The motivation of my write up is triggered by some bittersweet aftertaste which you experience when your expectation doesn’t meet the outcome. You might expect the crystal clear aqua-blue sky with rainbows emerging from a distant valley and you get dark clouds and mist instead. I tell you if what you get in real and what you had expected don’t come any close it will be a disaster. One might not express but deep down he is hurt, the wounds might not be visible but the deep-rooted scar remain unsheathed until it is again made right. It is futile to think that someone else would come and ease the pain because that is another expectation.
Everyone’s expecting something, whether it’s from your siblings or from your parents, whether it’s from a friend or from your better half we all end up falling for the same trap. We not only expect from our social circle but also from people whom we don’t know, and who are actually complete strangers to us. We expect our friends to respect our feelings, we expect them to be there when we need them, we expect them to not to betray, not to be talking behind our backs. What about parents? We expect a lot from them and in turn they do the same, an important portion of our life’s road map is shaped on it. Our spouse or our better half would tend to occupy most of our lives, and this relationship is again much elaborated in nature. The most important of them is the relationship that you share with yourself, many a times we go harsh on ourselves based on the expectations we create, the kind of relationship you share with yourself would define or become an underlining principle to understand whether you have positive expectations or negative expectation from yourself.
Why do we expect?
I guess it’s in the human nature to expect, I can take the foundation of this understanding of whatever spiritual insight I have. Human beings have the profound need to hanker for happiness, when we are ‘expecting’ it inertly means we want to belong, we want to be secured, we want to be assured and everything combined we want to be happy. We don’t want the opposite of it, we don’t want anybody to show our vulnerabilities and scratch our wounds. Why do we get offended when someone we don’t know behaves rudely with us? At times we feel so bad about it that we start to sulk.
It’s very comfortable to say, the question might even confuse you, but if you try to dissect you will understand or at least try to see things from that angle too. As a spiritual being our constitutional position is to always remain in bliss or happy but in the material realm we tend to move away from this position. We in turn start to ask for recognition of this position from the nature. It’s always functioning and existing right from the time of your existence for eg. When a baby cries it is simply expecting the caress of her mother, you will often see a baby becomes quiet and peaceful after feeling the mother’s affection. It is simply the outcome of baby’s expectation. Therefore, it won’t be incorrect to say that to expect is natural and is perhaps in our DNA.
I don’t write to educate people on what to expect and what not to, I write for myself, to find solace. Now, when I wrote the prior sentence I can see that I am expecting to find solace…peace. At times I might even find it, and yet many times I may not. Therefore, understanding yourself is primary, whether you find peace or not is unimportant, but what do you do to attain that is very important.
Right and Wrong Expectations.
I really don’t have the answer to that. I don’t know what set of expectations are right and what are not. But knowing your truth and accepting as it is brings one closer to the answer. So what’s the truth that I am talking about? It’s the moment, this very moment…do you know what your reality is this very moment? Or perhaps you are bombarding yourself with questions and sulking. The more you resist, the more power you give to it. You can’t fight out of it, perhaps the metaphor can be understood by recalling the situation when you get ready to go out for a party and it suddenly rains, you keep wishing, ‘Rain, please go away’, but all you get is a set of downpour resulting into flooded roads that spoiled your evening. At times your wishes might work though. Generally, we would make ourselves understand and accept the situation. When it comes to people it works differently, we curse, we get upset, we become indifferent and surround ourselves with negativity. At times we switch on the self-pity mode and blame ourselves too. That is sad, I have been there, I know.
So what can be done to deal with ‘Expectations’? Well, nothing can be done or rather needs to be done. Just like we cannot do anything regarding the ‘Rain’, it is futile to expect stop ‘Expecting’. It is natural for human beings to expect. But we can change our approach, our outlook for the same.
If you have reached till here then let me also give you two words to deal with it: Assumption and Love.
Well people, stop assuming! If you thought that the person for whom you have done so many things and in return you didn’t get what you expected then perhaps stop and think. You took out time to plan and bring happiness to that person but it didn’t quite match up to ‘your’ ‘Expectation’ when they reciprocated. Every single person on earth is unique and they have their own unique ways to express. If you have gift to express your love in a special way then it is wonderful, but it need not be necessary to expect the love in the similar way from others. So stop assuming that all individual are same.
You just don’t have any better way to deal with it except for love. These days it will be difficult to understand this term because it is diluted. Diluted in such a manner that it is increasingly becoming synonym with expectation. But love is only love and nothing else. Even if the earth becomes dry, lifeless and bitter the rain will fall over it making it full of life again. When one tends to love without any conditions, that itself is a blissful position, that itself is the right and positive way of ‘Expectation’.
Next time you are surrounded with a somber feeling when you were let down, know that it is but natural to expect, but if you are in harmony with your ‘self’ you shall do just fine. What I try to do is to try to live ignorant of any understanding of expectations…I fail every now and then but when life gifts you happiness in small amounts in the absence of it, I surround myself with surprises.
*Image courtesy: Google images.