Our expectations are simply strings of control we exert over people and situations. When we expect, we want to control the outcome of our interactions with world, be it emotional, physical, financial or even spiritual. Therefore, we tend to expect a lot from people we are close to, be it family that is our parents, our spouses, our children, our partners or friends. We want them to satisfy our emotional and physical needs of security, survival, pleasure and even self-worth. When things do not go as we expected we feel hurt and experience pain and grief. We expect a lot from God too, and when our expectations of Him are not met, we call ourselves unlucky while deliberately overlooking all the other wonderful things we are blessed with. Like a puppeteer we want to manipulate the strings and be in complete control of how the show must go on. At the same time, we are also tied down because of the expectations of the world on us. Our family expects us to fulfil our share of responsibilities be it emotional, physical or financial. The world expects us to achieve our goals and be successful. All these burdens of expectations pressurize us and tie us down making us fearful and full of mistrust.
Involuntarily and habitually, as soon as we initiate any action, we have a built-in expectation about the outcomes and results.
Why do we have Expectations?
We assume that people think like us.
This is not true because even people we are attached to, are all individuals with their own mind maps, perceptions, beliefs, fears, limitations and strengths. And this is what conditions their behaviour.
We want that life should behave as per how we think.
Life works and behaves in a way that so that we shape up to be the best version of who we are meant to be. Unless you understand the laws of life, you only fight and resist it, rather than flow along effortlessly with it.
We have selfish interests
We want the outcomes in our favour, so that we are more comfortable, richer and happier. But life is designed to take us towards self-realisation. Therefore, people and situations, will behave as per what is right and not as per what we want.
Insecurity and fear of change
We wish to control the outcome as per our desire as we find it hard to leave our comfort zone.
Then Is it possible to live without expectations?
Yes of course. Living without expectations is the only way through which we can flow along with life. Having expectations means exerting control. And when you TRY to control both Life and people, both lose their natural ability and intelligence to give you what is due to you. When you control your family they either become too dependent on you or too reactive. When you control your friends, you will see them slipping away from you or behaving abnormally. When you control your career, it will give you pleasure when you assume that you are on the steering wheel and also a lot of fear and anxiety when you see you are not. Similarly, when you are controlled due to expectations of others, you cannot think and act normally. You either become a people pleaser and submissive or unnecessarily reactive and a rebel.
Life must be lived without expectations. You have to immerse yourself in the experience called Life and flow with it without resistance. This requires trust and surrender. Whenever you create an action, do your best and leave the results to Life. Enjoy the spontaneity of Life. Don’t take things too seriously or personally. Everything that happens in your Life expands your awareness and makes you learn. The window that you think you are seeing life from is actually only a peephole. People and situations will widen it further and expand your vision to realise that you are Life itself.