Where are our expectations? How much time do we use expecting something to happen? Someone to react in a certain way? A situation to turn around to our liking?
The very definition of expectation is: the act or state of looking forward or anticipating.
So is expectation then a positive or a negative force? That is for each individual to decide on their own. I, however, got a big dose of discernment on this subject within the last few days. What I realized about my expectations was that they were not serving my higher purpose. Allow me to explain.
My daughter, Alexis, turned 17 years old yesterday. We are in that stage of our mother/daughter relationship where she is fighting to assert her independence and I am struggling to maintain healthy boundaries for her. Welcome to the life of parenting a teenager! Yes, I was one of them….once, and a very long, long time ago.
We wanted to do something special for Alexis and enlisted one of her good friends to plan a surprise party for her. Lots of planning, sneaking and shopping went into getting all the details just right for the big surprise. We all waited in anticipation for Alexis to walk through the door of the clubhouse so we could rush out and welcome her into her special celebration. She was surprised, no doubt, and went around the room hugging each of her friends and thanking them for being there. I waited for my turn, so happy that we’d pulled off the big secret, which was my idea after all.
Alexis came over to where I was and I waited for the biggest mommy/daughter hug ever. Instead, what I got was, “Are you staying?”
I was crushed! I had put so much time and effort into all this. How selfish she was! Couldn’t she understand? I was hurt in the very place in my heart that had motivated me to create such an experience for her. I foolishly mumbled something to her about what a way to say thank you and drifted back into the sidelines inside the kitchen, which is where I planned to stay for the majority of the evening anyway.
I began to let these feelings stew inside me, not realizing they were triggering so much more than just a simple remark. All those doubts, non-acceptance, and unworthiness began to bubble up to the surface. So much emotion came forward. When I reached a quiet time, within the following days, I asked for assistance from my guides.
“What did you honestly expect? Did you expect a 17-year-old girl to put your feelings first? You know she appreciated it. For her to show you accolades in front of her friends is not her personality style. You know this. Why allow your feelings to be hurt over something that is not out of the norm?
What was your motivation in creating this evening for her? Was it with the intention that you would be awarded a prize? Did you want acknowledgement from her and her circle of friends as to what a wonderful mother you are? If this is the case, then it is indeed time you look closely at your actions, Dear One. I feel that you did this to make your daughter happy, plain and simple. It was to alleviate some of the sadness that has come up recently and the party was to make her feel special and surround her with friends. Was that not your motivation? And did you not succeed? Could you see she was having a wonderful time?”
Those words sunk in deep. Wow….why was I reacting so strongly to this?
“You react in this fashion, my dear, because you expect from others all those things you want to feel for yourself. When instead, you can really only place expectations on yourself and no one else. To anticipate how another person will react is in reality trying to control the outcome of a situation. Can you see this? And indeed, in many instances expectation can be a form of self sabotage. For if the person or situation does not meet your expectation, then you can justify all those false beliefs and fears that hide away in the recesses of your ego mind. This is why all those other feelings you’ve been experiencing have come to the surface.”
This all made so much sense to me. It was as if a light bulb suddenly clicked on.
“You cannot set an intention for someone else. You can only control yourself and your own circumstance. This is not to say that you should allow anyone to treat you with disrespect, for that is something entirely different – that is setting a boundary of what you will and will not accept. Your expectations should only be directed at yourself and how you intend to act, feel and react. Look at your motivations and base them solely on your own behaviors and intentions. Your intention in this instance was to make a wonderful evening for your darling daughter. And this came to fruition, did it not? If you base your actions in expectation of how someone else will react or treat you, then your intention is not coming from the highest and purest vibration. Many times, it is easy to fall into the trap and pattern of always wanting something in return. But to merely accept your actions and intentions as positive and release the reaction and expectation of others is to truly be in a place of peace and balance. You do not require anyone’s approval but your own.
See this only as the lesson that it is. Feel not failure or judgment about it. You’ve learned and you’ve grown. This is was all experiences bring to your life. It is all good.”
With those words I was left with an incredible feeling of lightness within my heart. It felt literally like a weight had been taken from my body. The heaviness of confusion and self-criticism left my being. I was in a state of peace.
I’ve learned to let go of the expectation of what and how I think other people in my life should react to my own actions. This is a freedom I have not felt before, except perhaps when I was a very small child. It is a place of adaptation and acceptance. It is a freedom to be in the flow of life moment to moment.
Great expectations I only place upon myself and in doing so I receive the greatest gift of all.