Imagine this: You wake up one morning, and decide, ‘I’m going to have a good day. I will have a positive attitude, and I will be happy until I go to bed.” Half an hour later, a fight with a teenager has put you in a tailspin, and you’re not feeling very positive at all. But how did that happen? You woke up with the intention to be positive…. so why didn’t it work?
We all have it. We expect to get the job we want. We expect for our spouse to act or react a certain way. We expect that certain behaviors will get us the rewards that we desire. And isn’t that what ‘The Secret’, The Law of Abundance, and the Law of Attraction are all about? Expecting great results, and then seeing them?
I had this happen just three days ago. I woke up in a great mood, I had a plan of serenity set out for the day. I was going to be calm, peaceful and ‘zen’; it was where my mind was at. And then only half an hour later, I was a screaming monster, as my teenage son got under my skin (the way that he knows how) and I asked myself, ‘What is the lesson in all of this?’
It took me a few days of stewing, complaining, rewinding and replaying our fight. It was a dumb one (as they usually are) and he pushed all the right buttons (as he usually does) to get me to react (as I usually do). What pissed me off about it this time around that hadn’t happened before, was that it took me right off my idea of what my day was going to look like.
Arguing with a self-absorbed teen is not a positive day. Or was it?
You see, so often, we get caught up in this idea of what is good, and what is bad. We don’t see things as just being.. We label them. We categorize them. We judge them. And we expect them to bring along certain results.
I have a sign in my house that says ‘It is what it is’. My mom has made fun of how often I say this. The car breaks down. It is what it is. The kids are sick. It is what it is. I would not let these things bother me, because there was nothing I could do to change them, but I had realized over the years that by just accepting them, and dealing with them (and knowing that they couldn’t ruin my day) I was able to work through them, and always found a positive spin on them.
But this moment with my teenager, my first thought was not, ‘It is what it is’. My first thought was ‘How dare he take my day away from me!?’. I called my sister, I posted on facebook. I didn’t allow the moment that happened an hour ago to stay where it was… I continued to carry it with me. He, I blamed, had ruined my day.
Actually, It was me. I ruined my day. The moment I decided to attach that moment… that argument to the rest of my day; the moment I decided to say this is ruining xyz, rather than stating this is what it is; the moment I lost control of my own boundaries, and my own ideas of what was good and what was bad…. that’s how I ruined my day.
We all have our own power. We all get to choose what is going to affect us and what is not going to affect us. We get to choose how we will end each moment… whether we will let it go, or continue to carry it with us. We get to choose how we will label each situation… is it good, or is it bad, or is it simply what it is? A situation, in a small moment in time, that we can’t erase, that we can’t take back.
When we allow ourselves to let go of the expectation, we leave no room for disappointment. We may go in with an awareness to any situation (I am aware that my resume is kick ass, so I have a great chance at getting the job) but we don’t need to have the expectation (I expect that I will get this job, because of my resume, and if I don’t, everything in my life is a failure). We may have an awareness that someone is a liar, so then we are not disappointed when they do lie to us.
The next time you find yourself in a situation that has you feeling anything other than neutral, tell yourself to let go of your expectations of the results, and simply just see it as it is. You will notice that your attachment becomes lessened as you bring your awareness to the neutrality of each situation that we encounter. Not good, not bad, just as it is.
Until next time,