Let Go Of Expectations

let-go-of-expectationsMany of us are taught that in order to have a successful life we have to set goals and have a lot of expectations. This way of living also causes us to miss a lot of life and take many things for granted.

Expectancy can be a very tricky thing. There is often a mismatch between expectations and the result. For example, you’re walking down a flight of stairs and you expect to get to the bottom but you miss the bottom step, fall and twist your ankle.

We project expectations on all kinds of things and then when the mismatch happens there is a problem and we have created the problem where the problem inherently does not exist in the nature of the situation.

We do it in very simple ways such as when we leave a friend of family member we’ll often say, “see you later,” but in reality that should be, “maybe I’ll see you later,” because there is no guarantee of tomorrow for any of us. It may seem morbid to think about situations and life this way but we don’t have to dwell on the fact that we might not be here tomorrow but the reality is that at one time or another you’re not going to see that person later. At some point we are all going to leave our physical bodies and return to spirit.

It’s important to have some sense of that when you say, “I’ll see you later,” it should be said with an asterisk. God willing, if the Universe works things out that way you’ll see them later. It’s all conditional. In reality we are all walking ticking time bombs. It takes many processes to keep the physical body going. If any one of them goes bad, it’s over and one day it will be over for every one of us. For example, one day you may be sitting in a doctor’s office and the doctor will tell you something you don’t want to hear and that’s if you’re lucky.

Perhaps the first and biggest assumption we make every morning is that we are going to live today and see tomorrow. One day that assumption is going to be wrong. Considering that this day might be your last doesn’t have to be morbid, rather considering this helps give us more life. This is why it’s so import to live in the present moment because that’s all we have. Letting go of expectancy, and realizing that the future may never happen really wakes us up in the moment; it is what gives us our life in the present which is the only life we ever have.

Even if the future does come along for us it’s never going to quit match the expectation we have for it and depending on how forcefully we insist on achieving our goals we can create a lot of problems for ourselves.

For example, if you’re a parent this is something you have to deal with because you’re going to have some expectations for your children, some concept of what your children are going to be like or what you want them to accomplish. To a certain degree those expectations will be fulfilled and to a certain degree you will be disappointed.

To the degree you are able to let go of the rigidity of your expectations and see that you are not dealing with a concept or the object of your own unfulfilled desires but rather a real person who has ideas and tendencies different from yours; to the extent you can open yourself to that, you will avoid a lot of misery in your relationship with your child.

In this way your children are going to become wonderful teachers for you because they will say and do things that don’t match your expectations which then creates an opening for you to learn and grow.

  • Anna Schilder

    This really resonated with me, as I’m the type of person who is more than a bit of a perfectionist. I really wish I could be more of a care-free, live for the moment type, but I always find myself coming back to this strong needs to make deadlines, to stick to goals, allowing myself very little free time or permission to go off the beaten path and just explore. It’s definitely something I need to consider. I think my problem with expectations is that I have too many of them! I don’t have any children yet, but I’d love to be a mother one day and would hope to strike a good balance by then of goal setting and go with the flow!

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