No Expectations = No Pain
Most people have expectations about everything and more often than not, they’re unrealistic. The expectations are usually unconscious and not well thought out creating an environment where getting let down, and feeling upset happens often and being completely crushed is a real possibility.
Let’s look at the example of driving - many times people are getting upset because someone is driving too fast or too slow. If we look closely at this, it would imply that our expectation is every single person on the road not only should but will drive at the exact speed that we deem appropriate at all times. REALLY?!?! Does this sound like a realistic expectation to you? Of course not, it’s absurd, however this very unconscious expectation causes countless incidents of road rage every day of the year!
How about something larger…like support during difficult times. Often, we unconsciously think that someone should be there for us in an emotionally troubling time. Most times if we look closely at someone who isn’t there for us emotionally, they have shown us before that they were incapable of being there for us or anyone else in the past. We assume they’ll be there for us because of a title they have like family, long-term friend or spouse. That title doesn’t make them emotionally available to us…it’s just a role in our lives…it doesn’t automatically make them the type of person we can depend on in a difficult situation. If we look at this realistically we would understand that some people in this world are nice people but they are incapable or don’t know how to be there for someone. Well guess what…these people are someone’s spouse, best friend and family member! Possibly yours.
This is why we need to pay attention, live consciously and understand that not everyone can be who we want them to be in all situations. If you pay close attention, you’ll learn who to turn to in times of need because they’ll show themselves to you along the way and build your trust through smaller, simpler situations.
Of course, if we learn not to expect things from others and just live based on what is transpiring in front of us, we won’t be hurt when someone isn’t there for us, we’ll be grateful for the ones that are. If we are truly doing for others without expecting anything in return, we won’t be upset when people don’t do for us after we’ve done for them. That’s conditional giving and you weren’t even courteous enough to tell them: “hey I’ll be there for you in your difficult time but only if you return the favor when it’s my turn”.
So give freely when you choose to give, with NO conditions. When it’s your turn to receive, look for those people who are capable of giving and receive from them. Take some time to look at the expectations you have for different people and situations…they’re easy to find…they’re right where you’re feeling let down. Make adjustments, try to let go of expectations all together and live in the reality of what’s happening instead of what you wished was happening.