Expectation Vacation

It's All Good

It’s All Good.  No expectations.

It’s a double-edged sword.  A two-faced creature.  The stuff that either makes dreams come true or shatter into itty bitty tears.  It’s the glue between relationships – personal or professional.  It’s what raises the bar for a lot of us or, if not met, can disappoint and crush.

No.  It’s not love.

It’s expectation.

Expanding on yet another post I wrote almost two years ago about boxes and labels and expectations being a big part of that, I’ve come to another crossroads in my still-developing life.  I’ve been willing to accept that I cannot be contained, cannot be categorized, and I’ve reveled in that freedom.  But it wasn’t enough.  Others still criticized and pushed their expectations on me to be a certain way and, though I stood my ground, I’d found old habits threatening to resurface.  I felt guilty and wanted to bend to their will.

So this time around I’d made it perfectly clear.  Do. Not. Expect. Anything. From. Me.  I am who I want to be, not who you want me to be.  Not my job to fulfill your expectations.

It was easy for me to wrap my head around the fact that their expectations were their issue.  Not mine.

Some people complied, some people didn’t and that, honestly, annoyed me because,  damn it.  I expected them to respect my request.

Ahh, but I’d gotten caught in my own box of expectations, didn’t I?  It didn’t occur to me until my cousin mentioned that she was waiting for someone to do something and it wasn’t panning out.  She then added, “Oh well.  That’s my expectation.  Gotta let it go.” This ah-ha moment hit me like a nice 2 x 4 across my ego.  I had to release the expectations I had of others.  Yeah, I know.  I said “duh,” too.

It’s brilliant.  Obvious and simple, but brilliant.  I’d thought of all of the little expectations I’d had of other people and I just had to laugh, starting with the expectation that others will release their expectations of me.  A close second was how events or situations should turn out.  Unpredictable at best with all of the possible outcomes, it was far easier to release that expectation then to try to control something I had no control over.

So, yeah.  This expectation thing is a two-way street, a journey that if everyone took, could very well circumvent a lot of frustration.  As much as we might like to, we cannot control and we cannot predict what another will do.  We can only observe and try to respect.

Happy Valentine’s Day!

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About Diana Murdock

California-grown, writer of contemporary and YA paranormal with enough energy to write, raise two boys, run, and dream.

Posted on February 13, 2013, in Friendships, Labels, Life Lessons, Personal, Relationships and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 16 Comments.

  1. Diana, I always like your ruminations because you cut right to the heart of the matter every time. If we can rid ourselves of expectations in general, life becomes much easier. As parents, of course we keep expectations of trust, honesty and other values of our children and we offer them the same as well as love, shelter and care. However in our every day interactions with others I have come to the same conclusions as you and find it to be extremely freeing. Believe in yourself and live a life of respect as you follow your dreams.

    • Hi, Patricia. Of course there are the expectations you mentioned and I agree that the biggest issues involve those people outside of our immediate family where the expectations seem to take on ginormous proportions. Maybe because there are so many of them :). I used to spend countless minutes worrying about others, minutes I could have used to further my own goals. If only I could have them back….

  2. Great perspective and smack on accurate. Thanks for the reminder.

    • Hey, Ginger! Great to see you here. I’m happy you like this post. We’ve trained ourselves to be so accommodating to the point we lose ourselves sometimes. Every little push in the other direction helps. :)

  3. Hey Snooby, this is one of the best of your wisdom musings. It rings true for all of us. Thanks.

    • Thanks, Popo. I’ve been struggling with this one for quite some time. I think I now have it under control. I ask myself a lot, “Is it my problem?” Then I adjust my focus from there. I hope this helps one or two people.

  4. Ah yes, I can pin quite a few disappointments in my life from people not meeting my expectations. And then there are the pet peeves of people failing to meet my expectation of common decency and common sense. I can almost taste how freeing it would be to let those go. Thanks for the concept to mull over. :)

    • It’s just one less thing to deal with, Angela. It’s easy to set ourselves up for the fall. What’s crazy is that the other person has no idea what they’ve done. Hugs to you, sista.

  5. Don’t expect expectations to pan out. Set your own goals and enjoy getting there. Great post, Diana. You always make me think of someone doing it her way– one reason I really care about you!

    • Thanks, Dannie! As the months go by, I find myself narrowing down my priorities and making the most of my energy. Otherwise, I’d be writing from inside a padded room :). I love having you in my orbit, Dannie. xxoo

  6. Hey, guys go through this too! Great post. Looking forward to following yourt blog. Signing up for your emails.

  7. Hi, my dear D. You know, sometimes we just forget that there is no one else on this planet that is remotely like us. There are some similiarities, but no one is as special as we are, individualy. We’d all be better off if we would just remember how much each one of us should be respected and cherished. Thanks for the reminder.
    I hope you’re well. *big squishy brotherly hugs*

    -Jimmy

    • As always, Jimmy, it’s great to hear from you. I don’t know if it’s because we’re afraid to be alone or an insecurity that compels us to insist that others be and think like us, but I supposed there is safety in numbers, but there is a danger with too much of a good thing.

      Big hugs back atcha!

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