When detours, changes and surprises arrive in our life, we are often faced with an unexpected event. No matter how detailed our plans are, and how clear we believe the road ahead to be, there are times when the best plans are interrupted by unforseen circumstances.
At first these detours or changes seem inconvenient, but a surprise turn of events can send you on an unexpected path that can lead you to a deeper understanding of yourself.
Can you trust that life will unfold exactly as it should? Can you let go of the expectations you place on yourself and others?
Buddhists talk about the “wanting mind” and the power of expectations to create suffering, and that’s certainly true when it comes to our relationships and our desire for things to be the way we want them.
Our disappointment, irritation, anger and sadness most often arise because our plans didn’t respond or unfold the way we imagined. I believe we can have plans and goals in life and that we can expect great events to take place, but we forget to allow for the unexpected, and this requires us to let go of our control and be present to what is.
When we believe we know what should happen, we create problems for ourself. Should’s are by definition “expectations imposed by others“. When we fail to do them we will always feel guilty. When I am doing what I think I should do, I often feel resentment, and then I expect others to appreciate, notice, or reward me for my efforts, and that leads to disappointment everytime.
Expectations in life mentally entrap us into the future. If we are constantly expecting and over-analysing how things will pan out, we are not living in the present. Letting go of what others think and how life might unfold, takes time to adjust to and takes courage to change.
So yes, plan for the holiday, the wedding, the baby, the new job, the house etc but always remember, you will never know how or when that may unfold. Everytime I let go and trust in the knowledge that life will give me the experiences I need, I begin to relax and allow.
We have no control of our future and yet, when we live fully in this moment, we can be assured that this is all that matters and then we will have more energy to enjoy each one of these precious experiences.
“Blessed is he who expects nothing, for he shall never be disappointed.” – Alexander Pope
4 thoughts on “Great Expectations”
Great post Karen.
The photo makes this post pop … And reinforces that unexpected change can be cool 🙂
Thanks Val. As you wrote in your post, being neutral is the ultimate goal in allowing life to unfold as it should and embracing those unexpected surprises! Ciao Ciao to you and enjoy your time away in Italy.
It is a delicate balance between planning and anticipating whilst being present and accepting of moment. Thanks for this post. It so gently describes the tugging that goes on in our minds.
Thanks eM. Im definitely always trying to balance this! Have you ever written a book? Your posts are always written so well and with great expression. You would make a great author.