Thursday, February 19, 2009

Letting Go of Expectations

Expectations are lies that we tell ourselves.
--Mike P.

I've done a lot of work over the years on letting go of expectations. When we hold an idea of how something should be, whether positive or negative, we become disappointed when things don't follow that idea. And when things do go the way we think they should, we are in danger of building our egos up to dangerously prideful levels.

Recently I've discovered that I am going to be a mother, and I was overwhelmed by the constant stream of worry that comes along with that. While a lot of it is hormonal, it does not excuse me from the fact that I am responsible for letting go of the way I think things should be.

This experience is challenging because I lost a child before and have to constantly keep telling myself that I do not know that things will turn out that way again. I have a lot of physical limitations due to some complications and surgery I've had to undergo in order to keep my baby safe.

I was not expecting to be required to spend most of my days off my feet and to be required to quit my job. I was not expecting to go from working mom to housewife in a matter of 24 hours due to circumstances beyond my control. I was not expecting to have to give up church and other spiritual activities I participate in to stay home and be healthy.

But I have done these things and more because I know that this is what is required in order to be healthy. I can't say I have done them gracefully, as there has been a lot of unnecessary kicking and screaming and whining on my part. But I find the less I whine about the way things are, the easier it is to deal with. It is okay to not be okay, but by clinging to my expectations I have found that I remain unhappy, which is also bad for my health.

So what did you expect today that hasn't happened? How have you dealt with it? If you truly want to be free, tell yourself today that you will not expect anything, and see how you feel when the day is done. If you like the results, keep doing it. While it is impossible to have absolutely no expectations at all, lighten your load and enjoy the results. I know I do.

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