Life lessons often provide immense wisdom if you are open enough to see it and prepared to accept it. Over the last few years I have finally gained the wisdom that had been slapping me in the face for most of my life. This past month I faltered in my ways and allowed myself to be bulldozed by it. Shakespeare shared the wisdom… “expectation is the root of all heartache.”
Having expectations of others is what lets me down, not what they actually do or do not do. It is when they do or do not do something that isn’t in alignment with what my expectations were. That is a slippery slope. People (and even situations) will never live up to the expectations we put on them. They will be who they are and do what they do. The picture in my head of how things should be or how someone should respond is what was messing me up. My heartache was being caused by my own expectations and for some reason feeling people should respond or give of themselves the way I would. What a silly notion.
I have learned in a new way to effusively accept people for who they are, where they are and how they respond. I have gained a deeper understanding that my response is my choice and I have released the feelings of guilt, angst or worry about my responses. I do what is right and in alignment with my core set of values, morals, manners and outlook on life. I have expectations of myself. I hold myself accountable.
Earl Nightingale has said “the world in which we live and work is a mirror of our attitude and expectations.” Now that I have rid myself of the learned behavior of having expectations of others my world is a mirror solely of my attitude. Leaving the expectation out makes room for people and situations to surprise me instead of disappoint me. Focusing on my attitude, my mindset and my overall outlook on life has been the key to the freeing of expectations in my space. There is no longer a vacancy for expectations. I instead have hope.
As human beings we are consistently and constantly evolving with the ultimate goal to become the absolute best version of ourselves. Our evolution is filled with a multitude of lessons learned…sometimes multiple times. Every lesson we are a part of is an opportunity for gaining wisdom, direction, understanding and clarity. Success and life milestones equally fill our evolutionary timeline. Embrace who you are and where you are at any given moment. Embrace others in that same way. Doing so will allow for expansion, acceptance and more meaningful relationships. A key to peace and happiness is to not have expectations of people or situations. You cannot control what you get out of people and life but you can control what you give. Focus on the giving.