First, a side note: a developing awareness (with a big emphasis on developing) of my expectations has taught me many things. They are our allies. If I have awareness, however slight, of my expectations, I am better able to see through my clouds of daily thoughts.
In an unburdened state, the sun lights the sky again and again without expectation that the earth will repay it.
Expectations are surreptitious, reliable, and remind me of fireworks. They are surreptitious in that they can be the sneakiest, slipperiest sort of beliefs dodging in and out of our subconcious and conscious worlds without our awareness of them. Trying to get ahold of them to have a closer look, as I’ve done in my meditation practice or during moments of mindfulness, is like grabbing for mist. Reaching your arm out for a handful, it lightly disappears. They are reliable in that they consistently couch and strongly determine our experiences. Finally, expectations are like fireworks. It is an exclamation. It is, this is what I think will or should happen (!) with a bang.
I have been working with these strong belief systems in my meditation practice and during moments of mindfulness because I want to have an understanding of what emotions are packed in and around them. As I strain to glimpse their components, I experience their slippery personalities. As thoughts do, they moved on by. I know better. I know I need to be more patient and let them move as they will.
The reason for my desire to have a better understanding of the emotions surrounding these beliefs is that I don’t want my experiences determined before I experience them. So, by lessening the bang (!), the this is what I think will or should happen, it gives my conceptual mind a break and a little more breathing room for a more direct experience of reality in any given moment in which expectations are involved.
Who will join me? Who wants to acknowledge and become aware of their expectations? If you do, try sitting quietly while noticing your breath. Possibly even a consistent ten minute daily practice will allow some of these lightly moving beliefs to be noticeable. Once they are noticed and acknowledged, we may begin to develop a better understanding about why we act and react as we do. Then, we put ourselves in the drivers seat to change the expectations, should we choose.
Maybe then we will feel a little more like the sun does each day when it shines its warmth and light over the earth. It does so without burden or expectation. By choosing to modify unhealthy expectations, such as those that have simply been hanging around because they are part of repetitive thought patterns, maybe we’ll have more room for love. Just as the sun loves the earth.