I was recently challenged to adopt the mantra "No expectations" for a week. The challenge included writing the mantra on post-it notes and sticking them around the house. I decided to rely on this mantra whenever I felt frustrated or did not get the response from someone that I was hoping for. As soon as I said "no expectations" to myself, I felt relief. I felt lighter. As thought the weight of the expectation had been draped over my shoulders unbeknownst to me.
Releasing expectations is very much like releasing attachments. The consequence to our attachments is suffering. I am attached to my favorite mug. I drop it and it shatters. I am sad because that was my favorite mug. It is my attachment and labeling of the mug that leads to my sadness. If I recognized the mug through gratitude for being a coffee vessel, it is simply that and no more. When it breaks, I thank it for its service and select another mug. Expectations are attachments to outcomes. If I ask someone a question, I may expect an answer. If they do not answer me, some type of emotion is bound to follow as they did not meet my expectations. In the same scenario, if the person doesn't respond and I think "no expectations", I free myself from the suffering.
My challenge to you for the month of September is to embrace "No expectations" as your mantra. You may even choose to keep a journal about your findings:)
“Expectation is the root of all heartache.” – William Shakespeare
“Trade your expectations for appreciation and see how your relationship will transform.”
“Expectation feeds frustration as it’s simply an illusive form of control by attempting to grip the reins that aren’t ours to hold. Breathe. Release. Let go. Allow your life naturally, quietly unfold.” – Victoria Erickson