Expectations can be a confusing topic. Most of us have expectations. We entertain certain notions, on some level of consciousness, about how we hope things will turn out or how we want people to behave. But it is better to relinquish expectations, so we can detach. It is better to refrain from forcing our expectations on others or refrain from trying to control the outcome of events, since doing so causes problems and is usually impossible anyway. So where do we go with our expectations?
Some people strive to relinquish all expectations and live moment to moment. That is admirable. But I think the important idea here is to take responsibility for our expectations. Get them out into light. Examine them. Talk about them. If they involve other people, talk to the people involved. Find out if they have similar expectations. See if they’re realistic. For example, expecting healthy behavior from unhealthy people is futile; expecting different results from the same behaviors, according to many experts is insane. Then, let go. See how things turn out. Let things happen – without forcing. If we are constantly disappointed, we have a problem to solve – either with ourselves, another person, or a situation.
It’s okay to have expectations. At times, they are real clues to what we want, need, hope for, and fear. We have a right to expect good things and appropriate behavior. We will probably get more of these things (the good stuff and the appropriate behavior) if we consistently expect these things. If we have expectations, we will also realize when they are not being met. But we need to realize these are only expectations; they belong to us, and we’re not always boss. We can make sure our expectations are realistic and appropriate and not let them interfere with reality or let them spoil the good things that are happening.