Expectations is one of the topics I like to come back to regularly. It's important for me to remember not to have any expectations -- either of myself or anyone else -- because all they do is set me up for disappointment.
If I don't expect anyone to act in a particular way, then I will not get angry or frustrated if they don't. Being judgmental of myself also comes from having self-expectations; Did I perform or behave in the ways that I expected to? And what about "anticipation"? That's just another word for expectations.
It is better for me to work on acceptance of whatever comes and whatever happens. But how is the best way for me to do this? How can I just "be" with whatever is?
Meditation has helped me learn how to do this. Just noticing what is occurring in my space and in my world is the first step. In doing so, I ask myself: what do I see around me right now? What do I feel, sense, taste, hear, etc? What is around me? Who is with me? What is happening right here and right now?
(Worrying about the future has no place in this, although I can have long range plans and dreams. Regretting the past also can wait for another time, and is not part of this practice).
Can I just "be" with all this? Can I just accept whatever is right now as being as "it should be," with the trust and belief that "now" is exactly what my Higher Power wants for me? Can I accept any discomfort that comes?
If I did not expect or anticipate things to be different than they actually are, then I cannot be disappointed by the reality.
I guess that acceptance is much easier for me when I realize that it is not blind happenstance. By this I mean that it is acceptance of the world and my place in it as being part of G‑d's (my HP's) plans. The world is not a haphazard place, and there is no need for me to fight and resist what happens. There is no need to fear that events are signaling things "going wrong."
When the director is running the show, the actors don't have to worry when he decides to change the scenery or lighting, or any of the other "special effects." They don't second guess him. They know that he has their best interests in mind and that whatever changes or adjustments are made, it is for the good of the whole cast, the whole show.
In this way, it is important for me to remember that whatever is happening to me and around me is meant for my good and the good of others. If I truly trust, then I do not have to argue or resist these.
This means that even when I don't understand what is happening, and it seems to me like it is not in my favor, I need to remind myself that I haven't seen the whole story plot, and I don't really know the "inside deal" about what's the "real" best situation for me and those involved.
Which leads me back to basic Trust and Belief. Either you have it or you don't. Well, I'm in. There were times when I acted so impulsively, it wasn't clear even to me if I really had this basic bottom-line belief and faith.
And even more recently, sometimes it may seem that I respond in ways that might imply less than total belief, but I want to state clearly that I stand tall on the belief and trust charter. I'm in the club.
Now, ask yourself the very same question: Even when things don't always go the way you planned, or the way you'd like them to, can you still claim membership in my 'belief and trust' club? Or is it only conditional on getting the things you want and in the ways that you want?
So I diverted from "expectations of others and self" to expectations of love and nurturance and acceptance from our HP. No matter, I'm still in the club. Are you?