Tuesday, April 05, 2005

It's All About Context

Blessed are they who expect nothing, for they shall not be disappointed.

The first time I heard this quote, I thought it was rather depressing. I remember thinking that if we don't expect anything from anyone, they will never rise to any level of accountability.

But the more work and study I've done in self-awareness, the more I see that this is really a very positive statement. Who am I to set an expectation for someone else according to my standards anyway?

If I go into every encounter with an expectation, I'm sure to be disappointed. After all, as a recovering perfectionist, I see much more clearly now how difficult (if not impossible) it is for anyone (including me) to live up to a level that by its very definition is impossible to achieve.

In my understanding of this context, having a clear-cut expectation uncovers a level of attachment to an outcome which should look a certain way.

What if we gave up attachment to how something should be done or how it should look, and instead concentrated on our commitment to having something happen? If we're committed to or taking a stand for something we believe in, and if we can give up how it should look, we can keep our determination without setting ourselves up for disappointment.

In my Landmark training, I've learned that when we create a possibility for something to happen, the very nature of that context is one which, even if the possibility fails, will lead to a new possibility. If we create an expectation instead, the failure of that expectation will lead to resentment, disappointment, and stoppage.

It's all in the context and the spirit with which we create.

I'm committed to giving up attachment and expectation and shifting my view to one of possibility. What do I have to lose except disappointment? :)


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