Expectations, Intent, and Belief

Copyrighted by Lorna Tedder. Originally published in Crimes to the Third Degree.

[ad]Funny how you can look back on things through a different lens and see things you didn’t notice before. Honestly, if it weren’t for the spiritual work I did with Edain, I never ever would have seen this, never would have confronted this person, never would have learned the truth about some of the things she’s been doing. So now, much of what this person has said to me in the past year, or longer, is suspect.

Flying By Night novelI’m ending a friendship with someone I thought was a very good friend (and seemed to be but only when no one else was around) and at least 2 acquaintances who have been on the periphery of the situation with her.

I try not to have expectations of what I think other people should do. I try to just let them be and be who they are. I expect them to do the same for me. I do have expectations of others, but I’ve worked hard to limit it to things like not lying to me versus they should call me once a week or go to lunch with me every Tuesday. Those expectations, like honesty and treating each other well, are relative to my standards for a relationship of any sort.

But what about expectations for my own future and what I want out of life?

I like the way AngelSu, a new friend, says to me, “Expect nothing about X but expect everything!” It’s so full of hope. She often tells me to expect good things to come and is such a positive person and I’m glad I met her this time last year. She’s been a wonderful new influence in my life this past year.

Maybe it’s that I grew up with parents telling me not to expect anything good or to expect bad things—something I’ve been working very hard to shed—and I won’t get into quantum physics here, but when I do any type of magickal work, it’s with intent and belief, and therefore I expect results. They may not be in the form I quite thought they’d be, but I do expect things to happen. If my working is “Show me what I need to know about X,” then I expect to receive new info, and usually do within the next 24 to 48 hours. I completely believe that I will and I do, and not in the wishy-washy interpret it as new info kind of way but down and dirty factual on the physical plane. And I love it.

So what’s bugging me now is something I’ve been told repeatedly for the past year to year and a half. To expect nothing. Not one person, but several, all part of this friend’s circle and all magickally trained together—and maybe that’s where this idea comes from. I didn’t realize how much I’d let seep in. I could mention something good starting up in my life (like a particular project or a new technique I’m trying to master or a new relationship) and I’d hear a chorus reminiscent of my father’s negativity—don’t expect anything, just let it come if it wants to, focus on not drawing it to you, the only way it’ll happen is if you expect it not to. What an insane, impossible task of the Scarborough Faire variety!

“If you really want this good thing, then you must not expect to get it in order to get it.”

You have to suspend your belief that it will happen in order for it to happen. Sorta not what I was taught to do in working magick or in my work with quantum physics. It’s left me flummoxed for the past 7 or 8 months that I’ve been hearing it so consistently. This has not been an “expect something to happen but don’t concentrate on how” or “let-go-let-Gods” or “don’t rule your destiny kind of thing”—it’s been very specifically, “if you want this, you must discard it and the idea of having it before it can come to you.” I swear, every time I’ve mentioned something new I’ve been working on, I’ve gotten the same routine about how it’s not going to happen for me if I expect it. It’s constantly full of doubt and, if I question it, there’s possessiveness and control issues that come into play. Not blatant and all at once, but slowly creeping back in over the past year, and as with any control issues, people get more controlling when they feel less in control of a situation or person.

And so I was talking to another friend about a long list of things I’ve been preached to about in the past year and didn’t even realize where it was coming from anymore. She, too, stopped cold at the “expect nothing” routine and put it in a different context I’d somehow overlooked.

“If you expect nothing,” she said, “what are you sending out into the Universe? Expectations that you’ll get nothing!”

Yes, it’s like making your mind go blank to not think about something. I’ve been told to wipe things from my mind and not think of them to make them happen (remember that childhood game of trying not to think about the thing you’ve just been told not to think about and how hard that can be?). But from the quantum physics/magick point of view, if you don’t think about it, it doesn’t exist and you certainly can’t draw success to you.
Right now, I’m wondering how anybody in my former friend’s group ever gets anything done…but then that’s also part of what I’m seeing. They really don’t seem to get anything done. There’s lots and lots of talk about all the great things they want to work on and what they want to see happen, but I’ve yet to see them do any of the things they’ve talked about for the past 2 to 3 years. Not even a first step. Toward anything. Ever. Just talk.

I guess they’re expecting things to happen on their own and be dumped in their laps with instructions of what to do next. They don’t seem to understand why these things haven’t happened yet for them. And more disturbingly, there’s a list of things I’ve intended to do that they’ve been so outwardly encouraging about while quietly telling me I’m going too fast, working too hard, not doing it right, etc, etc, etc. Many of those things stopped cold. But of the ones I’ve really believed in and not discussed with them until after success has been achieved, those things draw snarky comments about how quickly and easily I’m getting things done.

One thing I’m going to be expecting in the future is a lot more support from people who insist they’re my friends.[ad]