Ever found yourself struggling to reach your own expectations? Well, I have! Quite often actually. I'm possibly the toughest taskmaster I've ever let into my life. The expectations I have for me are by far greater than any that may come apparently from the outside, although in a reflection of my own inner landscape, my outer experience is often one that speaks of great difficulties in things that should in all reality come a lot easier. All my responsibility, there is no denying that. However, no matter how often I return to the script and take responsibility for my experienced reality, that sense of never being quite there, quite good enough etc, looms and casts its shadow over a varied range of situations.
I've taken a closer look at this and found one thing that is common to most of my experiences that I find so hard. It is a stance within me, one that sets the bar so very high. These are my own expectations. These are the various voices who egg me on to do better still, to reach farther and to jump higher. It's stressful to have these taskmasters and I am so very weary of this construct. Obviously weary enough to go about dismantling it, in order to figure out what it all is.
Expectations - hmmm...ok - I'm following this energy to its base and very quickly find its source. There is a great fear of failure. It's just simply not an option to fail in my life. I've failed alright, in various instances, but I have come out of each one of those seeming failures with the resolve (yeah, alright...the expectation) to do better next time. In and of itself, this inner drive for improvement isn't all bad. I've learned and kept going out of situations where I've seen others linger for years unable to dig themselves out. I've been congratulated on this tendency - it has been called courage, strength, tenacity, and so forth. Today, I want to call it by it's real name. It's called fear of failure - nothing more, nothing less.
It is no question that a state of fear will pull one out of a state of love. That we found out a while ago. It is but a wee step to see what the energetic fabric of an expectation does to the state of unconditional love - well, I find that it puts very quickly and irrevocably a condition on my love and the state of unconditional love dissipates just as quickly and just as irrevocably for as long as the expectation is in my system. An expectation carries also the energy of an assumption. It is the assumption that I am truly the maker and shaker of my own success and that I can navigate outside of unconditional love and make things happen. Well, I can make things happen, I'm allowed to shift, dance, change, frolic for as long as I like - all under the energetic mantle of expectation, but I am then by proxy not in a state of unconditional love and therefore have cut myself off that flow from the Creator, even if that cutting off is just a wee little bit, and I know in my mind that I am loved like every other spark, beyond measure - I cannot truly feel it, for as long as I hold an expectation.
In Buddhist tradition, this expectation would possibly be called an attachment. An attachment to a projected/desired outcome. The tricky part is, that even if I let go of one expectation, say the one to keep growing and changing better and better, I am tempted to replace it with the expectation to let go of expectations...quicker - better...smoother etc.... Oh, that's quite a wicked cycle, isn't it?
A state of unconditional love cannot be achieved - it can only be surrendered into. The art of letting go, into the place of unconditional love is therefore possibly one of the more important acts of self-love on this ever winding road of self-discovery.
I'm on it, but I now let go of any expectations as to when I will be "getting it"...so bear with me!