Gems of Gratitude, New Year's Day, Reflections

Today’s Gem of Gratitude #202 – Happy New Year!

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Today I am thankful for expectations. In this life I have learned that it can be both good and bad to have expectations, depending on the nature of the expectations.

If the expectations are positive, realistic, not tied to a specific person, and are founded in motives that are unselfish, then they are likely good. An example of a good expectation is when we expect that good things will happen for us – that we will experience positive things, that good opportunities will come our way, that we will be healthy and prosperous, etc. It is generally safe to have expectations of this sort, because they help us to focus on the positive aspects of life, the blessings that come our way, and the goodness of humanity.

However, if the expectations are negative, unrealistic, tied to a specific person or group of people, and are founded in motives that are selfish, they are likely not good. An example of a bad expectation is when we expect for people to live their lives and behave the way that we think that they should. No matter how much we want for people to do certain things and treat us a specific kind of way, people are still people, and they will live their lives however they choose to do so. It is generally unsafe to have those types of expectations, because negative expectations cause us to develop a false sense of control over people. And when things do not turn out the way that we think that they should, the reality of our lack of control hits us, and we become devastated.

I have been told by many people that we should never allow ourselves to have any expectations about anything or anyone. I understand why they would say that, after all, it is impossible to have your expectations dashed if you do not allow yourself to develop expectations in the first place. However, a life lived with no expectations of any sort is a life that fails to open itself up to the full potential of what it was meant to be. The key is not to live a life that is absent expectations, but rather to live a life that contains the right expectations. And, yes, it is a bit of a challenge to keep one’s expectations in line, but the result is well worth the sacrifice. #lovebythedrop

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