Not So Great Expectations...

Sunday, July 29, 2012

The Charles Dickens classic has always been a favorite of mine since I was a kid. I kind of felt like Pip as I grew up because my parents had such great expectations of me...which I think I fulfilled with being the first one in my family to go to college and doing things in my life that my parents have never done. But those expectations expected of me also made me become this person who expects a lot from others. I feel like if I can live up to my own expectations then those around me should as well. And I have come to realize that while I can have great expectations of myself, it is not fair for me to place great expectations on people in general.

This past year I have struggled with acceptance. I never realized how much of a control freak I was until my dad died. I have spent the last year working on acceptance. Accepting things beyond my control and letting go. It is not easy but taking it one day at a time has helped me to let go little by little. One of the things I struggle with is my high expectations of people. And I see now that those expectations are what caused many of my friendships and relationships to fail. I give up on people too easily, out of frustration at my expectations not being met. And I had to really be honest with myself...I cannot expect others to be like me. I can only be like me. I have to be accountable for me. I control me.

It's a hard pill to swallow, especially in relationships. We are all told we are worthy of great relationships and we should never settle. But when we set great, sometimes unrealistic, expectations for that significant other, we are setting up that relationship for failure. It's okay for you to expect things like love and respect. But the expectations cannot supercede the situation. If a person really loves you, that person will show you in their actions. I believe that in a great relationship, expectations are met without even setting them, if that makes sense. If someone is into you, they will call, they will text, they will write, they will make an effort to see you...they will move mountains to be with you. but they will so without you even setting those expectations. I guess what I am trying to say is it's better to enjoy the moment, go with the flow and see where it goes. Don't expect anything upfront because you are already trying to control the situation for someone else. If they want to be with you, they know what to do without any prodding. And if their actions say otherwise, then you know it's time to keep it moving.

That is what I am working on accepting at the moment. People are human and will make mistakes. But I can't just look at one mistake and walk away. I have to look at the person overall and who they are. What their actions are telling the end of the day, it's your choice. When you take your expectations out of the mix and really look at the situation, you can then make a solid decision on whether or not to walk away.

And I have to say, it's been pretty awesome living in the moment...there is no right or wrong when it comes to how to live your long as you're happy and not hurting anyone, that's what counts. Every morning when I wake up, I think of my dad and how he woke up that morning, having no idea that was the last day of his life. And I think to myself, well, if this is the last day of my life, I am going to live it as fully as I can. That is all we can do. Because we plan and plan but honestly, the future is not guaranteed. Only this moment, right now.

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