Saturday, January 29, 2011
When Expectation Met Worry
I contemplated writing about the topic of expectations and worry separately, but realized that they are intertwined just like everything else.
What is an Expectation?
I’m sure you’re thinking, “Well that’s a silly question. Everyone knows what that means.” Or do you? How many times a day do you knock yourself down for making a mistake at work, wishing you said something different to a friend, or saying someone is better/worse than you? These are all expectations we have of ourselves. We have to obtain that degree/job, be friends with the right people, care for our loved ones, and live an upstanding and moral life. We have to live up to our own expectations or roles, so we can fulfill all these requirements for our life.
Then there are the expectations we put upon others while fighting with our own expectations. No wonder it is so difficult for people to find happiness! We do it without even realizing it! We expect relationships to remain the same although we know they are changing at every moment! Therefore, when a relationship is about to transition into a deeper one or end, we focus on the fact that we can never look at that person the same instead of the beautiful opportunity to know one’s self better with whatever outcome. Then when the next person comes around, we focus on tedious qualities instead of the true essence of the person. This can apply to any relationship (friendship, romantic, family, work).
It’s important, however, to address that one should be aware of who/what is best for their growth as a person. People blow up the concept resulting in an expectation that blows up in their face though.
The Worry Wart
I can relate to this concept considering I was probably one of the worst worriers ever and still can be at times! (See! There’s a great example of an expectation. It can be correlated with something positive or negative). I thought that to worry meant I was caring, which is very far from the truth. I’ve found to worry is to resist any change/potential change. To resist change is a sign we are not appreciating the present moment, no matter how good or bad we perceive it.
We are always worrying about what will happen next. Who will we be if we don’t have that job, money to pay the bills, or that person in our lives? Where will we live if we don’t have that house? What will come of it? Sometimes the worries are so great they make me want to scream! Then I realize screaming won’t make those unfortunate circumstances go away. One question to ask is, is it really that unfortunate if you look at the true nature of the moment/event?
Worry and Expectation Unite
Look at how often you worry. I bet more often than not, it relates to an expectation you put on yourself or another person. We feed expectations in our lives by worrying constantly about meeting those expectations. You expect the insurance company to pay your medical bill. So you worry about how you are going to pay your other bills. You expect someone to respond to your needs. So you worry if your needs will be met and if the friendship will last. You expect yourself to pass an important test for school. So you worry if you will get a job.
Worry and expectations comfort each other. When we worry about those expectations it somehow comforts us temporarily. We run solutions in our head so the expectation can be met, and our troubles don’t seem as troubling.
All the expectations we see ourselves and others create are false identities. As I am transitioning into a deeper spiritual awareness, I notice the ego is being starved to death. The ego will never go away, but will try it’s hardest to be in control, often by creating new false identities.
For me, I don’t know what would be next. If I wanted to know what’s next, then that would be an expectation. Therefore, the only thing to do is to be aware of the present moment. This is especially difficult for me when my ego feels threatened. The only thing I can do is acknowledge the ego and be compassionate to myself. I often feel troubled when I don’t notice my ego immediately. However, I can only feel troubled if I perceive myself as being troubled rather than appreciative. When I do this then expectation and worry seem to disappear. It is something to cultivate. What’s next for you?
Susan started to cultivate a deeper relationship with the Creator four years ago when she was introduced to the works of Eckhart Tolle's, "The Power of Now" by Jim Tolles. Her life has been transformed in countless ways since then.