This morning as I was writing my morning pages, I came to wonder whether it is better to have great expectations or to have no expectations. If you have great expectations it seems you hold out for great things to happen in your life. Optimism is your primary state of mind. In your mind's eye, you envision great things happening. On the other hand, if you have no expectations, you are probably never disappointed, but often pleasantly surprised when things go well. Now of course there is the three option...to have catastrophic expectations, but in my humble opinion, that is not really a healthy way to live. Remember the fable of Chicken Little? What a sad way to live.
So, back to the debate in my mind between having great or having no expectations. I have to say there is a middle ground there somewhere. I think it good to be optimistic. Pessimism seldom gets you where you want to be. I also think it is good to be realistic. Taking on any activity or commitment with no expectations of what the results will be, leaves things up to a force beyond our control.
But what about having goals? Dreams? Wishes? Desires? I say "Yes!" Those are all very important. I guess what it boils down to for me is that having great expectations means you have some attachment to the outcome. And it is attachment that might cause pain and suffering, especially when things don't go the way you would like them. And, truthfully, how often does that happen to us? Ya, I thought so.
So that's what I'm looking for today. A balance between goals and desires and the reality of what can be achieved. It really is only when you are putting your all into whatever you are doing that you have any right to have any expectations at all. I wonder what God expects of us? I expect God just wants us to be who we are, kind to each other and dedicated stewards of all that has been given us. I don't think you even have to believe in God to be able to have those expectations.