I have pleasantly discovered that by lowering my expectations I have opened the door to freer experience and less emotional bullshit. The world through expectations is one fraught with land mines. I’m too old and life is too short to dodge the slings and arrows of others, let alone the bombs I create for myself. That’s what expectation is. A bomb that you have constructed based on your own beliefs, feelings or needs. I know this all sounds like disenfranchisement and a completely cynical view of the world but I assure you it’s not.
Let’s explore some expectations and see how they really work.
- I expected to be educated by the public school system
Buying this expectation cost me a large chunk of my self esteem.
I have also since learned that learning happens for everyone,
every day, every where, no matter what.
- I expected my father to love me unconditionally.
This also cost me a huge chunk of my self esteem.
He couldn’t give what he didn’t have.
He has to live with his choices while I have found power in letting go.
- I expected both my girls would attend college.
They are individuals with their own specific path.
I have no control over what makes them happy.
They are their own people.
- I expected to be independtly wealthy.
There are things in life more valuable to me than money.
- I expected to hate growing old.
As I get older my self esteem increases exponentially.
I am relishing the release of preconceived notions.
I enjoy taking advantage of my growing wisdom.
My gray hairs are a beautiful silvery gray.
There are many others that would just bore the socks off everyone. My point is that when you expect, it is a game of emotional roulette.
I have been on a journey of shattering expectations. Recently, my husband helped to goad me to break free from an expectation of women that has always bothered me, sitting to pee. When I was a girl, my mother’s friend was at our home with her son Brandon. Brandon and I were summarily dismissed to the backyard so the two friends could drink and gossip the day away. I heard him exclaim “I gotta piss!” I turned to witness him pissing on my mother’s roses. I was five at the time but it fascinated me. My husband knows that since that day I was always envious that men could pee standing up. Just another one of my weird quirks.
We were watching an episode of Honey Boo Boo and the girls had wanted to do what I had always wanted to do. They attempted with a funnel. It did not go well but my husband started the conversation. “I bet if you stood up and put a little pressure behind it you could do it without a funnel.” Feeling inspired I stripped my pants off and ran out of the house to see what would happen. It was a success. I was excited by this and we talked about it more when we were in bed. He challenged me to give it a try in the house. I did and I haven’t sat down to pee since.
Letting go of expectations has led to some amazing discoveries for me. I suggest you try it, too. Just don’t expect anything and anything could happen.