“Life is a series of natural and spontaneous changes. Don’t resist them; that only creates sorrow. Let reality be reality. Let things flow naturally forward in whatever way they like.”
― Lao Tzu
~ by Beloved Heartsong
originally published in Mountain Spirit Chronicles, Mt. Shasta CA
Winter 2007/Spring 2008
I’ve been thinking about expectations a lot lately ~ noticing within how I occasionally set myself up for disappointment. I expect a stranger to be polite, hold the door, smile and even say hello. I expect my son to eat what he is served and appreciate it. I expect my cats not to scratch the couch. I expect my body to do what I want it to.
I am aware that on one level, expectations can be a dishonoring of what is and what is unfolding in the present moment. Acceptance or allowance of what IS, honors ~ or does it? Do we compromise our Spirit to participate with allowance?
Can we allow someone to be who they are if it feels dishonoring to us? Yes and no. We can always use it as a reflective tool, honestly seeking to illuminate the places where we dishonor others and/or ourselves. And then come the issues of boundaries and integrity. We can allow others their choices and behavior, and, we can honor where we are in each moment and choose what supports our truth, heart, integrity and values. We like our comfort zone to remain just that; comfortable ~ unless of course, we decide to learn by stretching it. And, then, how far we stretch can leave us feeling really flexible or really strained.
What if we simply expect the best of ourselves? What if we took the time to figure out what that might be and expected ourselves to commit to honoring that? What would our expectations be?
OK, here goes: I expect myself to honor my guidance, to take good care of myself, eat a healthy diet (except when I cheat, I expect my fries to be hot!), to keep my heart open, to love and continuously open wider to love, to be kind and fair, to be honest and compassionate, to have faith in myself, in God, in the goodness and abilities of others (until they disappoint me more than once), to bask in the light of love, in joy, etc…
And, then, what if we felt our expectations were higher and better than someone else’s? Would we expect them to raise their own expectations or would we be disappointed in them? What if we just expected ourselves to let go of judgment? Why bother with expectations at all? What if we let go of all expectations and just lived one breath, one moment, one heart centered choice at a time? I expect that would be blissful.
All this is great until somebody pisses me off or disappoints me. Then what? Why can’t they behave, react or think with the manners, heart, integrity and passion I expect them to? It’s really frustrating and really disappointing. I expected to hold my center and not react to them. Damn, I disappointed myself. If they would only ask my opinion, I expect I could help straighten them out.
I’m back to square one. I own it. I have expectations of others. But, isn’t this what great societies are built upon?
We New Agers expect to be unconditionally loving and love everyone as ourselves and to see and honor the reflection in all life. We are all Beloveds. All life is God’s face. But, sometimes, it feels like some of us are hands and feet and some of us are asses who can’t see where we’re going. It’s confusing. We all get turned around from time to time.
The Beloved is us, every bit of us; the parts we accept and the parts we reject or deny. The expectations and the disappointments. And, all we reject and deny and push under, surfaces in the infinite forms of the Beloved within us and outside of us. We’re happy to own the positive side of reflection, but it also shows up in illness, depression, in those who really push our buttons and in world conflict. Releasing attachments and renegotiating expectations is a conscious choice in every moment. It’s a choice to re-member ourselves into wholeness- into the ultimate fulfillment of all our hunger and longing; divine union.
The passion and purpose in our heart’s joy fuels and gives breath to our lives. What we create from this deep joy, blesses, balances and harmonizes all life. As each of us follows our own heart, we become beacons, support, inspiration and permission for others to do the same. One or many at a time, we let go of the old ways we have harnessed and burdened ourselves and we step and leap into the higher frequencies of love and joy- being and becoming who we came to be~ the expression of God/ love we are. From this place we don’t expect so much- and what‘s outside of us doesn’t so readily disappoint. We just are comfortable “Be-ing”. This moves us more and more into the experiences of unity consciousness.
“Namaste”, we say~ I honor the divine within myself and I honor the divine with each and every One. We bow to the God within and the God in each face, in all of life~ in every flower, every creature, every breath, every breeze and sunrise. How deeply grateful we can be in every moment as we see and acknowledge the God in all life, reflecting to us the honor, respect, gratitude and love we all deserve and helping us release judgment and expectations. We don’t have to pretend, participate in fear, lack, doubt, shame, manipulation and lies. Who we are as we bow to True Self is divinity recognizing itself. Telling the whole truth to ourselves and others sets us free because it brings the light of love to the places within ourselves where it’s been withheld. Whatever we hide or deny within, we disown and dishonor. And, then, of course, the outer reflection of this in our lives, disappoints us. As we illuminate our shadow, we can then bow to it in honor of the lessons and gifts it affords us. And, we can choose anew.
When we forget to see and honor and participate with the divine within ourselves, we become more attached to expectations and more disappointed in life; hungry for that which is outside of us and can never fill us. As be bow to the divine within, we align with truth, all searching is over and we come to a place of deep satisfaction and peace. We create and manifest the fulfillment of all dreams, longing and desires as we choose in each moment to be the God we are~ being love, opening to love, breathing love, trusting love, bowing to love, coming home to love, and resting in it~ without expecting anything, simply choosing to say, “Aahhh…” and open wider to love .