Stray Dog Revolution
I've had two specific experiences this summer that have me thinking about my own expectations: one was when my expectations were so low that I came away feeling psyched, and the other was when my expectations were so high that I went away feeling dejected. So this morning on my run, it got me thinking- what if I had no expectations?
I've been exploring this idea that we create our own suffering by choosing what to focus on and our reactions to situations. If I'm annoyed and furious about something at work, I can spend the evening griping about this thing I have no control over, or I can choose to enjoy my evening with family and let it go. If I'm feeling anxious and upset, I can dwell in those emotions and rehash things in my mind until I'm a sobbing mess on the floor, or I can go for a jog in the cool morning air and leave those thoughts behind. It's a choice. A difficult one, but still a choice.
Expectations also often lead me down the path of negative emotion. Especially when I have expectations of myself, which I always do. I pretty much expect nothing but the very best from myself at all times. 150%. Regardless of what I'm doing: my work, my fitness, my parenting, my wife-ing... You name it. And then, when I don't measure up, which I hardly ever do, I beat myself up a bit. Not as much anymore as I used to, but still more than I probably should.
So what's better? To have low expectations and remain in a pleasantly surprised state at the littlest of things or have high expectations that always leave me feeling let down? Or is there another option? What if I have no expectation?
At the beginning of my career a wise friend gave me a mantra that I've pretty much lived by in the classroom. It goes: Show up, be honest, remain unattached to the outcome. It's dawning on me that remaining unattached to the outcome is exactly the same as having no expectations. Clearly, I've known this all along, but didn't really understand until today.
I'm think I'm gonna with Shakespeare on this one.
I've been studying nutrition and healthy eating for over a decade. As the saying goes, food can be either the safest and most powerful form of medicine or the slowest form of poison.