Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Choices and changes

My May ezine was distributed two weeks ago, and the topic was "expectations". I generally address topics that I need to hear about myself—and topics that arise in my conversations with clients.

Expectations have long been an issue for me, and in the past few days I've been severely tested in that department! I often expect things that I hope will happen, hard as I try to be realistic or even to try set my expectations low so I'll be pleasantly surprised by reality. And I did it again in a couple situations recently.

Here's the thing, though: Both times, I realized more quickly than I used to that these expectations were going to bring me disappointment, if not real pain. Because of that, I could make a choice about how to respond. I determined that this time, I wasn't going to go to that place I've sometimes found myself before—feeling bummed out and down in the dumps because the longed-for outcome wasn't happening. I wasn't going to let my high hopes for a different outcome "steal my day" and take away the joy I felt otherwise.

And in one case, I determined that I would be with the sadness I felt about an outcome I honestly had not anticipated. I have determined that I'll stay with that feeling until I reach a point of acceptance and healing about something I cannot change but that feels like a big loss to me. I don't know how long that might take. But I'm not going to ignore the sadness. And it's too late to change the expectation I had. So it's time to go with the Serenity Prayer and know I cannot change the situation but must accept what is.

What's your experience with expectations?

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