Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Expectations

I've been thinking about expectations—maybe because of my trip back east. Expectations trip us up all the time, don't they? We expect certain things of ourselves and other people and if they don't work out that way, often we get upset.

I've been working on allowing myself to have expectations FOR MYSELF but detaching from the results. In other words, I'm setting goals for who I want to be and what I want to do but accepting that things may not work out the way I intend—and that it's okay if they don't.

That does NOT mean I don't do my best to accomplish whatever it is I've got as an expectation! I most certainly do. But it means I don't get upset with myself if things take a different direction.

With my son, I know what I wish for him. I know the hopes and dreams and fears I hold when it comes to his future. The challenge is to offer guidance when he will let me and at the same time acceptance of who he is, as he is. The challenge is to focus on what's good about him and what I love and build on that rather than focusing on the difficulties.

It seems to me I knew this when he was little. I fought for staff in programs he was in to see him as an individual and not a diagnosis and to build on his strengths, not just focus on areas where he was behind his peers in development. I know it consciously about myself as well, it's just that emotions don't always match the knowledge!

But think what the world would be like if we could all focus on what's right and good in the people around us. Think what the world would be like if we all reached out with love and encouragement to our children and ourselves. Think how different our lives would be if our parents had been able to do that with us!

So I'm thinking about expectations this week. How about you?

Sending blessings and safe and gentle ((((((hugs)))))),
April_optimist

6 comments:

gypsy-heart said...

I was nice to find your words here this morning. Such wise words they were too!

So many good thoughts...this is one of my favorites:
"I've been working on allowing myself to have expectations FOR MYSELF but detaching from the results."

I think that is very wise...allowing it to unfold without judging ourselves. Sometimes what we see as failures are not failures at all, and in time we understand that.

Thank you for a thoughtful and wise post!

Good and healing energies to you!

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April_optimist said...

Gypsy-Heart, Exactly! Thank you for understanding.

Beautiful Dreamer, LOL! See my latest post.

jumpinginpuddles said...

oh focus how quickly we lose focus when we feel it isnt going ok, dont know why we thought of that but we did, you are learning no matter what the result still try to achieve what an awesome concept

Karma said...

Expectations are very big for me. I tend to have huge expectations for myself and for those who are close to me. And then I get angry with myself when I don't meet up to my expectations, and angry and frustrated with others. I think that your idea of focusing on the positive in ourselves and others is very helpful....It helps bring us back to the present moment when we get lost in expectations.

April_optimist said...

JIP, For years, when things weren't going well, I wanted to just run and hide. Now is MUCH better because I can stop, take a deep breath and remind myself IT'S OKAY.

Karma, Maybe you grew up like me--in a family where every mistake got ridiculed. Or maybe it's just wanting so badly (for me, for so long) to just be good enough. And in my mind that meant perfect. What I'm realizing is that EVEN IF my goal was to be as perfect as possible, the optimal strategy is to relax, let go and trust that what I do will be okay....