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Letting Go Of Expectations

Finding ways to accept what is

· Insights,Attention

When I was in my 20's and early 30's I had a clear idea of how life should be, and what I was meant to do. It was unfolding as expected. Career, marriage, mortgage, children.

At the time I wasn't conscious that I had 'expectations'. It was just how things should be. There was no doubt, or debate. That was how it was. And, that was fine until the day the wheels came off.

My world was rocked when my husband suddenly left with another woman. That wasn't meant to happen. It certainly wasn't in the plan for my life. I had expected to stay married 'until death us do part' as we had agreed in our wedding vows.

I was totally devastated. I was hurt. I was angry. I was heartbroken.

When I look back I realise the pain and grief I felt was amplified because of the expectations I held. Divorce doesn't happen in my family. Wedding vows are to be kept. You don't have an affair with a friend. A family is only a real family with Mum and Dad. Single mothers are not respected. I can't manage on my own. And many others too..

With practice, I have learned to be more aware of when I am carrying around an expectation of how something should be, or how a person should behave, or what I believe should happen. I have become much more curious about my thoughts, and beliefs, and able to notice my reaction, and check if it was coming from a place of 'expectation'.

I don't always manage to catch myself, and I can still be triggered and sent spiralling. But, these days I am able to let things go, and use far less energy on them, once I realise that it was my expectation of how it should have been that is causing much of the pain, anger, upset or frustration.

In the past few months during the Covid -19 pandemic, our expectations of how life should be have been totally flipped. Things we took for granted no longer happen. Things we never expected are now the 'new normal'.

From what I have noticed people have for the most part found ways to adjust to the changes, but as time goes on, and lock-down rules begin to be relaxed it feel more tricky to navigate and the feeling that things 'should' be a certain way is returning.

How are you managing in this time of uncertainly? Are you using energy in being angry or frustrated because your expectations (whatever they might be) aren't being met, or are you able to embrace what is and give your energy to new things?



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