Well, as I sit here on Earth Day, I am reflecting on our seemingly long winter. It has not been any “longer” than any other collection of winters. It is how we perceive time that is the difficulty. I overheard someone discussing with a friend how they were really tired of waiting for spring. Well, Spring is here. We aren’t still waiting on it. We are waiting on our anticipation of spring-like weather.
With our seasons, as with other things in life we hold certain expectations. I was discussing this a few hours ago with a friend. We know how others are going to react most of the time.We tend to interact with people in the same way now that we did years ago, especially when it comes to family members. They generally interact with us in the same manner. The things which irritated us about our younger siblings thirty years ago still irritate us today.
We have certain expectations of others in general. That is not necessarily a bad thing. We base those expectations on what we feel we need for ourselves, and we give in the manner in which we expect to get from others. That is also where the problem lies. If we are generous, loving individuals, we generally expect those who are a part of our inner circle of friends and family to return our gestures with like gestures. They often don’t, and we are left scratching our heads and wondering what went wrong. Well, nothing. We are holding expectations of others based on a wide variety of needs.
In a marriage, if one person is affectionate and the other person is not, it results in apathy over the years, if not downright hostility. Neither person is right, and neither person is wrong, they are just terribly misaligned and mismatched. Some marriages exist in this state of apathy and boredom for years before both parties realize that love only goes so far if your needs and expectations do not intertwine. It is not a one-way street that is up to one of the parties. It is something that either fits or does not. Something that has nothing to do with love.
The reflections I am having today come from an expectation that has been put upon me to participate in a family activity that I do not want to participate in. Not because I have a problem with going to a vow renewal ceremony, but because I do not like weddings, to begin with. I did not attend the original wedding and sent up a prayer of thanksgiving that I did not have to.... Now, a mere ten years later, here I am. Will I go? Yes, I will. Will I go because I am expected to? No. I will go because to stay away would make a statement about me that I do not wish to align myself with.
When we go into situations... any situation ... because it is expected behavior of us, we are going to be continually frustrated and disappointed with the results. If we expect an April day to be nice and mild, we will be disappointed when the temperature hovers around 34*. The answer to this dilemma is simply to accept the unacceptable for the time knowing that the weather will change.
As far as those personal expectations, I have not yet figured that one out entirely. My best solution has been to remove myself from situations and from people that I cannot align with. It has not always been easy, and certainly, there are some circumstances which are more difficult than others. If you want to stay happy in life, however, you will follow your path to happiness, and therein you will find your bliss (and, oddly enough, so will the other person).
Something To Ponder