Healthy Life Resources

With Chaplain Paul


Carly Simon had a hit song that was on the charts for a long time titled “Anticipation”. As a love song, it had a great appeal. Some of the lyrics are:

We can never know about the days to come
But we think about them anyway, yay
And I wonder if I’m really with you now
Or just chasin’ after some finer day

Anticipation, anticipation
Is makin’ me late
Is keepin’ me waitin’

Anticipation! When it is attached to hope, positive dreams and acceptance of things in the moment, it can be a good thing. The song ends on a positive note…..even though the outcome of her dream is not known…..
She stays focused on the now:

So I’ll try and see into your eyes right now
And stay right here ‘cause these are the good old
days (These are the good old days)

So, are these the good old days for you? Or, has your anticipation turned into something very different, something very negative and painful?

When I was a Hospice Chaplain, I learned some valuable lessons about anticipation…anticipation that can be very difficult to deal with. Families and sometimes even the patient would get caught up in what I would call “Anticipatory Grief” They would be so absorbed in the pending loss that was coming; they could not be in the moment with each other. They lived in the pain, fear and trauma before it really happened. They couldn’t stay with the opportunities that were still available for love, joy, connection and meaning. They couldn’t be in the now. They were in the future living the anticipated pain. It was almost impossible to console them or help them. I often felt so powerless.

In my work now as a Chaplain in Holistic Medicine I see another disturbing manifestation of anticipation.

  • Anticipation that I won’t get better,
  • Anticipatory Guilt,
  • Anticipatory Failure and Anticipatory
  • Rejection

These are just a few. These dynamics are so destructive and painful. People end up living in a perpetual state of “Flight or Fight” so that it is impossible for them to maintain “Purpose”, “Meaning” and “Hope”. They become detached from their spirituality and end up inflicting their bodies with a load of toxic, negative emotion that fosters illness and disease.
If you are struggling with negative anticipation, I can teach you how to eliminate these destructive dynamics and to be available for the “NOW” of your life. For more information, please feel free to contact me,

Blessings and Peace,
Chaplain Paul

Chaplain Paul R. Johnson, M.Div.
Director for Medical Spiritual Wellness
Prevention and Healing, Inc.
Office 314-432-7802 • Cell 314-440-1527
E-mail pjoh420@aol.com