Recently I shared an interesting, and fun night with a couple of friends and found what it truly means to be able to have fun anywhere, doing anything with the right mindset and the right people. It was my friend's sister's birthday and as we first walked into the club, it was very apparent that our parents could have easily been dancing right next to us. It was definitely an older crowd, but I still found myself laughing and having fun by the end of the night.
That night I put to test my experimentation of dropping my expectations. So, I didn't walk into the club with any expectations of what the night would present. And I had a pretty damn good time.
Now if I had walked in expecting the club to look a certain way, the crowd to look a certain way, and there to be a certain ambiance present, I may very well have been let down.
But by dropping my expectations and simply going with whatever the night had in store for me, I had an amazing time.
Taking this a step further, I began to wonder, what would happen to my life as a result of no longer having expectations but instead rolling with whatever waves life tossed at me?
Well, first, I stopped taking things for granted. When things are good for me, I appreciate them that much more.
Serenity comes when you trade expectations for acceptance. ~Unknown
Second, expectations work against us not for us. How many times are we sad, angry, or upset only to find out this is due to some unmet expectation?
When we drop expectations, we welcome opportunity into our lives.
We are free to observe and do as we please.
And as for me, I no longer need to wait for someone's action so I can have a reaction. I can instead simply be and let them be.
Too many times we're wrestling with the shoulds and regrets of life, but when we drop our expectations of how something should have been, we welcome in lessons learned.
We are able to flow with the rhythm that is life instead of constantly fighting the rifts that may come our way.
When I was initially dealing with my most recent heartbreak, I expected one person in particular to be there for me and she didn't live up to that expectation as I would have hoped. I expected her to check in on me and to possibly take me out for a night of dancing to at least distract myself a bit and that just didn't happen.
Upon some self reflection and speaking with my therapist, she helped me to see that I never actually communicated to that person how I needed her to help me get through the tough time. I'd contact her and say something small, try to make plans, and when she couldn't make time for me, I felt rejected. However, on my part, what I should have done was in addition, communicate why I needed to hang out. I needed to be open about it and just say, "Hey, I'm really hurting right now and if we could hang out this week, I would appreciate it."
A small switch in my communication would have helped me to not feel so let down and would have helped my friend understand how she could best help me.
Had I dropped the expectation that my friend would be there for me the way I wanted, and instead communicated what I needed, things most likely would have turned out differently and I wouldn't have been disappointed.
It's still fresh - this whole no expectations thing - and I'm still finding the balance between expectations and acceptance but in the little time I've implemented this philosophy into my life, I've noticed myself smiling more for no apparent reason and the ability to take the lows in life with as much grace as the highs.
Instead of settling into expectations, settle into acceptance, trusting that life is working for you not against you.