As my Qigong guru would say, “When the student is ready, the teacher will appear.”
Or, perhaps in my case, when the student is ready she’ll notice the teachers all around her!
Lately, I’ve been learning about expectations.
The head of my teaching team on this subject is Luther, our newest rescue dog. Somewhere between very large and huge, depending on your perspective. Hairy. Slobbery. Luther usually has a bit of his most recent meal left on his nose. He’s not yet a fan of face washing. Like all good teachers, he started where his student was.
I met him with three major things on my mind:
A firm belief that, “Expectations are barriers to relationships,” which I learned, 30-some years ago, from an old friend named Steve Glenn, creator of Developing Capable People.
Then, a notion I encountered much more recently that, “Expectations create suffering,” which is pretty common these days among the Transformational Leadership crowd. (As well as my Qigong guru!)
And a whole lot of experience suggesting that no matter how much I believe, expecting is still a hard thing to quit doing.
My biggest lesson from Luther, so far, is to expect only that he will be exactly where he is and wherever that was yesterday is likely to be different today.
Oh, and if I watch and listen carefully, he’ll tell me where he is.
He’s also reminding me that much of being a mom or a grammy, or anyone who’s trying to help kids (or dogs) along their road, means letting in newness and inviting them into a bigger world.
We had an adventure just like that today.
There’s a dog camp trip in the near future. Luther’s been kind of a baby step guy so far. So we loaded everybody in the car and went to visit.
No agenda other than getting there and getting back, preferably without any meltdowns.
Luther did well! He made several new two-footed friends, tail wagging all the way. He sniffed and peed his way around the huge play yard being, well, a dog which is pretty much the point.
A little uncertainty. A lot of sticking close to Sarah and Phoebe, who are camp experts. Lots of love and treats and encouragement.
And then home again where life as he’s learning it is still going on. Complete with tail wagging.
Tonight, lots more brushing.
Next step, an overnight.
It’s been a while since Dave needed my encouragement to take on the world. My newest kid is doing better every day. My job is to believe in their invincible spirits and hold open the door while expecting only that they’ll be where they are.
Managing my own anxiety is helpful, too!
Dave and Kelly are busy holding the door open for my girls. (So much so that we may be about to add a snake to the family!)
I suspect gently holding doors open is one of the biggest gifts we give our families.
Hugs and love to you and yours, this Mother’s Day.