What screws us up most in life is the picture in our head of how it is supposed to be.
How many times have you had a long day at work and thought to yourself about how your day will get better once you get home and relax? How your day will brighten when you get home to your partner or loved ones? Or how good you will feel when you get home to eat the last piece of cake you made last night?
And how many times have you gone home with those expectations just to find that the house you left clean before work is messy and chaotic? Or your partner isn’t home as you expected and now there is no one to vent to. Or the piece of cake you have been expecting to eat all day is gone. And how many times have you had situations where your expectations did not go as planned and in return you ended up being even more angry, getting short-tempered, and accidentally blamed others because things were not how you imagined them to be?
Yes. I’ve been there. In fact, I was there not too long ago.
After taking some time to really think about expectations I realize that they never really help me. I always end up freaking out when things don’t go as I had expected them to. I did some hardcore reflecting and those expectations were no ones fault but mine. My loved ones didn’t plant those expectations in my head. I did. I placed this sliver of what my idea of perfection would look like and placed those ideas on others who had no control of living up to my expectations. It’s not fair to those around us to deal with our expectations of what would be a perfect situation catered to our selfish need and dealing with the aftermath when those expectations aren’t met.
I tried to be more positive with this topic. I sat for 5-10 minutes trying to change the title to something more positive but I couldn’t. I really wanted to emphasize how deadly expectations are. How expectations could cause you to lash out on your loved ones, and make you lose sight of your goals and dreams and cause you to lose precious time. They really cloud with your judgement.
So next time when you have a bad day or find yourself creating the perfect scenario in your head, write them down, and then let them go. The people around you, your loved ones, the universe, does not owe you the perfect scenario. It does not owe you anything and does not have to live up to your expectations.
Instead of creating expectations to make you feel better try doing something unexpected for others around you. Bring your loved one flowers or their favorite treat after work and see how happy the unexpected made them. Buy a cake for your kids to enjoy before dinner because you had a long day and your kids probably did too. Turn something you selfishly expected into an unexpected gesture for your loved ones and see how that would make their day. You’ll find that the unexpected kind gesture brings more joy to you than the expected one you made in your head.