Sugar Packet Wisdom – Expectations

2013-06-02 15.59.32Welcome to my new series of writing attempts :).

Is it just me but don’t you think its strange that we live in the information age and yet the general population seems to be getting dumber than ever? The technology we all love so much seems to be affecting peoples abilities to think for themselves!

I saw this sugar packet quote (I love to collect these little packets) and it inspired me to share this knowledge I have acquired.

Firstly, let me say, knowledge is something anyone can accumulate but knowledge, experienced and lived becomes something far more precious, it becomes Wisdom! Like many, I earned my wisdom the old fashioned way…blood, sweat and tears!

Today I would like to write about Expectations: from my point of view, expectations have caused me the most amount of ‘suffering’! We have expectations about almost everything in our lives, its been ingrained in us from young. Expectations to be popular, healthy, happy, to grow up and be the best achiever you can be, to get married, have a family…the list is endless.

We expect to fall in love, for someone to help make us feel ‘whole’, or so the fairytale goes! We expect that if we are kind and caring toward people, our kindness would be returned but what if we don’t fit the prescribed norm? In every relationship, no matter the dynamic, involves an expectation that we have laid out for the other person and theirs for us! Most of the heartbreak I see in the world  revolves around these expectations Not been met. Then there are the expectations we have of ourselves….Oh Boy…that’s maybe a post for another day but the principle is the same. I ask the question, “are we truly heartbroken, or are we just deeply disappointed that our private expectations were not met?”

A Big question..I know, however a question worth asking, I think! So how can I ask a question of this magnitude, without also seeking its answer? Of course I can’t, so when I let my inner female kick ass Sherlock Holmes out her box, I discovered awesome things and my life completely opened up to a brand new level of peace. Even though the subject applies to almost every aspect of life, I offer up these examples: As an artist, when I begin a new painting with the expectation that its going to be ‘easy’ because I know the subject matter well and I’m familiar with the technique I’m going to use…Oh Boy, then the proverbial Fit hits the Shan!!!!! Almost everything that can go wrong WILL, until I ‘Let Go’ of the expectations that I’m a freaking genius artist and this stuff is “easy” :D, then and only then, almost by magic, the flow returns and the painting turns out ok, sometimes even great, depending on how successful I was at ‘letting Go’! On the flip-side, more often than not, if  I start a painting and I’m doubting my abilities, the painting works out beautifully…most of the time :D.

Now this one, I’m sure NO one in the WHOLE world will be able to relate to 😉 …..  Girl meets boy, girl falls ‘in love’ with boy, girl thinks she has finally found that special boy… forward a few months…. THE END!! Pointless exercise describing that one in more depth,  no matter how it plays out, the story is always fundamentally the same. I think the painting I did (below) describes that ‘heartbreak’ more than any words can.

“The Agony”DSCN3487

Then slowly but surely the pain lifts and then comes the real kicker……..You go and hit the Repeat button, hoping by some divine intervention, the ending has changed !!!!!!!!! Pure madness. Eventually I realized, my expectations did NOT match theirs, Huff! Hard lesson learned but very valuable.

These expectations are tricky little buggers, they require a close watch:

I love to watch wildlife documentaries and in my view, its all laid out right there. Nature is harsh, survival is under constant threat (other than from humans) and has to evolve new ways to ensure its survival. So why would ‘we’ expect human life to be any different? We are born out of nature after all! Equally, expecting life to be a harsh brutal thing can also be tricky. I think its the expectations that are causing us continuous pain that need to be kept in check. I can certainly say that my relationships have far less anxiety since I ‘Let Go’ of most of my expectations. It actually brings a deeper love for the other person because you’re not wasting time whining about whatever expectation the person is not meeting.

My brother for example has not asked me how ‘I am’ and truly wanting to know, for approx 6 years. He shows almost no interest in the details of who I am as a person, yet I KNOW when the chips are down and I’m in need of help, he will be one of the first people to help me! It hurt me for a long time, that he was this way, especially since I’m the first person he comes to when his relationships are in the toilet and I listen patiently (mostly) to all his woes. Then over time I learned to Let Go and understand that’s just how he is, its his nature!

In case you were wondering…Yes, I have pointed this trait out to my brother on a few occasions 🙂 – he makes more of an effort for awhile (as with most people) and then things settle back into their familiar routine once more! So expect nothing of others, just love them as they Are. It hurts less for you and it leaves a LOT more space for them to surprise you, and they will. You also have Much more appreciation for the special little things they do for you because you know they did it completely on their own, just because they wanted to, 🙂 no pressure, no guilt…beautiful!!!

That’s what’s in my survival toolbox for today. Gather your own knowledge, think deeply about life and seek its Wisdom. Wishing you all a more peaceful and loving life!


3 responses to “Sugar Packet Wisdom – Expectations

  1. Hi Cari, here I am at your world of expectations. An enriching read indeed. First I must say I love your painting “The Agony”. The quality of your craft here is amazing. Such realism and surrealism. Beautiful. Reading your thoughts on how we live our lives with so many expectations resonates so clearly with me. Although, I think somewhere in my life, I have lost the desire to believe in anything as being permanent. Hence the lack of expectations about most things. In Buddhism we come to understand the need to go of attachments. The impermance of all things. Yes in love, expectations seem to have a mind of there own. However, there is a sense of self preservation, when we, as you say ‘let go’ of

    • Hi Walter, thank you so much for reading and leaving your in-depth thoughts and for your kind words regarding my painting :). I totally agree and understand your thoughts on nothing being permanent. I’m quite familiar with Buddhism teachings and philosophies regarding letting go of attachments and expectations. There are many reasons I have not mentioned this part of my life here in cyberspace and the biggest reason, is for me, I have found that even my attachment to spiritual pursuits has faded! “The Agony” painting was not just about lost love, it was also a representation of me letting go of worldly and spiritual attachment and what a heart wrenching journey that was/is! I must also say though, as heart wrenching as it has been, there is also a freedom, I have never experienced before. Hopefully my thoughts make sense? Peace and light my friend.

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