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Trees don’t have expectations, they just live.

May 3, 2012

Expectations are often at the root of many problems. It need not be so.

Think about it. If we didn’t have expectations of people and situations we’d never have cause to be upset about anything. We expect our friends are going to show up for lunch, that the business contract we signed will come to fruition and that no one will cut us off in traffic. But truly, we can have all the expectations we want of people; it doesn’t mean we’re going to get what we want — even if they promised.

Every person is doing the best they can from their current point of view and level of consciousness. Measuring others against our personal yardsticks is never productive because other people don’t think or have the same beliefs we do. When we impose our beliefs on others, the result is pain and suffering on both sides.

I hear others say that we have to have expectations or no one will do anything. However, think about this for a minute. When we say that we’re making an assumption, without a contractual arrangement, whether it’s verbal or written, people won’t be inspired to follow through on their own word. If we need the threat of retribution to force people to do what they’ve promised, this means we’re not a very responsible bunch. However, if we are impeccable with our word, we will do our best to follow through with what we’ve said and not create pain and suffering in others. (By impeccable, I mean speaking without going against ourselves or the intent to do wrong.)

We live happily and most successfully when we all operate from wanting to do our best because we enjoy doing so and it makes our heart sing — as opposed to being under the whip of a feisty belief system filled with expectations telling us we must perform in a certain way to be good enough. In one case we are living the will of the Creator moving through us; in the other, we are living the will of our domesticated mind. One way of living is fulfilling and limitless, and the other is limiting, controlling and rigid.

Rita Rivera and Meghan McChesney-Gilroy, co-creators of Life Mastery, share this powerful advice: “When life doesn’t meet your expectations, be aware of your emotional reaction and the way your physical body feels in the moment. Imposing our expectations on others and/or ourselves can only lead to disappointment. We experience disappointment as an uncomfortable and disturbing sensation within our bodies which steals our happiness and sense of inner well being. Suddenly our quality of life is altered because we believed our expectations about the way someone or something “should” or “should not” be. In fact, becoming aware of when we use the words “should” or “should not” in our internal dialogue is a great indicator that we’re about to set ourselves up for pain and suffering.

Whatever the situation: It’s not about us. People do what they are going to do and it isn’t always what we want, wish or hope for. If we could just remember this one statement, we could be happy for the rest of our lives. Let’s forgive others for their side of the situation and forgive ourselves for imposing our beliefs, values or meanings on them, for not understanding and for using their actions (or lack thereof) to get ourselves upset.

Bonus remix: choose your mind and respect your self and others on the path. Some will promise with words and not act upon it — that’s what they offer.

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. May 10, 2012 8:54 am

    Hey stranger! Sorry I’m late. I’ve not been reading my usual blogs lately so just caught this one. I totally agree about expectations. We could not be disappointed with anyone ever without them. It’s easy to grasp and understand but can be difficult to put into practice, don’t you think?

  2. May 10, 2012 6:03 pm

    You! Are you kidding, you’re no stranger I’ve hugged you in real life dear. So nice to see your sunshine reflecting ocean again. I pause with a wide grin.

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