Expectations; The Art Of Letting Go

Expectations. We all have them. We can't help but feel them, yet we know deep down that having them allows for disappointment. No one likes to be disappointed. So why do we hold onto expectations? What is the point of having them if we are opening ourselves to disappointment?

In our careers, we expect things to pan out a certain way. We expect certain results and if we don't attain them, we are disappointed. We start to doubt ourselves, we start to question if we are good enough and we start to wonder if we made the right decisions. In our relationships, we expect things to go a certain way. We expect events to turn out how we had hoped and we expect the other person to be what we had imagined.

When it comes to ourselves, we have goals, dreams and desires. If things don't turn out the way we had wanted them too, we are led to feelings of disappointment because we expected things to be different. So why, if we know that expectations can lead to being let down, why do we have them? What is the point? Why do we hold any type of expectations especially towards things we cannot control?  


The funny thing with life is that things will happen that throw us off track. We will experience loss. We will experience heartbreak. We will experience pain. That is life and without it, we would not be able to learn. We would not be able to grow and if everything was to always work out the way we wanted, we would take everything for granted. The low times are what teaches us to appreciate the high times. Life is a roller coaster and without the moments of feeling bad, we wouldn't know the feeling of being happy. 

When we chase things, people and circumstances, we are filled with anxiety, nervousness and our stress levels rise. Yet if we accept things as they are, take things as they come and just roll with the punches, we tend to feel more at ease and things seem to just flow. Even when curve balls are thrown at us, they don't seem to hit so hard when we are in line with the universe. When we are at peace, the curve balls don't throw us over cliffs. They may surprise us, they may throw us off a little, we still feel the hit but we don't fall over the edge. 


Meditating, getting out with nature, spending time letting the thoughts roll in, accepting them and letting them go has been a practice I have been mindful to do of late. It doesn't change the events, it doesn't change what is happening but one thing it does do is change the thoughts and the feelings of anxiety. Instead of "Why me? Why is this happening?" There is a calmness of seeing what is happening, feeling the emotion it has triggered and letting those emotions go.

Sometimes we may feel lost but when we are aligned with the universe, we start to realise that certain events, certain people and certain situations had a purpose. They came to nudge us towards where we are supposed to be. So it comes down to the question, are we ever really lost? When we aren't aligned and we are not in the flow, every bump and every twist is exaggerated and becomes a lot bigger than it should be.


Life can and will always throw curve balls at us. Some people take much bigger hits than others but regardless of what is thrown, each of our obstacles are still relevant to us. No obstacle is ever easy. No matter how big or small. We will experience heartbreak, we will experience pain and we will experience loss. Sometimes we will experience all of the three at once and in a split second, our world starts to feel like it has been ripped to shreds and thrown upside down.

One thing I have learnt is that no matter how much we try, we can never control everything. One minute we may be on top of the world, kicking goals and the next minute the ground beneath us starts to crumble. Learning to accept this, has not solved the problems but it sure has allowed me to feel that little more accepting of the fact that we have to appreciate things when they are great. We have to take notice of the people we have in our lives and be blessed for even the tiniest things. We will never know when it can be taken from us.  

 As you are reading this now, take a look at what you do have. No matter how small or insignificant it may be. Do you have food on your table? Have you got a roof over your head? Do you have a bed to sleep in? Are there people in your life that love and care for you?  If you answered yes to any of these, you are richer than millions of people in the world that do not have these privileges.

Now I am not saying to forget your problems or to disregard what is happening in your life. I am in no way implying that your problems are insignificant. What I am saying is that pain, loss and suffering is an unfortunate part of life. When we expect things to stay as we want them, we open ourselves up to disappointment. The truth is, nothing and no one will ever stay the same. Why expect that they will?

We cannot control it and we do not choose it, but we do have the power to not allow it to take us over. Acknowledge it, feel it and in time we can accept it. We can never control it nor will we ever forget it but we do have the power to let it go.