“Expect everything so that nothing comes unexpected.”
- Norton Juster
Trying to drop my expectations is like a dog trying to catch his own tail…. Funny, frustrating. Even stupid.
We do keep expectations from people… very near and dear ones and not so near and dear ones… We keep expectations from our neighbors and authorities… We keep expatiations from strangers and even our enemies…
So, whenever I find myself saying, “Let me not keep any expatiations from this person,” what exactly I am saying is: “Look, I have some expatiations from this person… and they are not being met… I am frustrated, disappointed, sad, angry… bitter, negative.”
Yes, every time, I am disappointed, frustrated or angry with another person, the cause is my unmet expectations…
So, the obvious belief is that, if we drop our expatiations we can remain free from disappointments and frustrations in life.
Yesterday, I was at a meeting which was held in a local temple. Two gentlemen were talking about their young children… the way they (children) sounded selfish and ungrateful… blunt and remorseless… How this attitude made parents worried and disappointed, even angry and depressed.
“Don’t keep any expectations,” one of the gentlemen was quick to suggest.
“It is easier said than done,” the other gentleman was equally quick, too.
I reflected upon my own disappointments and frustrations, and I could trace the root cause in my own unmet expectations… I wasn’t free from expectations and, hence, I wasn’t free from disappointments, hurts, pain and frustrations in my life…
But, I could see an interesting thing: The moment I was able to ‘see’ my own expectations and how, when they weren’t me, I became sad or mad, and how, when met, I became glad… yes, the very ‘seeing’ – the very awareness – was enough to bring about peace in my soul…
Like that gentleman, who yesterday said, “It is easier said than done,” I, too, keep saying the same… That, my skin is thin… I get hurt and disappointed fast… But, then, that thin skin has also blessed me with a heart which is able to heal by itself… And, when my heart is able to self-heal, why should I worry too much about my expectations?
Let me, as Norton Juster reminds, expect everything… so that nothing comes in my life unexpected...
Peace lies in that!
Pic.: Rashmi Sondhi