Have you ever had any experience without expectations? What was it like? Were you disappointed? Were you surprised? Was that surprise pleasant or disruptive?
In an earlier post (If we only touch one), I mentioned the idea that we are ‘sleepwalkers’ and that I hope to share my experience in ‘Waking Up.’ Many of us tend to go through life, filled with so many expectations; we never entirely experience Life. Sadly, this tendency to live predominately on expectations rather than living experience can affect anyone from any culture and any social class.
I spent many years being driven by my expectations. My expectations, and the reactions to them, were heightened by my active drinking and drug use. However, when my expectations were not met, I responded much the same as anyone else. I became angry, judgmental, aggressive, or defensive. Rarely do I recall being happy about being wrong in my expectations, unless I was wrong because I expected the worst. In which case, this tends to start a trend of pessimism, which can be just as harmful.
Going through our day, believing we know what is about to come or what results will be received does not contribute to our happiness or well-being. It takes up the time we could actually experience Life. When we learn to let go of our expectations, we open ourselves to be more receptive to whatever happens. This is not to say we should not plan our days. Or have set goals or dreams, on the contrary.
Experiences can only happen at the moment, right here, and right now. It is what happens when we do not have expectations of what will come and stay tuned in to what is happening in the present. But our expectations have nothing to do with the present moment. Expectations are all about the ‘what if’s, what might be. And they rob us of the experience of our current actions. We can plan our futures, set our goals, have our dreams, as long as we Live in today!
In the words of Mel Ash, “The Universe is only what you experience without expectations.
“Aspire to inspire before we expire!”