It’s interesting how often life throws us things we aren’t expecting, isn’t it? Life throws us things we don’t expect...on an everyday basis, right?
I didn’t expect a mustang to cut me off on the freeway yesterday.
I didn’t expect my little cat to puke all over my clean laundry...but, for the record, I’m not surprised. She's...kind of a bitch.
I didn’t expect I’d have to go to the Police Department to get fingerprinted and photographed to get a business license….but obviously I’m super dangerous, so they have to keep me on file. Danger is my middle name.
Life throwing us things we didn’t expect isn’t always the worst experience.I didn’ t expect my old boss to buy me a coffee the other day. That was nice! Even though I jumped a bit when the mustang cut me off the other day, it wasn’t a life changing event by any means. My little cat’s favorite hobby is puking on my things, so that didn’t really blow my mind either.
It’s not so bad, most of the time, when we are faced with situations we didn’t expect.
...but you know what’s hard, or as my Guide Cassandra would say, “tricky”?
When we expect something, and that expectation isn’t met.
We are so damn good at making ourselves crazy over our expectations not being met. It’s like we believe we are so incredibly special...that it makes cosmic sense our expectations will be met. We expect people to act certain ways. We expect our flights to be on time. We expect our meals to be perfect. We expect we’ll get a good parking spot at the mall. We expect to be treated with respect. We just sit around all day convincing ourselves we are so powerful that everything we dictate to be normal, rational, and in our favor will IN FACT happen exactly the way we expect.
We’re so funny!!!!
My friends will treat me this way all the time, because I expect it. That’s totally going to happen! This person will behave a certain way, and be super honest- obviously! My employees will NEVER play with their cellphones while they’re at work because those are the rules, duh!
Why do we DO this to ourselves?! Why do we allow ourselves to believe that our expectations will become reality?
So I don’t know, and I really didn’t even have a good guess as to what the answer was- so I asked my spirit brigade for an answer. Their answers are always better than mine.
When I asked this question, my Guide Mikhael chimed in to answer, and he said: “This is a way of learning.”
And that was it.
So I pleaded for a bit more, and he said-
“We learn this way what is of the mind, and what is of the soil. You cannot grow a life in the mind; but you can grow a life in the soil. These lessons connect us with reality, so we can grow our lives.”
So poignant….I don’t really feel like I’m growing a life when I’m watching my staff scroll through their phone while making toast, but OKAY. I get it though, I get it. Even though I may not be growing a life in that moment, I am growing as a person. In that situation of broken expectations, wherein I’m yanked out of my mind into reality, I’m learning diplomacy, understanding, strength, and PATIENCE. The "P" word...it’s tough.
I had a situation a few years back when my expectations were SHATTERED. Exploded. OBLITERATED. I’ve had many situations like this, I’m sure you have too; but this one stood out from all the rest.
My expectations were “valid”, and by valid I mean that my expectations MADE SENSE. They were justifiable, so to speak. However, most of our expectations could easily be considered VALID, or JUSTIFIABLE….but that still doesn’t make them real.
The expectations that seem to make the most sense are the ones that have the ability to cause us the most pain.
A few years ago, I felt that pain. My expectations were so powerful and subconscious, that not only were my expectations destroyed, I was also SHOCKED. I was shocked my expectations weren’t being met. It’s funny now, but it wasn’t then.
I was so hurt, shocked, and disappointed that I almost left the situation and the people involved entirely. I was ready to figuratively set the house on fire, walk away, and start over. I just “couldn’t” understand how everything was happening the way it was. These people were supposed to be “this way”, this situation should be resolved “this way”, everyone should be treating each other “a different way”.
I talked about should’s and shouldn’ts in my last blog, and should's and shouldn’ts are fitting in this blog as well. Should's and shouldn’ts are about as real as Santa Claus; and so are expectations.
In this expectation exploding situation a few years ago, there was a very deep spiritual pull for me to stay put and weather the storm. For the record, I didn’t like it. I didn’t like that I felt guided to stay where I was. I wished I could punch my intuition in the face. But I listened. I listened to my Guides who told me “leaving wouldn’t be mindful”, and, “You have something to learn about yourself, you must learn how to be more understanding and compassionate.” So I stayed, and I begrudgingly focused on NOT the external circumstance (what everyone else was doing), but on the internal circumstance (what I was doing).
What I was "doing" was a combination of things. The first thing was that I was judging everyone around me for how they were acting, and thinking about all the “better” ways they could be acting. That wasn't right, it's not my right to judge others. The second thing I was doing was being disillusioned by reality. There was a part of me that was living in a fairy dust happy land that wasn’t real. I really liked that fairy dust happy land, and didn’t want to leave. The third thing I was doing was experiencing GRIEF. I was grieving a "reality" that wasn't real, I was grieving perceptions I had that were not real, and I was grieving the view of others I had that was not real. Everything I felt had nothing to do with anyone but ME; and I eventually realized that leaving the situation wouldn’t have fixed anything, because the problem wasn’t the situation...the problem was my expectations.
My expectations, my problem. Your expectations, your problem.
I came out of this okay, and continued to get better. I can remember Cassandra telling me LOVE was the answer, and did my best to practice unconditional love. It changed me. I don’t have expectations like I used to...but I still have to get over my coworkers on their cellphones...and I really have to work on my residual hatred for people who don’t return their fucking shopping carts to the cart corral and leave them in parking spaces...that expectation is going to take my WHOLE LIFE to get over, I swear....
Now that I’m on the other side of this situation, I can look back in my past and recognize how many things, experiences, and people I lost or abandoned simply because my expectations weren’t met. I lost things I didn’t have to.
How much do we miss out on because we stick to these silly expectations? How much joy? How many lessons do we miss? How many people do we lose?
What we’ve already missed and lost is really under the bridge; but what we choose to miss in the future is up to us.
I invite you to join me in BOYCOTTING expectations, and engage in acceptance instead. It’s not an easy engagement, but I’m hoping to one day be married to acceptance. Acceptance and I (sigh) living happily ever after with a white picket fence...
Life is a practice, I'm practicing, and you're practicing. I’m honored to be here practicing with all of you.