Friday, July 31, 2015

Expectations: Part 3 "Attachment to Outcomes creates attachments to the uncontrollable."

Continued from Expectations: Part 2 "The Boogey Man in Relationships."

I don’t know much but I’m learning. I’m learning that most things are NOT personal at all. My mother left when I was fourteen. It’s an old, tired, boring story to me now. She didn’t do it personally to me. She did it because SHE needed to do it for her. It’s on her, not me. Yet, I spent a good portion of my life attaching to that outcome and therefore manifesting all these abandonments in my life, and giving myself reason and self-pity to draw back to it repeatedly.

If you get zen-like, and look solely at facts and all the different situations, conditions and life forces that come into play....It seems a bit insane to expect. Of course we set goals, we reassess them, though. We could avoid disappointments with simply realizing how many other uncontrollable factors play into it. 

My distaste or major aversion to a person is usually (if I’m being honest) because something about that person resembles a darker insight about myself that I fear and detest, or worse, MY feelings of inadequacy are in the way of allowing them TO BE THEM, and not pass judgment because I have attached some value or outcome to how things should be. It’s so simple, and yet so difficult to do. 

I’m accused of all kinds of things all the time. I’m too honest. I love too big. I have no filter. I am wily and unpredictable, and I am cold and detached or extreme. These are all labels, no? That is correlated only with some type of expectation or outcome or outward perception of what I SHOULD BE. 

Guess what? I’m also scared to be honest sometimes that I fold in on myself. I need routine and order to be calm. I am emotionally sweeping and connected to so many people and things, and I can sometimes operate in this monotone level of clarity and lack of extremes. So why then are there so many labels? 

I can save you the suspense: We all have the yin and yang in us. We ALL can be all ends of the spectrums in extremes and in moderations. The only things that keep us comfortable with labels or the convenience of finding buckets and perfectly applied notions that fit us as a “personality” or “type” is because it feels easier. We know what to expect if someone is a banker, or a stripper, or a novelist, or a scientist, or catholic or Muslim or all the labels we use to manifest the ideas we have of people and things. 

They don’t work though. I learned this early. I imagine that’s why I’m so confusing to people. I think it’s easier to say I’m “Fake” or “lost” than for most people to acknowledge that within themselves is the exact same capacity to be at all ends of things. We are taught and learn how to stick with one thing or another. In school “are you creative or good at math” are you “assertive or passive?”  “Are you a leader or a follower?” “A girly-girl or tom-boy?” 

I remember being five years old and thinking people were all dumb. I know, it’s horrible to write it, horrible to say it, but as a child I remember the moment, the dress and the feeling I had when I saw all the hypocrisy. I saw my own parents struggling to be in the mold or boxes they themselves had created. I distinctly remember sitting in the family room, in a white chair with bright yellow cushions.
I remember looking at my mother distant and seemingly wistful for another life, pick up the phone and putting on an immediately cheerful  tone with someone who had called. In that instant, my father walked through the garage door. He did this silly Flintstone’s call to my sister and I, whenever he came home, and with his leather mahogany-colored briefcase with gold notches in one hand, he would raise the other and scream “Yabba Dabba Dooooooooooo” and we would run to him.

That day, he didn’t. He was stressed or somehow not happy. He kicked the door closed behind him with one leg. I looked at him quizzically, waiting for the Flintstones. Nothing. And that was fine by me. I’d rather not we all pretend. 

Then, he heard my sister running down the stairs yelling “Dadddddd-yy????”  And it registered. He clicked into mode and put on the show…I saw through it. I didn’t participate because I had seen his face and his eyes that spoke of a different mood and something heavy on his mind. YES, it is commendable to put your kids first, and to keep with traditions. I also think it’s perfectly healthy to acknowledge when your mood changes, because if not, the expectations remain for everyone that all things stay the same no matter what.

They do not. They will not. That is what has the power to ruin us all. 

I knew that at five. I forgot it for decades and I’ve never been more sure now. A simple, seemingly non-eventful moment explained to me then that it is impossible to incapsulate everything and everyone into expectations. They will disappoint (expectations, and people) so like that child in me, I have recently decided to detach from expected outcomes and hope for things.

Hope and love courageously, instead with pure belief (not expectations) in the possibility of whatever it is that may come next, and more importantly, that whatever that ends up being, is exactly what I need at that moment.

Here's to holding hope, not expectations!


"Shimmer with a smile. Life is hard, bloom anyway."

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