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Dealing with expectations

If you cannot change the circumstances, change your perspective.  — Anonymous

We all have wrestled with a specific desire in our lives at some point. To be more specific, all of us have felt the burning need to have more control  over our lives. This yearning for control over what is happening around us, what is happening to us. However, more often than not, instead of pushing us to make positive changes in our lives, this hope for control sets up a cycle of disappointment where we are obsessed with who is or isn’t meeting our expectations and this turns into a downward spiral. 

Despite this strong desire to have God-like control over our surroundings and the people around us, one of the biggest lessons that we can learn in life is that we cannot be puppeteers of other people. People tend to have their own emotions, behaviors, actions, wounds, dreams, happiness, and perspectives. It is quite reasonable to have so, and we cannot expect them to behave exactly the way we want them to all the time.  

Expectations are like fine pottery. The harder you hold them, the more likely they are to crack.  —  B. Sanderson

In a healthy relationship, people expect their partners or the other person to treat them well or respect their emotions or make them happy. This is justified to an extent, but the weight of expectations is so high and so constant  that at times we may feel hurt or used. We cannot assume anything or force the people we cherish to change based on our expectation levels. 

It is easier to wear shoes than to cover the entire universe with a blanket.   — Anon.

Sadhguru Sakshi Shree Ji in his public discourse, has touched upon this topic countless times and he advises  all of us to adjust our point of view rather than to blindly expect people to behave in accordance with our choice. 

In the following condensed pearls of wisdom, Sakshi Shree Ji gives us his insights on how to deal with expectations: 

1. Stop manipulating your outside situations: 

Many times, we expect people to approve of our decisions. When we are unable to receive what we want, we try (in a desperate attempt to placate our ego) to either control situations or people’s reactions towards us. This type of behavior makes us emotionally drained out and we rely on others for our life. Remember, that it is better to change yourself , then to expect anyone else to change.

2. Have the courage to let go: 

Release the hopes, wishes, and dreams that are attached to others’ opinion of right or wrong.  Get out of the world of imagination, fantasies, expectations, and release the thoughts of ifs and buts. Stay in the present moment and accept yourself wholeheartedly.

3. Focus on your loved ones:

Never forget the ones who were with you when no one else was. They are with you because they care about you. They make you connected to who you are and to your true values. Love them, they are your true people, respect them, unconditionally. 

4. Be aware of your reality:

Acknowledge how people are behaving with you and how they are treating you. If one person was bad towards you, it does not necessarily mean that everyone else will be too at this moment. 

Believe that it is the one life that you have received or blessed with, don’t waste it in binding people with expectations or getting entangled with people’s expectations as well.

All those who think in extremes, surely miss. Reality has the middle way, the middle way is bliss. The two opposing poles, different roles, coexist. Because a Plus needs a Minus to form this universal kiss.— A. Zaki