“Expect the best and prepare for the worst” were the words I read before I went to bed. These words were heard again, immediately upon my waking. Each time I read or hear these words I cringe! Though the thoughts may seem to be tandem, somewhat separate, one being placed before the other, though they may seem similar, they are distinct, one affirms the good, the other, accepts the gloom. To state each within a single sentence is fascinating. I believe that what we expect and what we prepare for are strongly connected and therefore, for me, this statement is quite interesting. It seems to offer what is in the speaker’s mind, heart, body, and soul, all at once! If we expect the best, yet prepare for the worst, if, as is also said, we believe that we will “deal with whatever comes,” What are we truly saying? What are we truly thinking? I wonder.
I offer these thoughts for your consideration. I ask, who among us has never once had a cold? Who among us, at sometime in our lives, has never experienced, expected, or prepared for the possibility of a cold? Have we each not been taught to be cautious of anything that might cause us to catch cold? Our teachers, from the beginning teach us well. They teach us of colds and more. We each have two very influential teachers, one is known as our “elders,” the other is known as “experience.” From our first breath, our teachers teach us the importance of being prepared. We learn through their reprimands or reminders what might occur if we are not prepared.
Do you recall a time when you stood in the rain, cold and wet? What would your elders say of such a situation; what has experience taught you? Even if you learned early on to reject the words of your elders, at least outwardly, did you not consider their words within? Did experience also influence your expectations and your preparation? When you were standing in the rain, sopping wet, did you ever expect to become ill?
Do you recall a time when you were speaking with one that had a cold? Did you fear catching their cold? Did you prepare yourself, physically and emotionally? Did you take all the medications that would stave off the possibility? Later, even with all your preparation, did you still get the sniffles? Were you truly expecting that this would occur, and was this the best? Were you genuinely preparing for it, and was this not the worst? I believe that this scenario is one that most of us have lived. It exemplifies the subtlety of our inner and truer thoughts, those that seep to the surface. It offers the possibility that what we think that we think, is not as we truly think beneath the surface.
Many people prefer to be “positive” and or at least, they prefer to present a “positive” demeanor. Many believe that, “Expect the best and prepare for the worst” is a reflection of their “positive” attitude. Yet for me, this statement, this spin, and this expressed belief is quite the contrary.
I offer what I experience to be true, "As you think so shall you be." Consider the “cold” story, the “cold” reality that what we think we think is not what we truly think. Sadly, delving deeply into our truer thoughts is not something that humans do easily. We prefer, in our infinite wisdom to rationalize our thoughts and our actions. We prefer to prepare for what we experience as a pattern or simply a possibility. Therefore, humans theorize, intellectualize, justify, surmise, and suppose. I offer this thought for further reflection, “What we fear expands.” Our fears are often so small, so subtle, and so seemingly insignificant, that we need not admit that we have them. After all, positive people have no fears; they merely expect and prepare.
Yes, preparing for possibilities is important. It is important to be aware of what could occur, and yet, I wonder. Can we ever truly prepare? The energy, the effort, the endeavor to prepare may be important, even vital, likely, it is. Yet, if we are focused on preparing, are we not expecting the possibility of the worst [pain.]? Is it not true that, often what we expect is exactly what we get? Might we consider that what you, I, or we are preparing for IS what you, I, or we truly expect!
I believe and experience that much of the best is that which we cannot expect, and we cannot prepare for. Often the best is unimaginable! The unimaginable may be different than our elders or our experience has taught us. Professional baseball player and coach, Vernon Law expressed, “Experience is the worst teacher; it delivers the test before the lesson.” Being tested, feeling as though we failed, or, at least, as though we did not do as we expected to do, or as others expected us to do, does not teach us to be open to the original lesson. It teaches us to be protective, closed, safe, and to seek a sense of security. We attempt to be or appear to be in control. In attempting to control what comes, we are no longer open to opportunities.
Through much reflection, research, and reluctance, I have come to discover that try as I/we might, I/we cannot truly control the universe, nor can I/we totally prepare for what I/we cannot imagine. I can be careful, extremely careful, and still experience an accident, an incident, one that I could not have expected or prepared for. At times, what comes may be as dramatic as a tsunami, one that even when predicted, cannot be prevented. At other times what comes may be quite minor in comparison, and yet, still, what comes will cause an effect, one that I/we could not have expected or fully prepared for and this will affect me/us.
If you know in your heart, mind, body, and soul that all is well, if you expect nothing, prepare for nothing, if you trust that what is, is the best, what will you experience? On the occasions that I am open, loving, sharing and caring, I do create what I could not expect or even imagine. Interestingly enough, when I am open, loving, sharing, and caring the unexpected that I create is beautiful, so beautiful, that I could not have prepared for it, nor is it what I could have imagined. It seems to me that if I truly expect the best, I trust that I cannot prepare for it, for it is far better than I might ever imagine!
Therefore, I offer that I/we consider what we truly think to our core [not what we think we think, or prefer to think.] For ultimately what we truly think is what we create and what we will be. If we desire resolutions in this New Year, new day, or new moment, I wonder, would it not be best to be the best rather than to expect or prepare for the best [or for the worst.]