Releasing Expectations

Recently I noticed that I’ve been feeling like a prisoner, held captive by some of my expectations.

Have you ever experienced this? Has one of your expectations overwhelmed you, making it difficult to concentrate or focus energy on anything else?

I find this feeling very challenging and perhaps you do as well. I wondered what I could do about it and decided to ask Lia (an ethereal feminine voice of god that comes to me whenever I have questions I’d like answered). I felt I needed a breakthrough and wanted to know what she would tell me.

Her clear voice sprang forward, “It would be helpful for you to know that the basis of all your expectations comes from your cultural upbringing. As you grew up, important folks in your life placed expectations upon you, sometimes specifically and sometimes generally. Depending on your performance you received either rewards or punishments but were never entirely sure which it would be.”

I thought about this for a few minutes and decided that she was absolutely correct.

Of course, my next thought was, what can I do about this? I wondered what my options were and asked for some further guidance.

“At some point in your life, you came to the conclusion that decisions and choices were now up to you. You’d essentially grown past having to be told by others what direction to take. And yet, instead of rethinking setting expectations according to your own rules, you chose to continue your cultural training, allowing these preset decisions to guide your life.”

Yikes, that didn’t seem like a wise move on my part.

I couldn’t deny the truth of her statement. Surely it would be smarter to make reasonable and conscious choices about what to expect from myself and it would be a sound move to strip away any defaults that cause me stress and unhappiness.

So, how is this to be accomplished?

Lia chimed in, “Within each and every expectation there is the existence of that which serves you and that which does not. The simplest way to tell the difference is how they make you feel.”

I wondered, is it really possible to use ‘how expectations make me feel’ as a legitimate barometer? After all, is it truly possible to rely on ‘feelings’ as a measurement of success and forward movement?

I received a resounding “yes” from Lia.

And then this, “It is all about what you are aiming for. Ask yourself, what is most important to you?”

I came up with several answers.

Lia asked me whether my answers came from my feelings or my thoughts.

“Feelings,” I responded.

“It matters what you choose to release and what you choose to embrace. When you release others’ expectations and their attached rewards and punishments and consciously embrace your own softly held expectations which align with what is most important to you, your life will change enormously.”

I liked the sounds of that. A lot.

I needed one more clarification. “Softly held expectations?”, I asked.

“Yes,” Lia said, “softly held implies you allow for a range of outcomes and accept whichever occurs, knowing that each holds some value for you.”

I am so grateful for the release I feel. I am no longer a prisoner and can move about freely, knowing I have a choice. Thank you Lia for your wisdom.

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