Expectations, the Thief of Joy

It seems that I am constantly at odds with myself over the expectations I have. Does this happen to you too?

I set them up in my mind and then when they don’t come true as I expected, it creates a cascade of emotions. There is sadness, anger, disappointment, frustration, and confusion. All of them, thieves of joy.

I don’t like this part of my earthly adventure.

The obvious question I need to ask myself is, ‘why do I continue this thoroughly unenjoyable experience?’

There must be a better way.

Perhaps if I chose not to have any expectations about anything, maybe that would solve the problem. But how likely is that?

For me, not likely at all. I’ve tried this repeatedly without success. It ends with the same result. Even though I say to myself that I’m not going to care about the outcome of something, some part of me ignores this ‘suggestion’. It has already recorded my expectation and won’t let it go. So, when it becomes obvious that my expectation is unmet, it repeats the cascade.

I know this doesn’t make sense, but it is what happens. At least, most of the time.

I do believe that experiences, such as this, will continue to arrive in my life because they bear messages for me. They hint at things I would benefit from and that would improve my life. They come to offer me gifts.

So far, I’ve missed their value. And because of this, I continue to suffer. I realize this is my choice and that if I opened myself up, I might be able to see more possibilities and maybe some real answers.

How is this to happen?

I know there are numerous excellent self-help books that probably address this issue. They no doubt have many valuable suggestions to make and have provided a great deal of assistance to those prepared to try them. I sincerely congratulate those who read them and adopt their recommendations. It would be wise if I would join them, but something stops me.

It may not be the wisest approach for me to take, but it appears that I like to struggle. That may sound foolish, but I know it is the case with me. I have to personally confront whatever issue stands before me. I have to feel the weight of it. And, I have to wrestle with it until it breaks apart and shows me some truth.

So, I lay myself open and I ask for divine guidance to enter and assist me with finding a way forward.

And, what comes is this, I want joy. I want it as a centerpiece in my life. Joy goes far beyond happiness. Happiness is fleeting, but joy is truth. I believe each of us came here to earth filled with joy. It is a part of our natural state and a reflection of love.

I see how setting expectations puts limits on joy. It declares there is only one right solution and when it is not met, there is a price to pay. I see how setting expectations is looking for value outside of me. And my sense of satisfaction with life becomes dependent on what happens outside of me. Is there anything more fragile than this?

And so here is the message I’ve been waiting for. It is always about what is ‘inside’ of me. I can never reliably find what I’m looking for outside of me. This is at the heart of all my expectations, a desire to be fulfilled by what lies beyond me.

This will never happen because it is what is inside of me that matters. The wonderful news is that this is where all the good stuff is. We came here with all of it. If I close my eyes and slow my breathing and look inside and remember who I truly am, a part of the divine, I can awake to the knowing that I am made of love. I am whole and complete, just as I am. No outward fulfilled expectations will make me more than I already am.

So, when the next one comes, I will remind myself of this truth and release the expectation and in remembering to do this, will center on the joy inside of me.

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7 Replies to “Expectations, the Thief of Joy”

  1. While I agree that expectations can be a thief of joy, I think the lack of expectations can be a hopeless existence. I see hope an expectation. Perhaps it’s more to do with how narrowly we define our expectations – the more specific the expectation the more likely it will not be met.


    1. Thanks for the clear insight my friend. I agree that how specific and detailed we the harder expectations are to come by, but having none would not be the solution. It’s probably somewhere in the middle.


  2. As always, your insightful dilemma is right on time. I have a friend who is in the middle of trying NOT to have expectations..and just moments ago..I reiterated these very suggestions! To travel her situation without
    Expectations! But it’s clear to me…as you also have so clearly enunciated, that to do so, requires that we KNOW we have EVERYTHING already here, inside us! And many Fellow Brothers and Sisters do not yet have that KNOWING firmly embedded! Without THAT…there is the continuance of our searching outside ourselves for our Joy…!
    And my Mantra when those now, thankfully, fleeting moments arise inside my psyche, is..”ALL IN DIVINE TIMING!”
    I know my Highest Self has already created the outcome I truly desire and is in the process of delivering it!
    So it all goes back to helping those who are still learning about the “I AM”
    ….Rob..you are Awesome and I will pass on your inspiring passage above to those who are still searching. Thank you My Brother💙


    1. It is always such a pleasure to receive a response from you, my dear sister. I love being able to share the awareness of the inner world and know you are right there next to me. Thank you for walking home with me and sharing the gift that is you with all those around you.


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