Expectations are more harmful than you thought, that’s something I know from my own experience.
But, how can your expectations hurt you?
When you have an expectation, there is an outcome, a behavior, a result that you’re expecting to have, receive, experience. When your expectations aren’t fulfilled, you feel disappointed, defrauded, deceived and it’s this feeling that begins to hurt you, if you aren’t able to properly manage it and realize that although you were expecting a certain outcome or result, you don’t have control of it and you should accept what you got, as it is, and move on.
An easy way to see it, is when the premiere of a certain movie comes, you know who’s acting, you know about the director, you’re expecting something amazing and then the day comes at you hate the movie, it’s bland, you get disappointed, but it’s just a movie, you lost the cost of the ticket, but it doesn’t go further, as it isn’t something significant in your life.
But, what if what you were expecting is significant to you?
When what you were expecting is something meaningful to you, there is when the problem begins and you experience the pain and suffering of your disappointment.
To abound on this, let me share with you a recent experience. It happens that somebody I love and from whom I expected unconditional support, showed me that I can’t no longer rely on her support as openly and unconditionally as I was expecting.
It was a trivial issue; however, it made me feel so betrayed, so let down, that almost for 2 days I couldn’t forget the incident, thinking how selfish that person was (in my eyes), how could she have done that to me.
As a consequence, I was sad, tearful, feeling I have been deeply hurt when I least expected it.
After feeling that way for a while, I just took distance and was able to see that it wasn’t her behavior that was hurting me, but what I was expecting from her.
I was expecting a certain response and hers was completely different from that. However, the truth is that I can’t control how she behaves, what she does and she doesn’t.
What to do next?
Once I recognized the source of my pain, I went to the next step: forgiving and releasing.
For that purpose, I used a phrase I’ve been using for some years and which I frequently share with friends and clients:
“XXX, I forgive you for not being as I would like you to be. I forgive you and I release you. I’m sorry, forgive me, I love you, thank you”.
I repeated this phrase whenever the sadness, the pain in relation with the incident came back to me.
By using this phrase, I’m recognizing that what was hurting me were my expectations, not that person. In addition, I’m forgiving her for whatever feeling I’ve felt and releasing her and the incident, while at the same time, I’m asking for her forgiveness, as my thoughts weren’t loving and caring when I was feeling hurt.
Like in this case, most of the time, it is our unfulfilled expectations what hurts us, not the other person’s behavior or response, and the sooner we accept it, forgive and release the person and the unexpected outcome, the sooner we stop feeling hurt, betrayed, unloved and are able to move on.
Therefore, next time when you begin to feel pain due to a response, an outcome, a result that wasn’t as you were expecting, begin by accepting that everybody has a free will to do, behave or react as they want and they don’t have to fulfill your expectations. Then forgive, release and get ready to move on. You don’t have to keep suffering forever because things went opposite to what you expected, as you don’t suffer forever, when the new movie disappointed you.
Who hasn’t fulfilled your expectations? How do you feel about it? Are you willing to forgive, release and move on for your emotional sake?
📷 : Freepik.