What do you expect from reading this post?
During recent months, the topic of expectations showed up for me again and again. I start working on my excessive planning habit and notice expectation lurking around. I do a breathing exercise and at the back of my mind I expect an immediate result. I put a book on my chair to create an element of voluntary suffering, and here it is again – something in me expects a miraculous effect in just a few minutes.
I need some expectation to start the exercise – why would I even try otherwise? However, at some point this continuous expectation becomes detrimental to the exercise. Results of the Work go beyond the realm of imagination and are not governed by my intellect. In my expectations, I cannot foresee possible miracles of the Master.
The situation warranted a closer look, a more focused observation. Digging deeper, I started seeing expectations everywhere. I talk to my family in a slightly changed tone of voice, expecting them to understand my mood. Moreover, I expect them to not only understand it, but also to accommodate this mood. I expect friends to arrive on time. I expect my Internet service to function uninterruptedly. However, people are not always attentive to the swings of my ever-changing moods. Appointments start late or get cancelled altogether. And my Internet connection goes down occasionally. My expectations aren’t met, inevitably leading to the spikes of negative emotions.
One evening I didn’t have anything planned, and I noticed some negative emotions were arising as if from nowhere. What was this about? I observed closer and realized that I expected boredom of the approaching evening. In this case I started suffering “in advance”.
What are all those expectations? Is it just another habit? For me, it feels like expectations are weaved in the very fabric of my ordinary day-to-day life. At the same time, I don’t remember expecting anything when being struck by an emotional wave of the live symphony, or when I was absorbed in the “now” of the looking exercise. But as soon as I fall asleep, my life gets surrounded by expectations. Maybe expectations is an attribute of the second state, a particular case of imagination?
Can then this faithful companion of my sleep be used to make my lower state more obvious and serve as an alarm?
Earlier this week I had a dentist appointment. As usual, I arrived 10 minutes earlier. 10 minutes passed, but I was still waiting. After 15 minutes a strong group of negative I’s occupied my entire inner space – “Why am I still waiting? They are disrespectful of my time! They are always late, what lousy people they are!” And then amidst this riot, I heard a quiet voice of my inner observer: “Here it is again. Your expectations are not being met and you are pissed off, wasting energy, falling deeper and deeper down the serpentine”. Immediately, the tension was released, the wave with the recognizable higher-state “taste” arrived, and I regained my inner peace. The group of intruding I’s retreated freeing up the field for something good.
As long as I’m in the second state, expectations are everywhere, and therefore they have a great potential to become a reliable and inexhaustible source of wood for the fire of my consciousness.
Has this post met your expectations?