Sunday, February 9, 2014


Do you ever have one of those weeks when the same theme keeps repeating itself in various situations and you can't help but examine it a little more closely?  There have been several times this week during different conversations, events, and experiences when the same word came to mind....EXPECTATIONS.  

One definition of expectation, found on, defines it as "the degree of probability that something will occur". 

When we travel to a doctor's appointment during rush hour, we expect it to take longer.

When we work hard in our graduate class, we expect to get an A.

When we teach our kids right from wrong on a daily basis, we expect they will do the right thing.

When we live with someone for 18 years, we expect he/she will know exactly how to react when we are upset. 

We need expectations to be successful in life.  Positive expectations can guide us to do the right thing, to perform to our greatest capacity, and to have a good outlook on our future.  However, can the high expectations we have for ourselves and others also cripple us?  Can they cause us to be bitter and upset when things don't necessarily go the way we expected? Do they prevent us from being grateful for all that we do have?  

Speaking for myself, I'd say my high expectations do indeed sometimes hinder me from letting go and living in the moment. When things don't go as I once visualized, it stops me from seeing the beauty in the unexpected, unplanned moments. Instead I get stuck, feeling sad and disappointed that what I expected was not how it actually played out. (I do try not to get "stuck" for too long though.) 

It seems important to find the balance between what we expect and the reality of the situation.  I think it's normal and really a part of human nature to have certain expectations, but it's also necessary to embrace the unexpected.  It's important to "look around" in those moments and see all that does exist, rather than what is not there.  It is in those moments that we experience so many of the important things. We are forced to grow and evolve, and beautiful things happen.  I'm not so sure the caterpillar ever expects to turn into a butterfly...

It seems simple, but I often wonder why I struggle so much with being able to live in the moment and go with the flow.  This week it repeatedly came to me, and now I'm trying to listen.  

 Although I'll always have certain expectations, I'm going to put the extra effort in to be more content when things don't go quite as I expected.

"The best things in life are unexpected-because there were no expectations."
-Eli Khamarov

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