Check Your Expectations at the Door
Expectations are sneaky little b*tches, now aren't they?!
You see, when we move toward more of what we want, we also need to take a look at what trips us up. Expectations fall into this category.
I was recently asked to check my expectations on a couple fronts. The first was camping with my kids.
As an Aquarius, I can be both a visionary and an idealist. We were spending a week camping lakeside on both the Lower Arrow and Slocan Lake. I had these beautiful visions of being immersed in nature having all this time to meditate, write, play guitar, paint, work on the new course I'm birthing...
Guess how many of those things actually happened? My expectations didn't match the reality of being the only adult with two boys.
So I let that go, shifted gears, and took it as an opportunity to drop into my inner child and play and be silly instead. We adventured and explored, rode bikes, and skipped rocks.
It was wonderful and letting go of my expectations allowed me to simply be present and go with the flow.
The other place expectations often show up is in our relationships, whether it be with a partner, family member, or friend. We can feel really hurt by people when they don't meet our expectations.
It's important to recognize that when we feel hurt or disappointed by someone, expectation is often at the root. And this requires an assessment. I always ask myself:
Are my expectations realistic?
Is this relationship important to me? Is it healthy for me? Balanced and reciprocal?
Can I check my expectations here and simply accept this person or situation for who or what it is? Do I feel that I need to speak my truth? And what is my goal in doing that, especially if my words are not received?
Is this even a relationship that I want to continue to put my energy into?
Answering these core questions helps give me a clear road map forward. In self-help/growth circles, we talk a lot about not having expectations. But that's actually not quite right.
Although we likely want to check and leave our unrealistic ones at the door, it's perfectly normal to have expectations.
For example, I have expectations around how I want to be treated in relationships. If I feel that someone is mistreating me, I'm not going to fight, pull, or push up against the person to try and change their behaviour. I may voice my concerns, but if I'm not being received or met, I don't push the expectation. I put up firm boundaries and point myself toward more of what I DO want.
And that's the invitation here. While keeping focused on what you do want, don't overlook those things that trip you up from getting there.
You don't want your arms so full of baggage that you can't get through the doorway.