Our world tends to get very cluttered with expectations, real and imagined. Expectations from ourselves, from others – expectations of ourselves and others. It’s a good deal of energy to expend on something that isn’t necessary or helpful.
What would happen if you released all expectations and took everything as it is? Not only life situations and the other people around you, but also yourself. You’re spending each and every day putting invisible pressure on everything about yourself and your life. Then, inevitably, you’re disappointed. Disappointment in yourself and those around you isn’t a pleasant feeling. Luckily, it is completely avoidable – if you do some work around your expectations.
You are normal for having all these unconscious expectations – you’ve been subtly trained to operate that way since you were born. Now it’s time to begin unlearning everything you’ve learned that isn’t a positive force in your life. That includes your expectations. When you expect something of someone – either yourself or another – you aren’t seeing what’s truly in front of you. You are bringing in another element, perhaps idealization or judgment or pressure, instead of moving from a space of acceptance. To be honest, expectation doesn’t actually change anything. It only creates conflict, dissatisfaction, and sadness.
Make a list of the expectations you have of yourself. Bring them out into the open. Face them and notice that when you do so, they begin to seem excessive and unreasonable. Some may even look ridiculous to you. Now you’re starting to loosen your resistance towards letting them go. Spend some time thinking of why you have them, where they came from, and how relevant they actually are. Then think about how it would feel to let them go and accept that part of yourself instead. Take the same steps and go through your expectations of those close to you, of your work colleagues, your community, perhaps even society at large.
When you start to look into yourself and find what causes you pain, you take ownership and begin to find ways to free yourself. The work is gradual, steady, and sure. Keep going, even when it feels as if you’re sliding backwards. Often that happens right before a breakthrough. You’ve got this. You can learn to accept the circumstances of life, the people around you, and yourself – exactly as they all are. From this space of compassion and awareness, you find greater happiness. Good luck. I love you.