shattered expectations

I sat there with a big smile on my face and my eyes as big as saucers as I practically salivated with expectation. For sure I would be getting the doll that I had pointed out to Mom in the store. Ever since I had shown it to her, I could see myself brushing my doll’s hair, putting beautiful outfits on her, and introducing her to all of my stuffed animals. And now the day was here; the day I would meet her for the first time! I took the present, the last one that I still had to unwrap, and tore into the paper, unwrapping as fast as I could. But what I uncovered wasn’t the doll that I so desperately wanted. It was some other doll. What? It couldn’t be! My birthday was ruined! No thank you’s. No laughter. Just tears and frowns and disbelief. “I was so sure you would get the doll I had shown you!”, I cried. “I was so sure”! I didn’t take the time to see that this doll was actually prettier than the one I had wanted, came with many more outfits, and was able to do a lot more things. All I knew was that it wasn’t the one I had expected.

The Hidden Power

That may have been the first time I experienced the power of expectation. Expectations will zap you every single time. When we feel any kind of expectation about a certain event,  expect someone to react in a particular way, or to see any specific imagined outcome, we are most likely destined for heartbreak.

There’s a difference between creative visualization and “creative expectation”. In creative visualization you hold an image and then surrender it, not putting a timeframe or particular outcome design on it.

But with “creative expectation” (as I like to call it), you imagine exactly what you want to happen and expect it to happen in exactly that way. We don’t realize that when we imagine this expected outcome, we are holding a silent need for it to unfold in EXACTLY the way we have imagined. The problem comes when it doesn’t manifest according to that precise internal vision we have. Usually with expectation we can see that outcome so clearly, and we are so sure it’s going to happen just as we picture.

But it never does. When there is one hair out of place or one word that is spoken differently than in our fantasy, our hopes are dashed. Those hopes are then usually replaced with extreme disappointment and/or anger. The least favorable outcomes are when we place these expectations on people. We try to pretend and back step that we weren’t counting on a certain order: “Oh no. That’s okay”, we say with an undertone of disappointment. But if we spoke our truths in that moment, we would speak anything but the words “Oh no. That’s okay”.

It isn’t okay. Hopes dashing on rocks echo through the ethers like glass shattering on slabs of concrete. There’s no hiding the great disruption that explodes in our psyches. We bounce back, but at what cost? Perhaps these disruptions bleed over into our relationships or they interrupt what could have been a beautiful, peaceful day.

There’s no stopping the Expectation Game once you roll the dice and deal the cards. The only way to avoid the fallout is to choose not to gamble with your precious moments in this life time. Next time you feel and see yourself lost in a reverie of the wonderful outcome that you are SURE will take place, catch yourself and choose the game of surrender instead. Let go of all insistence of how it will play out. Then you will be pleasantly surprised and not laden with sadness because it all turned out differently than you had hoped.

I’m not saying that we shouldn’t dream, as that is the basis for bringing transformation into our lives. But please don’t insist the dream be painted in various shades of blue and yellow because they are your favorite colors.

Be open to the Universe knowing that you look much better in a wonderful shade of kelly green…


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