7-15-18 Expectations


Expectation is defined as believing that something is going to happen or believing that something should be a certain way. 

The problem with expectations occurs when we expect something to happen without good reasons for that expectation. If I believe that my expectations alone will bring me what I want, I am using magical thinking and setting myself up for disappointment. We know from past experience that certain things make us happy . I know from experience that my morning cup of coffee will almost inevitably give me a little bit of happiness.

I can’t make a cup of coffee just by thinking it into existence; I have to take the necessary steps to make it happen. Expecting life to always turn out the way you want is guaranteed to lead to disappointment, because life will not always turn out the way you want it to. And when those unfulfilled expectations involve the failure of other people to behave the way you expect them to, the disappointment also involves resentment. “Expectations are premeditated resentments.”

Ever ask your teen in the morning to do the dishes and come home from work to find they’re not done?( Well Ok, this is not a reasonable expectation)

Ever go to drive somewhere, and it takes you twice as long because of construction? There is nothing wrong, it is just your expectation and lack of acceptance, that you permit to override your intelligence and serenity and, causes unhappiness.

You do have the capacity to step back, look at a situation and recognize the factors you have no control over, accept reality, what is happening, and maintain your sense of well-being. Or you can choose to indulge in a juvenile fit of, I am not getting what I want and will throw a temper tantrum and really enjoy being a victim.

Talking openly about what you expect from other people might improve your chances of fulfillment. It is hard for someone to live up to your expectations when they don’t know what they are. At the same time, it is unrealistic to think that merely communicating your expectations clearly is going to get people to behave the way you want them to.

Each of us, as an adult, (or so we like to think of ourselves), has our own desires and agendas. We want to do what we think is in our own best interest. If we expect other people to act in ways that are not consistent with their own interests, they will probably resist our expectations, leaving us resentful. Furthermore, that person is likely to resent you, too.

After all, how do you feel when people expect you to do things that are inconsistent with your own goals and values?

Let go of expectations and find something to be grateful about, even when things do not turn out the way you hoped, and you will experience serenity rather than resentment.

If you expect negative things to happen, you are promoting and looking for that and will probably find it, even if you have to invent something negative about any situation.

Acquiring high self expectations can be good because it pushes oneself to try harder. The danger of high expectations comes when we fail at one of these goals or standards and we become very hard on ourselves and don’t give our selves a break or any credit for trying our hardest. We will fail at some point in our lives, but the strongest people are the ones who can take that failure, learn from it, not hold a resentment, against another or ourselves, and keep trying.

Having low expectations can be negative if what is meant is we are not willing to try. But low expectations can be healthy if we try the best we can, and are accepting of the results. 

I am responsible for doing my best, I am not responsible for the results.

I expect to do my best, and accept what happens.

The mind/ego wants the quick fix. The pill that will make it all better — fast. There is no quick fix for transformation. Think about how long the mind has been in a pattern of negative self-talk or judgment. It will take time for the pattern to change.

And not only time, but patience, commitment, and practice. Over and over again – with a theme of gentleness with the process. Give yourself the gift of patience.

Initially I came to the practice, (meditation and recovery) with a great deal of expectation and misunderstanding. I regarded it as a tool to use to get what I wanted and to get rid of what I didn’t want. This included having pleasant experiences, getting rid of my negative qualities, gathering knowledge, being better than others and improving myself. I certainly didn’t practice to let myself be, to observe my experiences with curiosity, or to embrace my suffering.

I had no idea how to let myself be and experience whatever came up with no judgment.

To know it is all a part of the richness of my life, and to learn to observe and appreciate it all without judgment. To expect nothing, to strive and remain calm and accepting.

Hang on to your expectations and you can expect to be dissatisfied when they aren’t met, and unappreciative when they do come true – after all, you expected to get it and felt that you deserved it, so why should you appreciate it?

Integral to happiness is appreciation. Appreciate you are alive, the sun, the clouds the things that  you like, the things you don’t like that help you grow. Do you have a heart full of ME, Self, separating, isolating you from most other things. Or a heart of appreciation for ALL things. Can you feel the difference? Appreciate many small things every day!!!

Aspire to be kind. Expect that you will have to re-apply this aspiration many times every day. The wise person protects their serenity like a jewel.

How do you fill your bucket? One drop at a time.

The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step.

The great arises out of small things that are honored and cared for.

Heart Of Recovery web site    fcheartofrecovery.com