This past week has been all about letting go! Letting go of the past, letting go of pain, letting go of worry, and tonight, I think I am stopping on the topic of letting go of expectation. It seems the lessons have been fast and furious! So much so that I’m still in the process of chewing and digesting all that has transpired.
Have you ever had those times when it seems everything you’ve been working so hard towards just evaporates in front of you? Well, that’s been my week! I’m not someone who generally gets too embroiled in negativity or disappointment, but this week pretty much kicked my butt!
I’m in an incredibly transitional time in my life. I’ve been working hard, putting many changes into immediate action. I’m so ready to move into a new season in my life. I’ve created detailed plans, timelines, and have put tremendous effort into doing the work necessary to insure a smooth transition into what I felt certain was a new direction I was to be traveling in. Then, in a matter of days, several critical pieces just disintegrated.
I was definitely sad, and quite a bit more down than my usual perky self. Although I realized that life happens and often we have no control over things that transpire, I couldn’t seem to squelch this sense of loss and let down. My expectations were shattered.
We often set ourselves up for disappointment by holding on tightly to unrealistic expectations and particular outcomes. What’s an unrealistic expectation? Let’s just say it’s expecting anything we do not have control over. We do not have control over other people or circumstances… PERIOD. Anytime we have expectations tied to either of these, we are setting ourselves up for a potential let down. The more time and energy we put into these specific outcomes, the bigger our let down if something goes awry.
I spent an absurd amount of time being bummed out about particular circumstances not happening. I wondered what had gone wrong and why. I was so caught up in my disappointment and selfish pity party that I wasn’t recognizing there were other plans at work that were far more likely to be to my advantage. Yet, I had tunnel vision, seeing only those things I had envisioned, not the possibilities of even better potential conclusions.
There are a myriad of things that can and do interfere in our life’s plans at any given point, and they are usually working for our good. Being the finite individuals we are, it’s quite difficult for us to see beyond what effects us personally, and consider what else could be happening in the realms beyond, outside our circle of immediate influence, that might turn out even better.
Disappointment stems from things not working out as we expected and hoped. Hope is a great thing to have, yet expectation that things will transpire in a particular way can be a total disaster. It can take on a life of its own if we are not conscious of the negative influence in play.
Much of what I have been writing about in the last week has been revolving around letting go and living in the present. It’s becoming quite evident we do not have control over the things we might like. Living in the present means focusing our thoughts, intentions, and love on what we can be doing right now. Expectations can often throw a monkey wrench into that frame of mind, as they lead us to think expectantly and specifically about things to come… the future. While having hopes and goals are not a bad thing, specific expectations kind of take on a deeper, more complicated role.
Here’s an example: We may have a goal of owning our own house, but our expectation might be to get a particular promotion at work in order to pay for that house. When the promotion doesn’t come through, we are devastated, as we put all our energy into that expectation. In essence, it may have been God’s plan to bring you that house through another method, rather than that particular promotion. This is simply one example, but I think you get my point. Having goals and hope about our future is fine. Holding on hard and fast to specific outcomes and the expectations and methods that are attached to those, quite often brings unnecessary heartache.
I’m not going to say I don’t struggle with this concept, as obviously just finished talking about this week for goodness sake, and I was definitely disappointed, for while anyway! But you know, it’s in taking a step back and looking at these situations in far more depth that is allowing me to realize I put way too much stock in the past and future, and not nearly enough in this very moment.
I think my lesson for the day is to be content with hope and my goals, but trust that what is coming to me will arrive via the best method possible, and it’s not my job to figure out how! Otherwise, I get caught in micromanaging my life and I run the risk of getting in the way of far better things that could develop. My job is to simply be grateful for all I have and what’s coming. The rest isn’t really up to me, and the sooner I start acting in accordance with that knowledge, the better!
So what’s my strategy? Having goals for my future, but staying focused on the RIGHT NOW! Living in gratitude for this very moment and paying attention to the things I need to be doing today. That’s the best use of my time. Doing what’s at hand, being grateful, and letting go of the need to control what comes to me, when, and how it arrives, which is none of my business. I need to learn to curb my expectations to this extent:
I expect what is best for me is on its way, and I trust the method in which it will arrive is for my highest and best good!
Love & Light,
Laura Lum Corby
Also published on Medium.