By Paula Bianchi –
When we go about our daily lives, we place a lot of expectations on: relationships, careers, cars, houses, people’s reactions to something, and expected outcomes, to name a few. It’s just something we all do. We can’t help it. But when our expectations aren’t met in the way we expected them to, it can trigger a very challenging mind game based on the emotions we choose to use to deal with our unfulfilled expectations.
A college student graduates expecting to get a job in the career they’ve chosen and trained for, only to be hit with the reality of having to take some other low paying job because there are no jobs available to them in their chosen field. Not only are they stuck in a career that they didn’t want, but they’re making half the amount of money they’re trained for.
Talk about your expectations being blown. Now you’re stuck in a life you never imagined. This is one example of how expectations can trigger so many different kinds of mind games.
You’re a bride and you expect the perfect wedding, but things begin to go not as planned. There’s something wrong with your dress, the flowers, food, or settings. Someone you wanted to be there, can’t or won’t join you. It rains or snows on your perfect day. But worst of all, the groom backs out just before the ceremony. All these things can disappoint or shatter you, if you let them.
Sometimes, our unfulfilled expectations can be a blessing in disguise. The groom backing out gave the bride only a moment worth of heartbreak compared to the heartbreak she would have endured in a loveless marriage.
If someone you love, doesn’t love you back, or they love you too, but they’re not able to be with you, it can really screw with your expectations about the relationship you wish you could’ve had. You fantasize about what you can do to achieve your expectations with either a person who doesn’t feel the same way as you, or a person who wants to be with you but won’t do what they need to do to make it happen.
The key to both of these situations is to love yourself first. Don’t chase after someone who’s made it clear they don’t feel the same way, and don’t put your life on hold waiting for someone to finally be available. Believe that you’re worth more than that.
Suppose you’ve been with the same company for many years, and you expect to be promoted for all your hard work, but they keep over-looking you for that promotion, even though, in the past, they may have promised you one.
In this situation, how many times are you going to let them shatter your expectations? In my mind, three is the magic number. Three strikes and they’re out. Time for you to move on and get a new job where they’ll appreciate you, and you can finally feel happy in your job. A welcomed blessing.
As our children grow, we can place too many expectations on them to achieve the goals we’ve set for them. Of course, we want them to be polite and courteous, to keep their rooms clean and take care of their belongings, but when we force them to play a musical instrument, when they don’t want to, or to play a sport that we played, when they don’t want to, or to go to college, when they don’t want to, or to not let them be themselves because they’re gay or different in some other way, we’re setting them up for a laundry list of mind games from their own expectations of what they wanted out of life but were denied by their parents.
In this scenario, emotions play a big part in how we, as children, learn to deal with other people’s expectations. We can feel resentment and hatred towards our parents, or we can become withdrawn and shy because we realize what we want doesn’t matter, but the best thing we can do, for ourselves, is to choose to rise above it. It doesn’t matter what other’s expectations are of us. We can either find it helpful, or let it go.
Now, let’s go to the other end of the spectrum. There’s always the possibility of getting what we want, but not in the way we expected it to happen. For some of us, we’ll take it anyway we can get what we expected, but there are others that won’t be happy with the alternate outcome to their expectation of how they felt it should have happened. Even when, in the end, they got what they wanted. Some people have tunnel vision, and they’ll only accept what they had envisioned. Anything else seems like a letdown to them. This is a self-inflected mind game, and it can be challenging to get them to see anything differently.
All of us just need to remember, that we use our expectations as a way of setting up our lessons here. Everything that happens to us, is for a reason, which is, for you to learn and grow spiritually, and for you to balance your karma with others.
With that in mind, how we react to our disappointment of unfulfilled expectations, or when they get stomped on, speaks volumes to our character in how we face and deal with our adversities.
Expectations are good to have, but they’re not written in stone. We have to learn to be more flexible and go with the flow. If the flow is following a negative stream, then, it’s up to us to steer it back to the positive.
It may be best if we try not to have any expectations at all. Especially, if you tend to place too much importance in them. The world isn’t going to end if what you expected doesn’t happen. Well, I guess it could if you allowed it to. The choice is yours to make.
Where your thoughts go; your energy flows.
In my next Metaphysical article, I’ll write about karma. I appreciate your visit. Thanks for stopping by. Bye for now.