Have you ever noticed how little control we have over most things in our lives? Somehow, we still maintain that illusion of control, however. I know that I'm brought up short many times with that little fact. Why, oh why, do we keep acting as though we can make all the trains (and people) run on time and get so bent out of shape when things don't go as we'd hoped, planned, or expected?
I keep reminding myself to let go, lighten up, go with the flow. Still, I get hooked again and again when things don't go as I'd hoped.
A few weeks ago at a women's retreat at which I spoke, I offered a breakout session titled "Live the Life You Have, Not the One You Hoped You'd Have." Several women had indicated an interest in the topic, and it was one that I needed myself. The sharing and stories that emerged at this small-group session were rich and poignant. It seems I'm not alone in getting hooked by my expectations.
I don't think the answer is just to lower expectations. For me, it makes more sense to still have expectations but to let go of some of the emotional charge of those hopes and expectations. It helps me, too, to stay more flexible about outcomes. I need to remind myself to be OK with what is rather than waste energy pining for what isn't or what didn't happen. As with so many things, including physical exercise, our muscles in this area strengthen and improve with practice. Practice may not make perfect, but it will definitely help me live the life I do have!