I wanted to name the title “Great Expectations” as a play on words of Charles Dickens magnificent work, but if I had; it may have clouded what I’m about to write.
I had a rather long dream last night and I won’t go into the details (same house; except upper house orderly and remodeled) because it was meant for my brain to process everything that had happened in the past 10 days. (I gave my experience of it closure yesterday.) However, the following is what I perceive myself to have gained from it.
I had an expectation(s) based on several compounded past memories. These memories were snapshots of the past, which comprised of pain or happiness from the past. The problem with memories from the past, however, there is more than 1 person who experienced the same event, which creates a minimum of 2 different sets of emotions and points of view.
For example, the time my brother and I were being whipped by a belt in a closed clothes closet by our mother. I had held unto that experience in an effort to hold unto bitterness. It made me feel better because of the physical pain I felt at the time. However, when I think back to the memory; I don’t feel the physical pain anymore because it is not in the present (now). Whereas, my brother likely has a completely different memory of the event (if at all).
For the above example, the experience is clouded by a 3rd variable (my mom). In mathematics, the more variables, the more complex the problem’s solution. She states it didn’t happen the way I remember it to have happened.
She was residing in a big city away from her mom, dad and immediate family. She left behind established friends and neighbors. She was required to follow her husband to a (foreign/unfamiliar) location with little support because to disobey him would have appeared ungodly. Meanwhile, she’s trying to raise 4 children (all under age 10) the best she knows how and that is based on other people’s suggested (whether proven or unproven; the internet didn’t exist yet) methods. She’s not mean-hearted or spirited. While trying to raise us children, she’s required to ensure the home is clean and organized (because she is an organized and hardworking individual) and make sure her husband is happy by ensuring he has a home cooked meal everyday and pick up after him because he was not an orderly person. (In essence she was caring for 5 children). Meanwhile, she taught all of us kids how to read, write and problem solve during our homeschooled years. She also did all of our laundry. She would have been worn out mentally, physically and emotionally. The mind deals with unnecessary stress in unhealthy ways and perhaps manifested in the closed clothes closet on that particular day. My father had it quite easy.
“Knowledge without experience is philosophy, and experience without any knowledge is ignorance. The interplay between the two produces wisdom’” – Dr Joe Dispenza
As one can see…my experiences of those memories could be severally limited as to what experiences my brother and mother experienced. As a result, my expectations as to how I expect something to be now in the present are unrealistic and narrow-minded because there were 3 of us in that closet; not just one.
We can fall into the memory trap of unrealistic expectations by focusing ONLY on our own point of view. Ultimately, true self-reflection is an experience and is what can teach us real humility and empathy. The rest is simply a facade. Know thyself.
“If a person doesn’t ‘know themselves’ but procreates another person then the child will be raised by a fool and will be led to believe they’re wise. Know thyself before spreading one’s seed.” – Anonymous