Having expectations about life is not the problem. Being attached to those expectations is. ~Judith Lasater
How often are we upset because we expected something of someone, but they didn’t follow through? Maybe we get upset because we went to a party and expected things to be one way and they weren’t. Maybe we expected our kids, spouse, parents to act one way and they didn’t. What if these expectations are what get in our way? I have always struggled with expectations and what they impose on myself and others, but wasn’t sure of the balance until I came by this quote on Judith Lasater’s facebook page. I think it says it all.
It is okay to have expectation, just don’t hold on to it so tightly. Also, if you have expectations of others, share them with those people. They may not know what you want from them. I know this helps my family. If we start the weekend with a talk about what we expect the day goes much easier. We lay down a “no whining day” or “no acting ugly to one another day.” Then if the expectation is broken I have a clear language to return to without getting upset. The expectation is not the problem, this is a good thing. However, if I get mad each time the expectation isn’t met, or take it personally, then it is a problem for me.
What about yoga class? You go to a class expecting a certain type of class. After the teacher sees the energy of the class, maybe a gentle practice is in order; not the sweaty class you were hoping for. If you are still upset at the end of class, you are holding on too tightly. You had control whether you enjoyed a different class or stayed upset that it wasn’t what you wanted. Loosen the hold and enjoy the ride, you might have missed an opportunity for transformation and some peace.
For your mindfulness this week, let go of the hold expectations have on you, those that surround you, and all of your experiences. If you have an expectation of someone else, share it with them clearly so they know what you want or need. Then let it go. See how it feels. It just might be worth a try.