My workplace is currently experiencing an epidemic; pregnancy. There have been dozens of babies born so far this year, and more to come. The trouble with expecting to see those who are expecting when I wander around my workplace is, I am never surprised when someone announces the news. Think about this; this is the forming of a new body, a new little person, about to come into the world, and it takes place inside another human being…and it doesn’t impress me, because I have been over-babied lately. What the heck?!
This is a good metaphor for living with no expectations. A lot of the time, I walk into a scene or place or relationship, expecting to be treated this way or that way, to have these things happen or not happen, and to generally feel a certain way. There are several problems with this way of thinking. One, what is the craziest thing you could have ever dreamed up? Now, that thing you just thought of, imagine what else could happen, if you stretched a little higher and opened your brain a little wider. Here is the issue, we imagine things, based on our own experience, and they become reality, through expectations, sometimes. When they are not met, we are suddenly saddened, and disappointed in the human experience. When we craft the expectations, usually we are going off of something that has happened already, and creating a similar situation in our heads, which we expect to happen.
Why do this? This is a limiting action, and put into experience, it limits our interactions. We are not dreaming big enough, because we have painted people and places into little corners where we feel like we can predict what happens. It is our way of saying, hey, I know what’s going to happen, or at least I think I do, and that means there are no pleasant surprises.
But guess what? Like a baby, there are many unexpected and beautiful surprises, too.
Just a couple of examples : 1, surprise birthday parties/ flowers/ gifts; , 2, meeting a fascinating stranger who happened to sit next to you on a plane/ train/ bus;, 3, thinking the movie/ concert/party was going to be lame ( expectation) and being pleasantly surprised when it turned out to be the most fun you’ve had in ages, and so on.
What if we release all prior expectations or let go of the outcome of the situations we put ourselves in, and truly try to live in the now? Life would be handing us little experiences to bring us joy left and right, and we wouldn’t see them coming because we were having so much fun in the now. You’ve probably heard, when someone is giving job or relationship advice, ‘ the right one will come along when you least expect it!’.
Well, get on with your least expecting days, the expecting days are over. Amanda