Nineteen days ago I wrote a blog post about the sinking feeling I'd had when I left one of my tutoring appointments ~ a sensation that something in the vibe was off... and I might not hear from that particular family again. After more than two weeks passed without hearing from the mother, I resigned myself to the uncomfortable notion that I hadn't been a good match for their needs.
As I described in this blog two days ago, I was then struck with the inspiration to simply ask for honest feedback about my initial visit with their family. "Maybe I'm rusty at this," I considered - "Maybe I wasn't as professional as I could have been." I decided that no matter what the feedback might be, even if the mother's response made me feel MORE disappointed in myself, it would be worth hearing and learning from.
Not wishing to put the mother on the spot with a telephone call which could intrude on the peace of her morning, I dropped her a short email.
I thanked her very sincerely for her time and then asked her for a brief candid review of the session. "I assume," I wrote, "since haven't heard from you in a few weeks, that I was not the right fit for your family. I would be so grateful for your honest opinion about ways in which I might improve as a tutor."
Relieved by the sense that I'd finally shifted the stagnant energy which had hung on me since our meeting on May 31st, I moved on.
Yesterday while tutoring another student in the early evening, I went into my online message center and discovered to my surprise that the mother had written me back promptly and quite effusively. "I'm so sorry!" she'd responded. "Not at all! We both LOVED you. We think you are a great fit for our family!"
She went on to explain how busy it had been in their home around the end of the school year, and that she'd thought she had told me that it would be a few weeks before we would make contact again.
Well, you could have knocked me over with a feather - I was so surprised by this turn of events! Eighteen days is a fairly long time for a client to go radio silent, especially a client that you've met with only one time. I'd really convinced myself that it was time to close the chapter on that family, so that I could move forward.
Suddenly, I found myself 'back in the game' so to speak.
* * * * * *
This evening after finishing up tutoring another high school student I headed over to the fancy organic foods store to pick up some special ingredients for a special Father's Day gift my sons and I were planning to bake for my husband - a decadent dark chocolate and raspberry layer cake from the Bon Appetit website. (The recipe photo was jaw droppingly sensual, so chocolate-y and full of raspberry... we just couldn't resist!)
As I was wheeling my grocery cart down the aisle toward the store's bakery section to look for some frosting inspiration, I thought I heard someone call my name. Turning my head slightly toward the left, I glimpsed blond hair and a familiar looking face smiling at me. "Oh wow," I thought. "It's that mother! How funny that I would not hear from her for almost three weeks and then in 24 hours receive an email AND run into her at the grocery store!"
"Hi!" I smiled back. "Great to see you! I was so relieved to hear from you."
Swiftly but smoothly she cut me short. "It's nice to see you too! I'm very sorry that it took me so long to get back to you. We're looking forward to working with you...
I'd like to share one piece of advice with you," she added. "May I?"
"Of course!" I replied, bracing myself. After all, I'd just asked her over email for honest feedback!
"Never assume the negative about yourself in any situation," she smiled. "There is NO-ONE out there that wouldn't LOVE you. You're fantastic."
She then went on to give me a more detailed explanation around the gap in our communication, and we talked pleasantly for a few minutes about travel plans, Father's Day and scheduling for the next appointment.
"Well, I'll let you get going ~ you have a cake to bake!" she twinkled, and then gracefully moved on with her shopping.
"I'm so glad I was wearing a decent, matching outfit," I exhaled - and began to rerun our conversation in my mind. Out of everything she'd said, it was her first phrase that really stuck with me:
Never assume the negative.
"Do I do that?" I wondered silently as I began to continue down the aisle with my cart. "Do I often assume the negative? Or am I just pragmatic, realistic?"
Examples popped into my mind about the many, many past occasions when I'd hoped for the positive only to deal with a harsher, less generous reality:
- Job interviews where I'd been called back for multiple meetings only to have the offer slip through my fingers in the final round,
- Boyfriends I'd tried to give the benefit of the doubt until forced to recognize that if you find silk panties under the driver's seat of their car that aren't yours... it's a pretty strong sign that the outcome of the relationship isn't going to be good,
- Extended family talking smack about my lifestyle choices under their breath ~ yet plenty loud enough for me to hear every word...
- Children falling ill right before major events like weddings, graduations, special parties, vacations... causing us to defer a lot of joys
Over 35 years I've definitely come to a point where I try not to get my hopes up about much. While I don't typically think of myself as a pessimist, I try not to count my chickens until they've hatched. I don't like getting let down, and I'd definitely rather walk away first ~ especially if I sense that I might get hurt.
I suppose that approaching Life with this perspective violates the core principles of the Law of Attraction that I've been trying so hard to learn recently! I'm supposed to bring myself into alignment with all that I most want, until my entire body and spirit actually *feel* the sensations of joy and contentment that would come with achieving all of my heartfelt goals and dreams.
Today's surprise meeting at the grocery store seems like a prime example of Life reinforcing the core spiritual philosophies I've been studying lately, using this mother as a megaphone. "Never assume the negative about yourself," she advised. She might well have added:
Look for the best... and project *that* energy into the world.
Don't let fear of hurt or loss enter the equation at all.
Assume love, assume success -> and success and love will find you!