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.

And the Universe pours it on…

rain.jpgWow, what a dismal week. If you read the post below you’ll know what started it. So I’m trying, really trying, to just get out and do all the things I would normally do, which if you’ve ever been depressed, you know that’s what’s needed. Last night I had tickets to a very strange concert – kind of a rap concert about Iraq, by a soldier who was over there for a while. Not necessarily the most uplifting event possible, but still, I didn’t want to miss it. The thing is, it’s just pouring and has been for days. It was almost soothing the first night, as it so nicely mimicked my frame of mind.

So I’m driving down there in darkness, rush-hour traffic, and pouring rain, aware that the traffic is much heavier than I expected and I might not get there in time. And what should be playing on NPR, but a long interview on All Things Considered about an author (William Styron) who went through a serious depression – explaining in excruciating detail just what contributed to it and what depression feels like. Another mood enhancer, to be sure ;)

Anyway, I get there with just minutes to spare, park illegally, and run over to the theater – only to find this is the one event in the whole seasonal series that isn’t at THAT theater, but at another one across town. At this point, I’m giving up and going home – because I didn’t know how to get to the other one, and by then I really would be late. And I really wasn’t sure it would help my mood. Now I’m getting poured on walking back to my car, because I forgot my umbrella (!) which somehow just feels right.

So I drive home, musing about all this. Finally, some soothing jazz comes on, and the evening takes a slight turn for the better. When I get home, I call up an old friend and we talk for about two hours. Which finally makes it time for bed and sleep – yay! Then today, trying again to work, no luck concentrating. I need to go out and take the summer plants out of the pond, but it just keeps raining. I guess I will put on my raingear and do it, since it looks like it’s scheduled to rain all week (I can hardly wait).

My one giggle for the day is seeing a Craig’s List ad for a guy who will come and be your naked Mr. Fix-it slave for a day, cleaning your house in the nude, fixing anything that needs fixing, and presumably anything else you want to do! of course my thoughts went to the things that need doing around here – number one being putting up a curtain rod and curtains in my big picture window in the living room – hehehe wouldn’t that give the neighbors something to look at – especially in this suburban community :) And then the gutters need cleaning… ^.^ OK – I’m rambling – but I get to have a little fun :)

Tonight I’m going to a role-playing game called Call of Cthulhu – set in the 1920s, based around the paranormal and creatures from H.P. Lovecraft’s world. I play a wealthy society matron who is reknowned for her parlor seances (and has a little pearl-handled pistol filled with silver bullets which she inherited from her granddaddy). We are all psychic investigators, seeking out these weird entities to destroy them. Unfortunately, if you know anything about Lovecraft’s world, there’s a good chance that we’ll go a little insane in the process, and your character picks up oddities and quirks after doing this long enough :D Should be fun!