Expectations lie at the heart of human suffering.
We develop an image of the life we want, set things in motion to achieve it, and then expect the outcome for which we’ve worked and schemed and plotted. When it comes, we are briefly satisfied and slightly smug.
And almost immediately, we are hungry again.
We expect more and do what we feel is necessary to acquire it.
And so it goes.
Worse, when our expectations are not met, things are not good. We sulk. We brood. We blame. We lash out. We become vindictive.
Things fall apart.
It is better to live without expectations. Rather, live in a state of expectancy. Live in hope and joyful anticipation, while cultivating a deep, authentic acceptance of whatever outcome our lot may be.
This perspective truly informs the heart of my philosophy. Or so I like to think.
Yet with surprising frequency I am tripped up by the expectations I didn’t know I had.
I thought things would be different – better. I thought my brilliant plan was logical and sound. I thought I’d feel better once I’d set it in motion. I thought I’d feel relief. I thought I would be able to move on.
I did not think I would be flat: deflated and empty. I did not know that I expected resistance to my plan. I certainly hadn’t anticipated the hope I’d had that I would be opposed, that conflict would arise and lead to a new and better plan: a strategy. A way forward.
I had no idea.