One of the definitions of the word expectation is: “a mental image of something expected, often compared to reality.” Expectations and control are bound together. Whenever your thoughts revolve around a belief that something or someone should be a particular way, you remove yourself from the creative possibilities inherent in being open to receive. You are unable to see what is, so there is no way for you to have clarity. You get trapped by the desire to control what happens to you.
Your expectations show up in wanting those around you to act in ways that you think are best.
Another definition of expectation is: “a standard of conduct or performance expected by or of someone.” Do you want to waste your life in meeting someone else’s standards? Do you want to limit your expression in life by measuring your inner fire against the “expected performance”? How can you know the truth of any situation if you are caught in the image of the way things should be?
When you step aside from expectations, you open the door to the vastness of the possible. To discover that takes courage to look beyond what you already know.
“What’s the first sign of a lurking, hidden expectation you didn’t know you had? Pain! People don’t do what we want, things don’t happen quickly enough, the weather doesn’t cooperate, our bodies don’t cooperate. Why are these moments so painful? Because our minds are focused on a static, unchanging, ‘me-centric’ picture while the dynamic unfolding of a broader life continues around us. There is nothing wrong with expectations per se, as it’s appropriate to set goals and work, properly, towards their fruition. But the instant we feel pain over life not going ‘my way,’ our expectations have clearly taken an improper turn. Any moment you feel resistance or pain, look for — and then let go of — the hidden expectation. Practice giving yourself over to what you don’t want or didn’t expect. Experience the growth that can come from ‘not getting your way.’ Let the line at the store be long. Let the other person interrupt you. Let the promotion or bonus go to someone else. Let the nervousness about your future make you shake. Be where your body is, with your spirit driving it, not where your mind is trying so desperately to take you, to some ‘better place’ where there is no upset.” ~ Guy Finley
Take a breath. Release it. Take another. Devote some dedicated time of concentration/meditation. It doesn’t need to be hours of quiet, perhaps only 15 minutes. Then allow the question to simmer within you through the weekend. Let responses bubble up into your awareness. Notice new ways of thinking, of images or ideas that arise spontaneously. Pay attention to your dreams. Let it happen. Be aware. See where it leads you next. Let yourself savor this process of receiving from yourself. Don’t judge whatever comes up, just receive it. Make notes.
You may want to share something from this process. Sharing is an important way to anchor an insight in your body. It leads you to deeper insight. It can stimulate action. Feel free to use this arena to share whatever moves you.