Expect the Expectation

Expectation you may ask! Well, well, well!

I once was in fear of this word, shied away from it, became anxious about the thought of it, questioned it like I just did not want to understand it and avoided it – all without even being aware I was living by it. The truth be told I was far more governed by it than I thought and hey, what was that doing for me?

This year it is a word I am noticing. Words can pop up from nowhere and they seem to be on repeat appearing on occasion until we will start to take notice of them. Perhaps we are meant to and there is something in its appearance. That is what I experience anyway.

From what I am seeing in all its appearances, it is clear that at times we can hold the greatest expectations on ourselves. Is that kind? No, but it is what we may do. In reflective practice we can work on unpacking this. If we dig deep, we can find the connection or what we need to hear and grow for the harvest.

For a long time, I held great expectations on myself. At the time I never would have thought they were expectations. I would have just thought it was that voice of mine, the noisy girl, the one who was talking all the time, non-stop with so many expectations.

This was so loud in my head and unavoidable for me. I was working with them, guided, living and existing by them. These expectations held me accountable and restricted. The greatest expectation!

But what did I learn from this and how did I re-wire the mind to start to use the expectations for a realist healthy reality? By listening to it. Expectations can be healthy and good. They can also be unconstructive; though when needed they can be a driving force for good and spur us on to achieve and be our true self. For me it needed to be in moderation and respectful.

Having the lived experience of Mental Health recovery, my gratitude sits with the expectations I held on myself – what did I want, what did I expect? For a long time, my reality was what versed my expectations, and at times altered by perception.

I had a discussion today with someone about behaviors that seem controlling on ourselves. Though they may be expectations we put on ourselves, we do not control them but rather live by them! We discussed are expectations restrictive and constructive or not? Listening to this can tell us much; it can also be what we hold, not control.

Unavoidably and actually, I do not think I want to avoid it. This look at expectation is really showing up for me at the moment. It’s like it is deliberately being placed in  front of me, whether it’s for insight, opinion, reflection or shared experience, it is there.

It has led me to an expecting way to speak about what supported me. When I needed it the most, I learned one thing – to be true to myself, be your team you need to be and be you! That acceptance verses some expectations is the enabler.

Embrace what you feel your expectations are for you, not what you are expecting of them. Add them like a dash of water, helping to inspire you though not cover you. Have balance and sense of presence for that place of understanding, connection, and acceptance! The assurance to sit within, know oneself and mindful and consideration of your expectations.

There is a peace in the kindness of allowing yourself to be you!

Heidi Fabian Lee
Heidi Fabian-Lee is a mental health advocate, helping people understand, recognize and walk their mind's map with worthiness, peace and purpose. She has a true personal understanding of what it means to be kind to yourself with mental well-being. After overcoming her own eating disorder 23 years ago, she knows first hand what it's like to work through a mental disorder. From her own experience and recovery, Heidi is passionate to assist and shed her light on eating disorders and mental illness. She is hearing a calling to work with people on a holistic level of connecting with oneself to understand and navigate the mind through relatable connections of self-worth, kindness and self-understanding. As an artist, Heidi has always believed art can help show us our way and guide, even enlighten our path. She can often be found cooking, creating teas in her apothecary, feeding the birds, tinkering in her garden, rescuing plants, laughing with her cat and enjoying life with her 3 beautiful children.

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