‘Blessed is he who expects nothing, for he shall never be disappointed!’- Jonathan Swift (quote) Well I just laughed when I read this, and its true isn’t it? And maybe also a little bit sad too.
‘Sad?’ I hear you ask, ‘why sad?’ Well, because we do have expectations don’t we? We expect people to treat us with manners and respect, we expect our partners to be faithful and loving etc. etc. And I feel that these are reasonable expectations to have.
But what I want to discuss today is ‘Expectations’, the ones we create ourselves, the ones we make up ourselves and stick rigidly to throughout our lives.
You know, the ones that say things have to be this way or that way, and when they aren’t, we feel hurt or upset or disappointed, by our own making, I must add, because everyone is different, and so we all have made up different expectations, and this is why when we meet people or partners for the first time, it is probably not a bad idea if possible to discuss what we expect things to be like. And it’s probably a good idea to re visit these expectations from time to time to keep our relationships in good condition, as we can change our expectations without letting the other people in our lives know, and then we are hurt and disappointed and angry all over again when we don’t get what we expect, and then we feel that we are not understood, and this leaves the other person feeling somewhat baffled into the bargain!
So is it good or bad to have expectations at all? Well I guess that’s a personal choice, but having been through all of this for many years, I have recently come to the conclusion, and what is working for me, is not to have rigid expectations. I am allowing things to happen at their own pace. I no longer stand up and say this has to happen this way. So I’m finding things very different. It’s a little scary at first, because you’re kinda letting go of controlling things. But it’s about being open to possibilities happening differently to your preconceived ideas of the way things should be. And things are happening to me in my life that probably wouldn’t have happened before, and it’s all good, so I have no reason to complain.
Another area where we have expectations is in the area of giving. Sometimes we give with the expectation of receiving something in return, it may be a compliment or a gift or our time and we bargain in our heads, if I do this he or she will do that. Or we may be stingy and say they didn’t do or say this so I won’t do or say that. People if you’re on this tit for tat path I urge you to try another trail, because that path leads somewhere away from the village of Happiness, I can tell you.
Again, I recommend giving without expectation of return and see how things change for you. Try saying to yourself I lose nothing when I give a compliment, gift or my time. Expect nothing and you will not be disappointed, but you may well be surprised at some stage!