I had a conversation with two of my younger sisters who extolled my strengths. They communicated to me how, when growing up, they placed me on high. They shared with me their great admiration and respect for me speaking of the qualities they saw in me specifically, my “strength”. What does that mean exactly? Wow. What an incredible honor (I think) and burden (I’m sure).
Listening to them, I had an epiphany that this knowledge is what moved me all these years. As the eldest child, I took very seriously the expectations of my parents, teachers, neighbors and siblings. Knowing their expectations brought great responsibility, fear, anxiety and extreme over-thinking how my every move would affect others.
It was time to come clean. So,in that same conversation, I admitted to my sisters how stressful it was in retrospect to be the one looked upon to lead and always do the right thing. Not surprisingly, they never knew that.
Indeed, expectation is a powerful motivator.
The famous sociologist, Robert K. Merton, wrote that a person’s expectation is directly linked to the Self -fulfilling Prophecy. Whether or not such an expectation was truthful or not has little or no effect on the outcome. If a person believes what they are told or convinces himself/herself of the fact, chances are this person will see the expectation to its inevitable conclusion.
Being the strong one was a burden and living up to the expectations of others was a source of great angst. As I continue to meditate on my truths, I can also say I am thankful for the high expectations of others. Because of them, I came to be a believer in myself and all that I could be and do. High expectation established a vision for me to bring to manifestation.
Even before my sisters’ expectations of me were established, God had already made his expectation over my life very clear: I was to be strong, courageous and expectant that these qualities, in part, would lead me to a prosperous and successful place:
Only be strong and very courageous, being careful to do according to all the law that Moses my servant commanded you. Do not turn from it to the right hand or to the left, that you may have good success wherever you go. This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success. Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” And Joshua commanded the officers of the people, “Pass through the midst of the camp and command the people, ‘Prepare your provisions, for within three days you are to pass over this Jordan to go in to take possession of the land that the Lord your God is giving you to possess.’” …
Thank you, God, for your expectation and my sisters for seeing your strength in me.