibilities
The horrendous events of my childhood scarred me, but they will never prevent me from following my dreams. I was an innocent victim, the same as many of you.
Our journey along this road covers decades of life. The things that came before are behind us. What stretches ahead are an array of unlimited possibilities we never expected. The road stretches far ahead for many of us, and yet those of us who are nearing the end of the road still recognize the possibilities continue to present themselves.
Yes, I will continue to compete with myself tomorrow. I have no interest or wish to compete with any of you. Your travels will take you to places I never dreamed of and that’s a good thing. I want you to know that I will continue to cheer for you on this life’s journey. I will never stop supporting the dreams each of us have. The possibilities that lay ahead give the hope and expectations that I can do even more in this life and I intend to do just that. I hope you join me in finally believing in your abilities.
So, tomorrow when you wake up, decide what you’re going to do that’s going to be better than what happened to you today. Before you know it, your hope and expectations for the future will give the joy you’ve been searching for all these years. Enjoy every minute of the new journey.
Be Safe. Be Loved. Pass It On!