Letting go of the Expected...

It's another Monday morning just outside of Charlotte, NC. My prior neighbors in and around Boston and NYC are battling the elements of snow and ice.  I'm looking out on a land of mud, fog and naked tree branches. It's like late March/Early April in New England. The time when you can feel nature beginning to stir, yet it still looks all...blah and ugly.

As I sit here this morning, coffee just finished, kids still sleeping, husband off to work, dogs quietly resting, I am thinking how this scene reminds me so much of life. Usually, right before sometime amazing happens, life becomes rather: blah. You can feel the underlying tension. You can see the want for growth and change, but it has yet to happen. That's the moment when most people give up.That's the moment when people lose their dreams. That's the moment when the work just seems too much; to continue in the yuck and for what?Nothing is happening that you expected.

Perhaps, you've been in this place before. Perhaps you are there right now. Maybe you're struggling with a New Year's Resolution to change your eating habits and aren't seeing the change you expected. Perhaps a relationship with a loved one isn't going the way you expected. Perhaps your work isn't going the way you expected.

Do you notice something in the last three sentences and how they ended? The words "you expected." Ah. Take a moment and think about those two words.


According to the dictionary, expected means:
past tense: expected; past participle: expected
  1. regard (something) as likely to happen.
    "we expect the best"
    synonyms:anticipateawait, look for, hope for, look forward to; More
    • regard (someone) as likely to do or be something.
      "they were not expecting him to continue"
    • believe that (someone or something) will arrive soon.
      "Celia was expecting a visitor"

      Let's discuss this for a moment. First, why are you living your life in the past tense? To live your life in the past tense means you miss out on the here and now. You won't get to enjoy now until the future, but the slight of hand here is since you didn't enjoy it in the here and now, you are unable to enjoy it in the future.

      Why are you holding others to your expectations? Who made you the one to whom those expectations are to be held against? Are you in control of it all? Are you omnipotent? I'm not. Sometimes I wish I was and then I realize that the duty to do so would be beyond my comprehension. :)

      If you remove expectations from your life, you can remove much disappointment. What?! I know you're shaking your head at me going: Girl, are you CRAZY?! If I remove expectations, then how will anything get done well? How will I be able to hold someone to a level of quality if I don't expect it? Girl. You HAVE gone crazy!!! 

      No, I haven't gone crazy. Think about this for a moment. If you remove what's expected from your dynamic with a relationship, you will then enter into each moment with that person in the here and now. You won't be approaching them and looking at them with the lenses of the past, reacting to things that have happened in the past and projecting them into the present/future thereby creating a self-fulfilling prophecy. 

      Can you imagine that? Imagine a world where you entered into the relationship with your spouse without bringing forth all the old baggage into the here and now. Imagine if you thought of their actions without negative intentions. 

      Imagine if you approached your relationship with your child in the here and now and not with fear of the future and fear about what decisions they may (or may not) make. 

      Imagine if you approached your boss/job with no prior pre-conceived notions about their negative responses but instead met them today with an open mind, open heart and lack of fear.

      You see, when you let go of the expected, you make room for the unexpected - which can lead you down the most amazing path. Now, I'm not saying don't expect an abuser to not abuse. In no way am I suggesting you enter into a relationship based upon abuse and expect them to do different. I've been there. I know that one. That won't happen. 

      I'm talking about relationships which are based upon the basis of a mutual care and respect for one another. Can you imagine how that would change your interactions? Can you begin to fathom how your world would change? Can you think about how that would feel? To live in a world, for yourself, where you approach the exterior world you live in from a place of interior peace, love and giving rather than fear, tension and self-protection?

      When you change how you view the world, you change your interactions with the world. 

      Today, my dear Reader, approach one relationship you have in the here and now. Approach a loved one consciously, not with the past in mind during an interaction, but in the here and now. Listen to what they are saying. I mean REALLY listen. Don't be thinking about how to react to it. Act with it. Be WITH that person. Approach them with love, compassion and an understanding that the past was at the past. Let it go. Do this over and over. Day after day. Over time, and probably a short amount of time, you will begin to see the relationship shift from one of distrust and fear to trust and love. 

      I'd love to hear from you after you've done this experiment.  If need be, do it with yourself. There is nothing wrong with taking yourself on as this experiment's project. Maybe that's who most needs your loss of fear and criticism. 

      Today, my dear reader, decide to become the rose buried beneath the snow and hold strong and firm to the belief that you are meant to bloom and be beautiful. We are all beautiful.