Releasing expectations

Today a very long-standing group of Internet friends and I conducted a ritual. We’ve done this before – a ritual of support and love for the friends that have stood by us, given us good advice, commiserated, laughed, and ranted, shared perfect moments and moments of despair. Together we’ve watched each other grow in spirit, in confidence, had babies, bought houses, retired, gotten better jobs, gotten degrees, survived hurricanes and break-ins, teenagers and parents.

Today our ritual was about joining together in a virtual circle and helping the person to our right release something, and giving the person to our left something personal and important to release. Being the group that we are, candles and tarot cards were used along with our thoughts and prayers to help release these big issues to the Universe, and make all of our lives happier, more confident, better in every way.

I’ve learned so much over the last year or two. About myself, about relationships, about life. Today I realized, I was ready to release something really important – expectations about the future. This started with one particular relationship, until I realized that it applied to everything else in my life too. Recently I have noticed myself being much more able to just let things be, enjoy the moment, and not obsess about the past or worry about the future. This is true for those I most care about as well as the new friends I am making, and other aspects of my life – like where I will live in the next five years or my future career – issues that are currently wide open.

Expectations have caused me a lot of pain over the last few years. No matter how I tried, I couldn’t help wishing for a particular outcome (yes, we’re talking a love relationship here), and imagining what that future should look like, then being disappointed and hurt when that future turned out not to be possible. This doesn’t actually begin to cover how I felt about “losing” this future – which in reality I never had. At the same time, I had wonderful times with someone I really love. Looking back – I can see which is more important.

These expectations cause us no end of trouble. If there’s one thing I’ve learned in the last five years, it’s that your future seldom looks anything like you thought it would. It may be “better” or “worse”, but it will surely be different :) If something wonderful happens, but it’s not what you thought would happen – sometimes your attachment to what you wanted to happen can diminish your enjoyment of what does happen. And if the wonderful doesn’t happen, your attachment to what you want to happen can keep you in that situation much longer than you really should be.

Right now, my life is wide open. My love life, what I do to earn a living, the country I choose to live in – everything may change over the next few years. It’s an exciting time, and I am very dedicated to living it as I go. I will make conscious choices as I go along, rather than trying to force the uncertain future into a predetermined mold. I find that I am enjoying my time spent with friends, lovers, and family a lot more, without placing expectations on them or myself. I can daydream about possible futures, without feeling a strong attachment to making a particular one happen. I can feel the excitement of knowing how many possibilities there truly are, and knowing that the one that comes true may not even be anything I can imagine.

Release your expectations, and live in the now. Easy to say – finally, I think I can do it.


4 thoughts on “Releasing expectations

  1. Coppermoon says:

    You’ve summed up so much so beautifully! I feel honored to know you.

  2. judithornot says:

    Wisely written. :-) I hope the letting go has been as complete as you want it to be. And if you find later on you have to let go again, that is the way it often works. Just recognize the need, let go, and keep enjoying the moment.

  3. Debbie Lake says:

    It was a pleasure to help you release things. One of the things I realized as part of this ritual is that what I have to release is my need to be a rugged individualist and do things alone. I HATE asking for help. But the flip side to that is that I also deny others the joy of being able to help. And that can be a wonderful thing.

    I hope you enjoy your experiences without expectations!

  4. Thanks you guys :) and Debbie – boy, I know how that is. I always believed I had to be completely self-sufficient, and these last few years have been teaching me otherwise. It’s been good for me (I think), though still hard to accept. – Teresa

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