I have spent a lot of time thinking about how everything that causes us ups and downs, highs and lows, and good and bad days is because of labels.
You have no doubt heard you shouldn’t have expectations. We respond usually by saying yep I know that and I will work on it. Do you really know what it means though? Think about what an expectation is. It’s a mental affirmation that something you want to happen will. The dictionary states “a strong belief that something will happen or be the case in the future”. So if we believe strongly that something will happen in the future and it doesn’t what now? We say something bad happened. We become disappointed. We blame someone or something else for the misfortune that has befallen us. We even go so far to become a victim of the universe. A casualty of a cruel world.
Now what if because things didn’t go as we wanted we were not involved in a car accident? What if we are able to be in a different place mentally or physically to help someone in life? What if what we said we expected or wanted to happen was nothing compared to what will happen months from now that will be even better? You may not be so upset or a victim if you knew that. Knowing there is a purpose and reason for everything makes you less a victim and more an active participant in the grand scheme of the universe. I have always been a fan of the saying “Everything happens for a reason”. Many times I have struggled to see any possible reason something occurred. The more I struggle and resist the basic faith there is a reason the more unhappy I am. The more lost, frustrated, and just disheartened I become.
I think the simplest way to avoid the expectation traps and pitfalls is to remove labels. What I mean by that is what if we no longer used the words good and bad? Light and darkness? Happy and sad? Just let all things be. We even set ourselves up for failure in some very simple ways. Think about how we say “have a good day” to someone. We mean well and we think little of it but what happens if we don’t have a good day? What makes a bad day? It seems to me a good and bad anything is relative to your view. You may be caught in traffic for an hour after a rough day at work and say I had a terrible day. A block down the street someone’s loved one may have been hurt in an accident. You both had trying hard days by each’s perspective. By removing labels and realizing sometimes we have challenges and sometimes not. By realizing everything indeed does happen for a reason and even when sad and tragic things occur we become empowered and free. We no longer are a slave to hoping for good and afraid of bad. We simply can exist and become an active participant in the universe. No longer fear the what ifs and I hopes. Be much truer to your heart and wants. Follow your dreams and find all life has to offer.
So I leave this thought with you. Take it and run. Remove the labels in your life that cause you to hold back or falsely project your happiness on intangible things like will traffic be light today or my boss in a good mood. Instead sit in traffic and realize I would have never seen those clouds or sunset if I wasn’t stuck here waiting. Take time to actually see the world around you, not just exist in it.
And with that I say have a