Take a Step Toward Freedom: Letting Go of Expectations
Happiest of New Years, my friends! It’s all shiny new! If you’ve experienced more than a couple of new years like me, you know that as we move forward, we carry the previous chapters in our back pockets. We’re creatures of habit, so it’s pretty easy to fall into attempting to predict and plan; to expect.
We expect based on:
past experience…stories we’ve heard or tell ourselves…evidence/ facts we collect…the truth…what we tell ourselves is the truth… assumptions…“shoulds”…generalizations…a lacking of information…hopes…past hurts…the list goes on.
One thing that’s for sure, we use expectations to protect ourselves. It’s hard to be caught off guard if something happens that you were expecting to happen. It feels like if we “know” what’s going to happen, we have some control.
I’m sorry to burst the bubble here, I often rely on expectations too…but there’s absolutely no way to control/ expect how things will turn out in a month, a week, or 5 minutes from now. That’s true for everyone on the planet. We’re right some of the time, so we start to trust our ability to expect and predict. But the truth of the matter is, we’re all together in a completely unpredictable flow of time.
If you’re anything like me, it’s hard to look at my lack of control for more than a few seconds. It’s like when I consider the cosmos and how small we really are. It’s hard to grasp, and scary to try and consider the vastness of the universe. We can’t really comprehend it, and are often afraid to try for very long.
Aaaand I just walked away to play with my dogs.
What I’m getting at here is the vice grip we all attempt to have on what will happen…it’s possible to let it go. And seriously…why wouldn’t you??
We know we truly can’t predict the future, so having expectations just means you’ve awarded yourself some serious tunnel vision. How often do you find yourself resentful, disappointed, shocked, hurt, or panicking when it doesn’t go how you expect?
There’s a quote by Rumi that I have written on a sticky note on my desk that goes a little something like this:
“Start every morning with a beginner’s mind.”
Think about that for a moment. How would that play out in your life? What would it look like tomorrow if you walked in with a beginner’s mind? Your neighborhood? Your city? Your partner? Your job? What was it like to see all of these for the first time?
Remember the wonder that was possible when you had NO EXPECTATIONS??
Now I know with experience comes familiarity and knowledge, so it isn’t really possible to walk into every situation with absolutely no expectations. But you can get damn close. If you expect that you have no idea what the day will bring, you’re in a way expecting anything by making room for everything. How’s THAT for philosophizing. :-D And believe me, living that way means you have so much more energy.
Letting go of expectations doesn’t mean you aren’t prepared, it means you’re open to ALL of the possibilities. It’s the most prepared for the future you’ll ever be.
What will be your entrance to releasing expectation?