I’m healing from expectations. It’s amazing how many expectations we can have of others, how often they don’t meet those expectations (they probably aren’t even aware of them) and how much that can mess us up!
I’m nearly 40…. Whilst 40 isn’t as “old” as it used to be (perhaps it’s only 40-year-olds who say that?) I think the only people who have an issue with age are those who haven’t made best use of their time so far. I confess I feel I’m one of them. I feel I’m still learning things I should have figured out in my 20s. I have struggled this life-time to learn the simplest of lessons that (at least it feels) most people got long before now. THAT is frustrating.
One of my lessons of the last few years is about expectations. When I (finally) settled down to have kids I had expectations of how great it would be; how much the looong-awaited grandkids would bring the family closer… Now I realise that having kids is a big change and one that you honestly cannot predict. My husband took a second job so I could stay home and parent – it was a great opportunity…and it nearly killed me. Or I nearly wanted to kill myself. Parenting is hard. Parenting alone is miserable. If you’re nodding right now..sucks right?
Now that I’m (mostly) out the other side of that early-parenting, sleep-deprived torture, I can see that it was my expectations that hurt me the most. If I hadn’t expected my husband to be around and hands-on, I would have got comfortable with my own books and meditation nights a lot sooner. If I hadn’t expected my family to all pull together and be an amazing support, I wouldn’t have struggled so hard with the hurt and disappointment.
At the end of the day, I can’t make decisions for other people – I just need to spread my wings and find another village for my kids. It’s a work in progress but it’s happening. I don’t spend EVERY weekend alone with two kids anymore…after a whole week of being alone with 2 kids…after several years of being along with two kids…you get the picture…
What’s my point? People can only hurt you if you have expectations of them. You can ask, you can invite, you can make steps toward creating opportunities…but just don’t sit back expecting people to do what you think they should or hoped they might…embrace what is, right here, right now. Whatever that looks like for you – it just IS. Embrace the IS-ness.
That might sound a bit whacky (I’m straight I swear – only hallucinations are lack-of-sleep related) but when we accept that others are the way they are, we can see clearly how we fit into that, how we react, how we perceive them…and then we can focus on us.
Forget them, what is it I need? How can I take steps to make it happen for myself. I am responsible for my happiness and it’s time I took that seriously. I AM responsible. I still find myself thinking “yeah but he…” and I have to stop and say, accept what IS, why is that upsetting me? What is it I am asking for and NOT getting from him/her? OK, so taking responsibility for myself, what can I do about it?
And you? What can you do about it?
Letting go of our expectations of others allows us to centre ourselves and create the life that we want for ourself. It’s a massive responsibility, but if we only have one life, perhaps it’s time to make it the best life…