Saturday, April 27, 2013

Joyride A to Z: E "x" pectations

Ok, I totally cheated with my X word.

Don't judge me, it was hard to think of something that had to do with "X" that had to do with joy--although, to be honest, playing the Xylophone really is quite joyous...but that's another post.

Annnnnnnnyway...expectations.

Let 'em go.

Not ALL expectations, just OTHER people's expectations of you.
Your personal expectations are the birthplace of your dreams.
Hang on to those, because they rock.

I experience the most unhappiness when I'm trying to fulfill the expectations dictated to me by others.
I have two problems with the expectations of other people hoisted upon me:
1. I hate to be bossed around, and...
2. The stuff that people expect of me I usually don't want to do.

A few years ago, I came across a profound book. You can read about that here.
When I finally figured out I could say, "no" to other peoples expectations of me, it was like a huge light turned on in my soul. I found myself with free time to fill with anything of my choosing. I felt like I was shaking off the shackles of a lifetime of guilt. I didn't have to say "yes" all the time. Instead, I gave myself permission to ask myself, when presented with another's expectation, "Is this a hell yes, or a hell no?"

If it's a hell no, I usually say, "I'm sorry, I'm unavailable." And I move on.
No guilt, and no worries, because I'm tending the garden of my integrity and standing guard at the gate of my soul and no one else is going to do that except me. I am responsible for my own happiness.

And if someone comes along with expectations that align with my inner desires, talents and interests? Then it's a hell yes, and I'm all in.

Living with the "hell yes/ hell no" concept takes a lot of the angst out of daily living--and I've gotta say that saying "hell no" to other's expectations of me and "hell yes" to living with authenticity and integrity has given me more freedom and joy than I ever expected.


Living free from expectations brings me joy. What brings you joy today?

"To free us from the expectations of others, to give us back to ourselves, there lies the great, singular power of self respect." ~Joan Didion


29 comments:

  1. I think my favorite part of your post is your sentence at the very beginning: "Your personal expectations are the birthplace of your dreams." How lovely and how true. I personally expect myself to finish my Master's Degree (starting in September) and it will be my dream come true. On another note, I too, have a huge problem with saying 'no' - so many of us do.

    Cheers from Brandy at http://brandysbustlings.blogspot.ca/

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    1. You will do it!! Best of luck, Brandy!

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  2. I just love this post. In fact, I have loved a lot of your post in the A to Z challenge. I believe we all have path in this life that is just ours. No one has the right to tell us how we should follow our own path. Good for you that you figured out how to say no...stop. I know that I need to be there for love ones, be the person they need me to be [mom, wife] but I still need to be me.

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  3. Expectations are the birthplace of your dreams--excellent.

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    1. It's true! It's true! Somedays I just have to cling to that idea!!

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  4. Expectations of others can be troublesome. Giving in to those expectations can be deadly. Ask me about it sometime.

    Blessings and Bear hugs!
    Bears Noting
    Life in the Urban Forest (That's my poetry blog)

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  5. I'm an introvert, so I always have to make sure that if I say no to something, I'm doing it for the right reasons. It'd be so easy for me to just say no to so many things that I'd regret later on just because my instincts are urging me to.

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    1. My instincts are the same--I will leap to say NO first, and sometimes have to pause to really look at the reason I'm saying no...it's a precarious line. :)

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  6. I went out with my family today. We went to one of the local flea markets and then out to eat at a wonderful restaurant in a nearby city where we had not been before. I usually do not like to get up and go, but usually have fun once I'm out. Today was no e-"x"-ception. :O)

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  7. I feel like there's all these expectations about how clean my house is, whether internal or externally motivated expectations. I got a lot of joy out of dumping out my whole garage today and cleaning it, even if it did drive my husband CRAZY.

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    1. I also get a lot of joy out of cleaning things out!!!

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  8. I was never really able to say no to expectations of me, until I became an adult almost two years ago. As soon as I had my eighteenth birthday, I was finally able to start taking control and have my own expectations for myself. I've been a lot happier since then.

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  9. Great post. I'm trying to figure out the " Hell No" part myself. I also read that generally when we get angry with someone, it is because they did no do what WE expected them to, didn't go our way. Someone expecting us to do than we are willing and the expectations we put on others. Either way expecting creates some chaos.

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  10. I prefer a simple yes thanks or no thank you... it's amazing how good I feel when I live up to my own Xpectations and how that can upset other people, but honouring yourself is the first step towards honouring other people.

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  11. I couldn't agree more, Ida! I may have to quote you. :) "honouring yourself is the first step towards honouring other people."

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  12. Great post! We have an award for you over at Laughing at Life, 2. Click this link http://laughingatlife232.blogspot.com/2013/04/liebster-blog-award.html#more

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  13. Still trying to work out how to live with other people's expectations. Most of the time it doesn't bother me, but sometimes there comes a time when I'd love to say no, and then I don't. It's a work in progress.

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    1. We are ALL works in progress. :)

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  14. Lisa, I went to a "Cuddle Party" (you can look them up) and one of the things we discussed in our small group was that 1) permission had to be given before any touching took place and 2) saying "no" was perfectly acceptable. What a concept! What really helped me understand that saying "no" was okay was something the facilitator said: "You're not saying 'no' to the other person; you're saying 'yes' to yourself." For me, that re-framing of "no" was beautiful and profound. :)

    P.S. I cheated on my "X" post, as well. Darn, but those "X" words are difficult!

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    1. I love that! "You're not saying 'no' to the other person, you're saying 'yes' to yourself." Reframing: That's is beautiful.

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