When you absolutely must let go, can you? What or who is the most difficult thing to release? I think letting go of someone I have loved is probably the most difficult, far more difficult than letting go of an unmet expectation or a long-held belief or even my youth. Those kinds of letting go are more concept than accomplishment. But I cannot completely let go of someone I have loved; despite the fact they have let go and moved on, either to another dream or another realm.
But lately I’ve been thinking that releasing the hold expectations have on me might be the most important item on my bucket list. It’s a tricky balance to remain neutral when an expectation is not met. It’s stickier still when it involves expectations of another person, murkier still when I care deeply for this person. And when that person is me? My expectations become a tyranny.
Being willing to let go of a dream or strongly felt desire for a particular outcome; one that cannot be met, is necessary for inner peace and an ability to move forward. Every expectation exerts its own pressure on me to be gentler with it, and if I must let it go, be gracious enough to allow it to be or become whatever was meant.
When I don’t expect something or someone to live up to my subjective expectations or even their own, and they do, it’s a sweet surprise. When it or they don’t, emotional tension can arise that stems from the inability to control a desired outcome.
Each moment I choose to live my life fully in the present I am far more content. When I am not mourning unmet expectations that should be relegated to the dead past or creating tension and anxiety with expectations projected into the imagined future, I am far more available. I able to do this when I am aware and disciplined. However, I am chronically undisciplined. Discipline is a tyrannical expectation I have for myself that is most often unmet. That tyranny elicits angst, longing and disappointment.
It would be ridiculous, unrealistic, and minimally unproductive to wander through life with no expectations, probably even impossible. It's the skill of letting go of unmet expectations that I’m working on. I'm letting go of the things and situations that no longer serve or interest me, let alone provide me with joy. My intention is doing that with love and compassion. It sounds simple and easy, doesn’t it? But is it? I don't think so. Simple and easy are not the same thing.
Are you a Work In Process Too?
How's it going for you?