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Sporadic photos and notes from a Psyche-midwife, cheerleader, anthropologist--aka clinical social worker in therapy practice. Photos are usually mine except for those of historical events/famous people. Music relevant to the daily topic is often included in a web video embedded below the blog. Click on highlighted links in the copy to get to source or supplemental material. For contact information, see my website @ janasvoboda.com or click on the button to the right below. Join in the conversation.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

January 10th Challenge: Check Your Expectations

"Expectations are premeditated resentments."

this sky should be blue
A friend (shout-out, Rosie S!) recently shared this quote from AA philosophy.   Reading online about the various interpretations, I found this:  "I understand how this short axiom can be confusing without the contextual background provided by AA (or Buddhism for that matter). The overriding premise is other people, places, and things are not my problem. How I respond to other people, places, and things is my problem."

When we bring an expectation into a situation, we have a predetermined outcome pictured. And with that, we've already limited our response and our experience.   "He doesn't love me" may be a true and difficult fact.  "He should love me" is a judgment, and an expectation that reality (something outside our control) is wrong.  This sets even more trouble into play.

How we respond= our response-ability.  Today's challenge is to notice your expectations.  See how they are linked to judgment and story-telling, and how the impact the outcome.  Do you cherry-pick data to support the expectation?  Do you ignore the data and expect, for example, the roommate who has historically been messy will be neat today, and thus become disappointed anew?

What would happen if we expected reality to be just as it is?  If we accepted that the answer to most of our questions about the future is simply this:
 "I don't know."

This doesn't mean we don't plan, don't act strategically based on history.  But we can gently, lovingly release a bit of our grasping on how we think things ought to be.  Then we may have just a little more energy for dealing with how they are.

Today's song is rated Geez Whiz You'll Hear Worse at Any School Yard for language and adult themes, but is an excellent example of expectations as resentments.

1 comment:

Sandy.Riverman said...

Sometimes I feel like you're talking right to me, Jana.