Expectations get a bad rap, but expectations can tell you a lot about yourself.
Do you expect things to go your way? How do you respond when they don’t? Do you get anxious, upset, or do you feel a kind of satisfaction, like you knew that was coming?
Do you expect things to go wrong? How do you respond when they do? Relieved, like there are things in this world you can depend on?
Do you wait patiently; knowing things will come together in the end even if they don’t look like they will on the way there? Do you expect to have your needs and desires met and satisfied, or something else?
Maybe you expect things to go your way by using your will to control all manner of people, place and thing to get them all to go how you want, usually with some absolutism, some intolerance, and some friction. This kind of human control with its resistance, heat, aggravation, manipulation of self and others is the kind that gives single-minded-purpose and expectation a bad name. It’s also useless.
But maybe you tell yourself that you expect things to go well, but underneath you are stressful and anxious, playing reruns in your mind of all the times things did not go well; all the times you needed things to go well and they didn’t, or worse yet, all the times you expected things to go well and they went horribly wrong.
In this case, even if you tell yourself that you expect things to go well, you are really expecting to be disappointed – again.
See if you can notice your expectations and how they play out in your life and choices this week.
Instead of demanding or predicting or choosing your expectations, see if you can observe or be curious about your expectations instead.
Notice where and when you expect trouble, failure, challenge, disappointment, as well as where you expect things to happen easily.
Notice how you expect things to go easy in this area of your life, but you expect things to disappoint in that area of your life.
Notice how you respond when your expectations are met, and how you respond when your expectations are challenged by some other outcome.
You know that sensation that comes when you expect there is another step in a stairs only to discover there wasn’t? Such a jarring sensation – see where, or if, in your life you have that experience.
I grew up in the kind of circumstances that trained me to expect that I was going to be in trouble. Addictions and erratic emotionality played a big part in my family, so the ground was always shifting and we never knew what was going to set off my father’s rage, only that it would be set off. Between that and Catholic school, my expectation of being in trouble wasn’t so much projection as observation!
The many years repetition laid down a very firm foundation. It was no longer an expectation as much as it was the way of life. Since I expected to get in trouble, specifically with authorities like my father or the Church, and since I am an Infinite Being and an extraordinary Manifestor, my life keep going on with my getting in trouble with authorities.
I did get in trouble with school authorities and later with supervisors in my jobs and career.
Then I started following my true calling as my way in the world – I started my own business.
I did not expect things to happen at all, in a way!
I discovered that I had an expectation that what I did, did not matter.
I expected to work hard and especially to emotionally try really hard, but I expected it to lead to nothing but the disappointment and frustration I had always experienced around work!
I did not know I had that expectation when I started. This was very useful information for me!
If you have an expectation of disappointment or challenge or loss, you will surely have that experience. In fact, you won’t recognize there are options!
What you expect, happens.
Once I saw that I expected my efforts to amount to nothing, I could revisit what experiences had taught me to expect that. I did healing and clearing work on those experiences and expectation, to raise them out of their stuck position.
In my new life at the time, repetition taught me that my efforts make a huge difference! The opposite of my original expectation, so much more satisfying and true!
When you can be curious about your expectations, engage in and address their assumptions, stuckness, repetition – whatever they require, then you can deepen your comprehension of yourself and change your outcome. You become a nicer environment to live in, too.
You can migrate your expectation from disappointment to satisfaction, from friction to cooperation, with a little attention, some healing work and a true willingness for things to get better.
Be curious about how you came to expect this or that. Allow this to be a way to engage with yourself – a way to explore and discover and heal instead of to judge or manipulate yourself.
This week notice your expectations and your reactions to them – and be kind with yourself!
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© Delia Yeager, Feb 2015,
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