The overwhelming theme for me this week is to pay attention to my expectations. What we expect has so much to do with how we think and feel. Expectations take us out of the Now. When that happens, we can’t enjoy or respond to what is here. So, we end up not living our lives because we can’t live anywhere but here. And expectation comes from either the past or the future.
Here’s what I mean. If I grow up expecting that I will graduate from high school and bam! I’ll have a new car, comfortable home, and enough income to thoroughly enjoy my life, I’m setting myself up for unhappiness, aren’t I? The same is true if I expect that I will die young, poor, and lonely because that’s what I’ve been thus far.
But if I expect to be presented with life as it unfolds, and that each thing will give way to something new, then every moment is a (the) present, isn’t it? It’s a surprise that gives me endless opportunity to write a different story because every moment is new.
Perhaps this morning I would like to have ham and eggs. Or maybe I’d like to sleep in, rush around to be on time, and then experience the stress of being late. Whatever I choose, it’s all good. It’s just an experience and tomorrow, or even in the next moment, it will be something different.
My past does not determine my future when I remain open to the possibilities. If I am tired of living one story, I can make it a different one. We’ve all heard people who quit an addiction instantaneously, haven’t we? I believe that is what happened. That person didn’t adopt the narrative that it has to be hard. She had no expectation or belief that her past determined her future. She made the present different.
This even works with other people. If we go into a situation expecting it to be difficult, it probably will be, right? But what could happen if you entered into it with a kind, open heart and an expectation of seeing the humanity in another person? Try that. See what changes. There doesn’t have to be any conversation or negotiation. Just change your expectation.
Right here, right now, there is no prescription. There is just choice. What do you want this moment to be? Everything is available. I am That. That is me. So who do I want to be in this moment? The one who grieves, laughs, toils, connects, hurts, dances, is inspired… The possibilities are endless. Choose. And when you’ve experienced it to the fullest, let it go and choose another one.