One of the major causes of disappointment we experience in our lives is the unrealized expectation we may hold about what we want to occur. When we are feeling anxious about what is about to happen, it is so easy to, hopefully, imagine things playing out in a way that feels comfortable and even soothing to us. Just contemplating this possibility softens our anxiety so much that we become emotionally invested in the outcome we prefer and then we become attached to it occurring in reality. And, if life intervenes (as it inevitably does) and things do not occur in the way we imagined, we feel sad, bereft, abandoned, unworthy.
It feels like our life is collapsing around us. Everything is going wrong. There appears to be no emotional support. But it is only the illusion we are holding that has collapsed.
This can feel like a major upset and, sadly, we have brought it upon ourselves.
Why do we become so attached to these expectations regarding what we want to happen in our lives? Why do we rely so intensely on a "picture" we have painted by ourselves when that picture will always be created by everyone included in the encounter?
I believe we attach to our expectation because we do not feel safe or secure enough to reveal the longings of our heart for affirmation, acceptance, validation and that is because we have experienced the pain of not having those longings filled in the past. And now we carry the baggage of this sadness and cannot bring ourselves to trust that these longings will ever be realized. And, lacking that trust, we do not reveal our authentic emotions, consoling ourselves instead by imagining circumstances in our ideal world that would perfectly meet our needs. As if everyone would automatically know what would bring us joy and peace and have the energy to bring them into our lives.
The problem here is that we become obsessed with the expectation from our imagining, holding fast to this "fix" we feel we so desperately need, crowding out any possible concern for others who are involved in the drama of the moment.
In real life we are not the only ones with needs. All of the players in our lives also have needs but the scenario we imagine in which our longings are realized does not take those needs into account. We are entirely focused on our pain. We walk into the theater of our imagining expecting to see the play we "bought a ticket for" and, lo and behold, another production is playing.
We miss the vital information of how each player is being affected in this moment because our hurt, our unmet need, has clearly overridden this important aspect of the encounter. When we find ourselves becoming attached to an expectation, it is important to extend some beautiful compassion to ourselves. We are carrying pain and it is pain"ful”. As we relax into the love we are showing ourselves, a new sense of empowerment begins to grow within us and we begin to experience the energy we need to help ourselves heal from the emotional pain we are suffering. We do this by sharing the longings of our heart.
This is a wonderful and important opportunity for us to be BRAVE and COURAGEOUS and consciously vulnerable, to change the default pattern of how we respond to the sadness of not having our needs met. When others hear us authentically express what is in our heart,
the chemistry of the moment alters in a profound way.
There is a beautiful gift embedded in this undertaking. When we take responsibility for finding a way to meet the longings of our heart, we feel EMPOWERED and in control of our lives. And, from that place of power, our heart is open to hearing the needs of others and then co-creating together with them the very best way to take care of all persons involved in this moment.
To do this is to walk out of the stance of victimhood and, simultaneously, to free ourselves from the suffering we have inadvertently brought upon ourselves because we had not yet found a way to move beyond our sadness. But the answer to relieving the sadness IS in our reach. And it will take a STRONG DESIRE to heal ourselves and the BELIEF that WE ARE WORTHY of love and that others want to love us in whatever way they can based on the energy that is available to them in that moment of their lives.
There is so much we can do to move beyond the painful default reactions we carry. Our usual go-to places. As Alberto Villoldo suggests in his book Courageous Dreaming, become the hero of your life, daring to speak from the depths of your heart revealing your human vulnerability. You will access a loving generosity, a power beyond measure that will alter the trajectory of your life and everyone who moves within it.
image from pinterest