In general, I have always held the belief that expectations are perfect, fertile ground for disappointment and therefore suffering.
However, they are part of our daily lives. They help us orientate ourselves and provide a sense of safety in regards to what is happening around us and to us. They can be useful coping tools to deal with stress and uncertainty. However, they (can) also pose as barriers to personal development.
Thus managing expectations is a crucial part of our lives.
It is very important to differentiate between goals, plans, and expectations.
Goals provide targets and direction. They are extremely important and also great for our health.
Plans are slightly more detailed goals with variations. Where we invest a good amount of mental energy into developing an image, a mental structure that we aim to achieve.
The main difference between the last two and expectations is ‘Attachment’.
Attachment brings inflexibility. It reduces our perception of the present -which is now based on our past- and it provides a false picture of our future.
Whether we attach ourselves to people, beliefs, expectations and so on. All we do is create a false sense of safety whilst reducing our own freedom to act and live in accordance with nature.
Which is ever-changing and ever-transforming. Unexpected and beautiful.
Now dear Reader, how is this relevant to you?
In my humble opinion, expectations are one of the biggest hurdles in the healing journey. For both the practitioner and the client.
Healing has a clear goal. But reaching, or rather maintaining health is not a linear journey.
As a practitioner, my goal is always going to be to ease your suffering. However, if I attach myself to an immediate goal -expectation- I will break the connection to the present, the present version of you.
Likewise, as a patient, it is important for you to understand that healing is a never ending journey. But that does not mean you will need a practitioner by your side for the whole length of it. Actually, you will meet a lot of different people, who will play many different roles -often in an unexpected way.
So if expectations create a false sense of safety, how can we attain safety?
First off, true safety can only exist internally. With the increasing experience of the recent pandemic and war going on, it is hopefully becoming easier to understand that external safety is a mirage.
We can spend our whole life building it, and it can disappear in a matter of hours or even seconds.
Safety comes from building a nourishing, warm, safe environment within ourselves. Our minds, our hearts, our souls – use any terminology that is aligned with your spiritual/religious beliefs.
We can only affect the hear and now. We can only claim this immediate space, this immediate moment. The only thing we truly have power over is our response to internal and external stimuli. So, let’s work on that wisely.
How are you managing expectations?
Ps: As always, these are just my personal thoughts. My personal truth. I respect everyone’s subjective truth and I am also humbled by the knowledge that there are many more advanced players on this planet. Playing the game of life and consciousness.