Why waste time exploring Expectations? Who cares? What does it matter?
I daily observe and witness the backlash of Expectations. Some are subtle, while others compound and intensify into something quite frustrating. As humans we tend to carry around the idea that people “get it”, of course they know what we want and how we want it, right!? Doesn’t everyone do it that way, want it that way? The truth – NO!!
We are all unique, raised in different homes, impacted by our own special families, brought up in a culture and way of thinking and believing that is exclusively our own. Therefore our Domesticated Expectations are individualistic in addition to those that we have chosen personally for our way of being.
Notice today as you walk around, how does someone in your office prefer their desk? Is it neat or cluttered? How do you drink your coffee versus your friend? Do you make your bed, but your partner never makes the bed? Are you one of those people that has the personal Expectation to work out everyday? Do you Expect people to open the door for you? Etc..??
Tomorrow we will dig into our assumptions around Expectations – the powerful boomerang effect that can have some really negative impacts. To prepare for that, think about how you do or do not communicate your Expectations. Do you Expect your family to know what you want, how and when? Do you Expect your partner to know certain things that you have never communicated? At work, do you assume that your boss and colleagues know how you feel and what you like/want?
As you more deeply explore and become acquainted with your relationship to Expectations (attaching worksheet here, just in case you missed it) you can empower yourself to make choices. Do your self-imposed Expectations serve you or not? Do they enhance your life experience? Create a sense of peace, expand love, spread joy, open up more, etc..? Or do they burden you? Limit your capacity to relax and enjoy? Impact your health and well being?
As you become aware of your sneaky Expectations, you will begin to understand how they can often cripple and harm your relationships and quality of life. Do not criticize yourself for any of them, for many came into your world through the Domestication process. An example might be – what is your Expectation for cleaning the space you live in? Your Expectation for who you should date, marry, share time with or even talk to? Your Expectation of what you should be wearing?
As I journey and keep vigilant awareness around my thoughts and choices, I notice that some Expectations have served me for years, such as my workout regime. However, like all things, our needs and desires morph, so it is important to adjust accordingly. Recently I have been exploring what is my “new” Desired Expectation with regard to working out. I no longer enjoy or wish to push myself in the gym as I once did, it does not serve my present desires and uses. Thus, I have been releasing my Expectation of how my workouts “should” be to readjust and adapt to where I am now. Whew, what a sweet gift it is to release such pressure and judgment.
All things in life change, transform and morph. Impermanence is a given. So what we once Expected from ourselves or others may not serve today as it did yesterday. Be open to the discovery that some Expectations have never served the TRUE Self. Have fun continuing to explore your Expectations, releasing those that do not serve to open the space to BE (check out The Beingness Project post for more).
This is a HUGE week, for Expectations impact our daily lives way more than we realize. While they are not “bad” per se, they often have very powerful impacts due to their quiet relationship with assumption. During our Domesticationprocess, we are taken from our innocent, open, non-judgmental babyhood, into our journey to become an adult. As we grow up we are bombarded from all angles with teachings and “ways to be”, that form our foundation of expectations.
Let’s do a simple comparison – a child born in China is raised culturally and societally very differently than a child born in the United States. Now let’s expand that difference even more, a child born in a small village in China versus a child born in New York City in the United States. If we then add on religion, school, and family, the layers of domesticated expectations are intensifying and expanding.
What gets harmful about expectations is the quiet dance it has with assumption. We assume that others know and understand our expectations, that we do not have to share them, or communicate what we expect. However, as I shared in the video, expectations can be subtle or prominent.
Some examples of prominent expectations are the societal, cultural and religious “rules”. Such as, you are expected to wear clothing in public, you drive on specific sides of the road, you eat with utensils or fingers in a distinct way depending on where you live in the world, you practice or take part in certain religious holidays or activities…. By now I think you get the idea, I could fill pages with the domesticated expectations we are groomed to live by.
The ones I want to explore this next week are the more subtle unspoken ones, for they directly impact our most important relationships. Again I must remind you that these expectations are taught and learned through our domesticated upbringing. The good news, we are at Choiceto hang onto our expectations or change them. Even better news, if we learn to communicate our expectations we change everything, freeing ourselves and others from the burden of assumption.