Today I was thinking about how great my life feels when I let go of every expectation. And I mean EVERY expectation, of my husband, my job, my family and friends, anything. This is something that I have known for a long time but this morning I was thinking about whether or not I had really learned it.
To me, the difference between knowing and learning is this: When I know something it’s familiar to me. I read it in a book and think “yes that’s right.” When I’ve learned something it’s integrated into my life and daily behavior. This learning can be good or bad. From my mother, I learned that love is conditional on how much I do for the person who loves me. I learned early on from my family that it is best not to trust anyone and that being vulnerable was the same thing as being exposed to attack. These are things that I’ve been trying to replace with new learning for most of my life.
Here is my inventory of questions for creating a year full of beautiful moments in 2014, based on the difference between knowing and learning:
- What can I be grateful that I’ve learned that is healthy and positive for me?
- What has that learning replaced?
- What have I learned that I would like to replace with new learning?
- What do I know that I would like to truly learn instead of just knowing?
Truly learning to have no expectations is one of my answers to the last question. I was deeply disappointed by someone’s behavior recently. Was this because I had developed certain expectations of this person? Or because I have expectations that if I allow someone into my inner circle (i.e. moving from co-worker or acquaintance to friend) I have expectations of how they’ll behave?
Fortunately I was able to recognize this disparity between my expectations and reality quickly, and could remove the suffering that went along with the experience. It still hurts and disappoints but I am not suffering because of it. I guess this lesson and this experience, which was the furthest thing from what I wanted, was what I really needed to start my new year off right.