Expectations have turned into somewhat of a dirty word in most circles.
We either look at why can’t we be satisfied with the present moment, as is, all the time? Or our expectations lead us to a heck of a lot of disappointment.
Let’s face it, we’re human.
Our nature as complicated and contrasting as it is, also puts us in a state of expectation, even when we are okay with this moment. Ten minutes from now, I may want to eat dinner and expect a great dinner. I want to go on a run; I expect a great run. I want a great date; can’t wait!
There’s also the category of your “expectations.” We’re always expecting something… Are you expecting what you want or what you don’t? What you get is up to you!
Now let me clarify. We don’t always control what we get or how it comes to us. And yet, there is something to how we “expect” things, change and people to be participants.
If your expectation is that change only comes through crisis or force, then you will focus on that aspect of expectation. Believing nothing good happens for you, is a downer. It seriously hampers your mood and tude.
It sucks as a way of life.
Expecting pain and suffering by anticipating it and unconsciously helping it along, because you believe this…makes every road you take a CHALLENGE. Even when it doesn’t have to be.
Now on the other extreme is the expectation that everything you want will come to you.
You live in this state of expectancy that when it doesn’t come, severe disappointment sets in. And when the disappointment comes, it’s not easily handled. Often, it becomes a baseball bat to beat up whomever disappointed you or to turn it inwards and beat yourself up.
When it comes to expectations, I have a few tips.
First, accept that you’re human, you have expectations. It’s easier than denying you want something, because the energy of denial causes physical and emotional distress. So, accept that you want your own kingdom.
Second, don’t live in an expectation as though it is a dream. Take action toward what you want to happen. The more you actively participate in having what you want, the more it has no choice, but to come to you.
Third, just because it happened in the past, doesn’t mean it’ll happen again. Circumstances are never exactly the same. The mind may believe it is reliving a past moment, it can, in fact, be very similar, but it is still different. Acknowledge the similarities, but look at who you are now, not back then and realize you can make a different decision leading to a different outcome.
Fourth, try to broaden an expectation. Often we can become so focused on what we expect to happen, that it comes, but doesn’t look how we wanted it to and therefore, we may feel cheated or not satisfied with the result. Open up your mind to not attach to it being a great dinner, because the food tastes so good, maybe it’s the atmosphere or your companionship that make it a “great,” meal.
Fifth, live in the moment. Yes, it is a contrast in terms of expecting and focusing on the here and now. BUT, they are actually simpatico. When I live in the present moment, I’m focused on what I am doing that will lead me toward being in the place to receive what I expect. If I keep planting the seeds “presently,” my expectation is to have a garden full of flowers.
Sixth...deal with disappointment. It happens all the time, focus on your resilience and knowing it is not the end of the world. What can you learn? And then let it go, don’t make it part of your identity.
Enjoy….and please share any thoughts you may have on expectations!