June 30, 2010
They can get you into such trouble.
Try an experiment — for a week, or a month, or a year, or from now on. Eschew expectation. Catch your expectations. Catch yourself reacting to someone because they didn’t meet your expectations. And then purify yourself — release your expectations, set them aside.
Do you expect your siblings to be reasonable? Let it go. Do you expect your lover to be appreciative? Let it go. Do you expect your grown children to make intelligent choices? Let it go. Do you expect your boss to be fair? Let it go.
Do you expect your siblings to be reasonable? Let go of that expectation, and then you become the very epitome of reasonableness — with your siblings and in every aspect of your life. Just try it. Let them be who they are, and you become what you desire from them.
Do you expect your grown children to make intelligent choices? Let go of that expectation, and use your own intelligence to acknowledge that you have no idea whether their choices are intelligent or not. You have no idea where any particular choice will lead them, what path it will set them upon, what big-picture outcome it will engender. Let go of that expectation, and see how your relationship with your children changes.
Do you expect your lover to be appreciative? Let go of that expectation. Then, instead of ragging on him for not being appreciative, you practice being appreciative of your lover! You practice being appreciative of your life! You practice being appreciative of yourself.
And no, I’m asking you to become a doormat. I’m asking you to let go of your expectations. You may find that you love the way it feels to not be irritated because someone isn’t living up to your expectations. Let go. Try it.
Too often, we are offended when others don’t meet our expectations. Offended, disappointed, angered, saddened, outraged. Most of the time, letting go of those expectations is the best course of action. And please don’t say no it isn’t until you’ve tried it.
Just try it. A week, a month, a year. Give it a chance. I am willing to bet that you’ll find that you are happier; you’ll find that you are more like the person you want to be. When you let go of expectations you hold for others, when you begin to allow others to simply be who they are, it can be like a little miracle. You begin to be curious about the other, you begin to feel ease in your relationship, and you begin to feel freedom within yourself. Your expectations hold the other hostage, and your expectations hold you hostage.
As with everything, this takes practice. You’ll have to be diligent in order to catch them. You’ll have to be courageous to release them. But you can do it. Eschew expectations.
And please let me know how it goes. Share your experiences with me and with all of us.
And let’s not forget that you have expectations of yourself, many of them handed down from others, that are worth letting go of, too.