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Letting go of expectations is the key to personal freedom

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posted on Feb, 16 2009 @ 05:37 PM
It has been my experience, that as people look forward to something, "oh it will be SO great!" yaddda yadda.......that when the actual experience is occurring they are sad to even be there, for it is not at all as they has envisioned. Its not quite as big, bold or joyous as they thought it could be, so they are let down........they feel shafted........they do not take the experience at face value and revel in what will be will be....
Some people actually live inside of their own expectations to such and access that no matter WHAT the outcome of any experience is, they see it as lacking in something.
If you set back with the wait and see attitude, then you may be pleasantly surprised at the outcome, or not, as in any given situation....but at least you did NOT spent much time and energy playing the 'what if' game.......let go of it.
Step away.

You ARE NOT living in the moment if you are living in a fantasy of ~what if~
You will not be fully LIVING your life, until you step out of your own way long enough live in the moment...

To be able to LIVE fully and impeccably IN this moment.....I advise the reading of ~THE FOUR AGREEMENTS~ by Don Miguel Ruiz

The Four Agreements:

*Be Impeccable with your word*
Speak with integrity. Say only what you mean. Avoid using the word to speak against youraelf or to gossip about others. Use the power of your word in the direction of truth and love.

*Don't take anything personally*
Nothing others do is because of you. What others say & do is a projection of their own reality, their own dream. When you are immune to the opinions & actions of others, you won't be the victim of needless suffering.

*Don't make assumptions*
Find the courage to ask questions and to express what you really want. Communicate with others as clearly as you can to avoid misunderstandings, sadness & drama. With just this one agreement, you can completely transform your life.

*Always do you best*
Your best is going to change from moment to moment, it will be different when you are healthy as opposed to sick. Under and circumstance, simply do you best, and you will avoid self judgment, self abuse, and regret.

I am of the opinon, that our expectations are very limiting.
Consider the 'must haves' or your 'requirements'
If you have some kind of a list of things you want to have as a trait in a possible mate......your truly only limiting yourself. You will miss all the cute and quirky things that might end up as the most endearing memories to you later a possible match that was far off of the ~WANTS~ of your list.

Love is such a special thing and it always feels best to give it.....maybe it is better to give love to someone lacking some quality's of your 'list' than to just wait alone......?

Consider how your 'list' limits you.....
Consider how limiting all the 'lists of your life' might be to you?

In the letting go of expectations one finds the doorway to true personal freedom.

posted on Feb, 16 2009 @ 06:53 PM
OK so I was WAS ranting on a bit.
I will go farther .......and say,
fear is nothing more than being very attached to an outcome.

[edit on 16-2-2009 by theRiverGoddess]

posted on Feb, 16 2009 @ 11:06 PM
When we express desire for specific expectations or circumstances we are also denying everything else. So for what some see as a positive, affirming action it contains a lot of negativity.

But I don't believe this means we need to deny our desire. I genuinely believe it's our denial of desire, or our want, that causes so many to falter and then to believe that their desires are more powerful than their will. But how can that be when desire is nothing but an extension of will? No, desire and want are what make us alive. Denying that can be just as destructive as wallowing in our desires.

The difference in being satisfied or not is in how freely we allow our desire to flow, not only to us but away from us. I said it in another thread, but perhaps it bears repeating here. I've found that in life it isn't always about what we're willing to do, but what we're willing to undo. And it doesn't matter what we hold onto, but how tightly.

As an example, someone who wants a fine new car and they get it. But then it gets scratched by another 'careless' motorist. How many will cry, scream and/or curse the heavens for their ill luck? When in truth, it's still the same car, just now uniquely theirs

To me it's simply a matter of being able to shift along with life's currents. When something comes close and we want it; reach for it! But when it's too far away it seems better to wait for it to drift closer rather than wear ourselves out trying to catch it. But that doesn't mean we need to forget it's out there either.

I know I feel my understanding is limited here. My current life is in dealing a great deal with these ideas. But I'm still growing. Perhaps what I've shared here can be expounded upon and show me a better understanding.

posted on Feb, 16 2009 @ 11:08 PM
I think you're on the right path but I would say letting go of entitlement should be added as well.

posted on Feb, 17 2009 @ 04:17 PM
I was told that ALL FEAR is stemmed form being to attached to your perceived outcome. Letting go of all attachment is key to personal freedom, and the true enjoyment of life can begin.

The problem with dis-atatching ones expectations from events is that you can then be so far distanced from them as to seem like you care not a whit for anything....but I think that IS the ultimate human experience, & it is separateness....because at the base of everything we ARE one.

Distancing oneself, will of course then cause you to be distant from lifes activities.

I believe this life is meant to be FULLY lived......not observed. This is a quandary you need to resolve on the path of enlightenment.
This is probably WHY Monks chose to be sequestered Why the great Spiritual leaders are cloistered away. Seems like enlightenment goes against the grain of 'family life'..................

I just know so little, and there is so much to understand.

[edit on 17-2-2009 by theRiverGoddess]

posted on Feb, 17 2009 @ 06:25 PM
I fully agree with your OP. And having studied "Toltec Shamanism" from a real life teacher and having read of Don Miguel Ruiz's Books (some of the others are really worth reading once the four agreements are understood) I too come to the same conclusions.

Expectations (on others and on situations) is a form of 'viral attachment'. It weakens our Will and diminishes our Intent. It blinds us to what is REALLY present in the moment.

Good thread, i hope more people get 'turned on' to this knowledge having read your OP.

posted on Feb, 17 2009 @ 06:36 PM
Great post OP! And thanks to the others in this thread posting with their own personal insights and ideas. I completely agree with the overall idea of letting go of ones' expectations. Unfortunately, I like many others have a hard time not thinking this way, but this is something that i've been thinking about for a long time due to personal experiences and relationships NOT being what I had envisioned. Truly, too many of us go through life expecting things to play out like some tidy little movie, where all problems and relationships are wrapped up in a neat little package and everything ends with "and they lived happily ever after". Life is what you make of it, and i've been at this point, due to the past 3 years and all that has transpired for me personally....from losing my job and most of my material possessions as a result, to the loss of what i thought would be the one true love of my a point where i've dettached myself completely from what is going on around me. I am just now coming around though, and your posts here are very inspiring to say the least. I am still coming to terms with some things, but hopefully with these ideas in mind, I can overcome these things and learn to live life one day at a time. I am learning that I really need to savor each and every interaction that I have with other people, because if i'm not really there then who knows what kinds of opportunities i've already missed out on? Great topic and very insightful stuff, thank you all!

posted on Feb, 17 2009 @ 07:02 PM
I was on a 3 day cruise with some friends once. One late night the friend who planned this whole shindig was up in the night crying....I followed her to the outside deck where she cried and cried to me about how things were not how she had planned them.

I know a woman spending her entire life in misery because nobody has ever treated her the way she dreams that they should. No matter how great things are going she is terribly sad for its not what she expected. She will die very sad because life for her, at every corner was NEVER what she had expected.

............MAYBE if expectations were set aside, she could have seen the wonderful unexpected things that did in fact take place.
Like a child unhappy at Christmas for not getting a 'certain' toy, can see no value in all the other great things they relieved.
Hopes dashed the morning is ruined.

posted on Feb, 17 2009 @ 09:52 PM
reply to post by mpriebe81

Keep your chin up, friend. I can honestly say that you can never know what waits around the corner. I say this from personal experience. Because I have lived a life that seemed pretty hopeless for almost my full 35 years. Sure, there were times when life was better than others, but hope wasn't something I even hoped for. Then I let it all go. And I mean all of it. I emptied my life, sought my 'higher self' and came to terms with the idea of having what I needed and everything else being frivolous and unnecessary. But my heart still wanted something and I couldn't deny that. The day before she 'found' me, I made a post to that effect here on ATS. The next day we had our first conversation.

So as I sit here, and we are still working to put our life together, I'll tell you truthfully: Don't give up on what you want. Just remember that it can come at any time, from any direction, whatever it is. And when it does, if we're too busy thinking about what we expect, we might just miss the greatest opportunities our life will offer.

I'm sorry if my talking of love is inappropriate considering what you've been through. I'm letting this out as much for myself as for the hope that it will inspire just a little bit of hope. So I don't mean to come across as insensitive.

Just keep an open mind, an open heart and wide eyes. Whether for love, wealth or simple peace of mind... these things can take many forms. Our wants are just reflections of our need, often magnified by desire. Take away the magnifying glass and we see that what we truly want and need can be much less than what we expect. And much closer to our grasp than we may have imagined.

[edit on 17-2-2009 by TravelerintheDark]

posted on Feb, 18 2009 @ 02:49 PM

Originally posted by theRiverGoddess
OK so I was WAS ranting on a bit.
I will go farther .......and say,
fear is nothing more than being very attached to an outcome.

[edit on 16-2-2009 by theRiverGoddess]

Great post, I have started thinking like this over the past year or 2 and it does sem that every time i get excited about something good about to happen, it always ends up being just ok or the total opposite of good.

However, when I don't expect anything great or ever good to happen and just kinda go with the flow, things seem to work out for the better because something random and good will happen that I would have missed if I was only focusing on the little part of the outcome I wanted.

There is definitely some truth to this and those are also just good examples to follow in life to help you become a better person and reach your life potential.

I need to start following and DOING instead of always THINKING and planning . That has always been my greatest downfall, and I'm starting to think, that this is the life I chose from beyond the afterlife, when I had passed before, that this was a skill or trait that I needed to improve upon to either ascend to higher level or become closer to the great creator.

Thanks for the post though . It really has me re-thinking how I do things and has reminded me of how much improving I can do as a person.

posted on Feb, 18 2009 @ 02:53 PM
The most wonderful thing about life is knowing that there will be surprises.
This really IS what life IS.
A bundle of surprises.

posted on Feb, 18 2009 @ 03:01 PM
reply to post by theRiverGoddess

Beautifully put...
I only just recently got back into this train of thought after reopening the book "The munk who sold his ferrari".

I doesn't matter what fame and fortune others get, the happiness that will make you happy can only be judged by one single question:
"Am I well in mind and health at this point and do I have time to enjoy life with other people?"

What good will having 1 trillion currency do you, if when you turn 60 you're alone in the world?

posted on Feb, 18 2009 @ 03:25 PM
Mindfullness is the only way to peace of the mind.

Mixed with an attitude of gratitude you can not fail to be happy, grateful and at peace.


posted on Feb, 19 2009 @ 09:17 AM
The only way to truly find your path in life is constant meditation. Work your mind into the conciousness of the world and energy welcomes you with open arms.

Peace be with you.

posted on Feb, 20 2009 @ 01:05 AM
Great post, RiverGoddess. I've only been on ATS a short while, but have found your posts very insightful and you always seem to inspire me to explore further into the subjects you bring forth, so thank you for that!

I do agree that in many situations we need to live in the moment and throw away our expectations to fully appreciate the experiences that are given to us, but I think there are some exceptions that we need to be aware of.

Say for example a new love interest enters our life, and we decide not to expect anything from the relationship and just see what happens. When we expect nothing or have low expectations, anything good in the relationship is then a positive confirmation that the relationship is good for us. But this may not be the case. This is where our "standards" come into play. Without a basis for comparison, we can believe that those good things are enough and we lose sight of what we are deserving of. You may find that by lowering your expectations you have given that relationship a better chance at survival than if you went by your standard expectations in a partner, but does that mean you are not deserving of those expectations?

I have found that it is a hard balance between just letting things happen, and making sure that I am not lowering my standards to the point where a relationship with anyone would be possible. I have in the past lowered my standards (without really knowing that I was) to accommodate a relationship with no expectations, and at first felt like it was a very positive situation. But as time went on, I realized that I had compromised my self worth and value, for a relationship built on low expectations.

So as I do agree that letting go of our expectations can give us experiences that would otherwise cease to exist, but always remind yourself of what you feel you deserve and not to compromise yourself or your "standards" for an experience that is ultimately not right for you.

posted on Feb, 21 2009 @ 12:03 AM

Originally posted by TravelerintheDark
reply to post by mpriebe81

Keep your chin up, friend.

Thanks Traveler...but my chin IS giving examples of people totally frustrated in their lives because it does not turn out as they 'expected' I gave some sad examples, but that in now way meant that I was the experiencer of these examples or somehow bummed out because of them.
Sorry if I wrote them in a way that made it sound like it WAS me those things happened to.

So I have been letting this train of thought settle in my mind.....and it has occurred to me that entire groups of people get their hopes up about all kinds of things, and then when it doesn't happen entire are bummed......example of your 'team' loosing a game.....
I am a believer in the universal consciousness, in the place where all of our awareness touches.........and when vast groups are out of sorts because of some unrealized expectation, do not ALL of those connected to this stream of consciousness feel the desperate sadness? Doesn't this just drag all of us down into lower vibrations of the disappointment?

How about entire countries being completely vested in a certain outcome, and in trying to MAKE IT SO....wars bloom. Streets can run with blood because of someones unrealized expectation....

How about all the people EXPECTING to see the revelations in the Bible and Koran come true.......many going so far as to try and cause events to take place that will be seen as these expectations being fulfilled.....

This brings me around to the idea that that if everyone just 'let go' of all expectations......then what?

Would this REALLY be a good thing?

Or...would none care about anything anymore?

Where exactly IS the delicate balance between these two issues.....?

reply to post by ElleJ

Thanks for your kind words Elle, and I hear you....

If we have ZERO expectations, then we would never be able to hold someone accountable for bad behavior.
If we have no expectations from any given situation than many times we may choose to just not bother to participate in something. Why bother if you don't care one way or the other what the outcome is?

Ugh.......I must find that balance point.
I still have thinking to do on this idea....
I appreciate you folks adding to the thoughts as that really helps all of us to try and sort it out.

[edit on 21-2-2009 by theRiverGoddess]

posted on Feb, 21 2009 @ 05:17 AM
As a Satanist I disagree with a few of the things that were posted. I fully expect my expectations to be met. I have rather low expectations so it is rather easy for that to be fulfilled.

I think if something is meant personally it should be taken personally. I'm not saying every time someone calls you a name you should take it personally, I'm talking more serious, non-petty matters.

Onto assumptions now. We all make assumptions about things. You assume your clock will keep on time. A rather simple assumption but an assumption all the same. We all assume many things.

As for always doing your best, I agree with it to an extent. If you are doing something you don't want to do and have no reason to do, then doing your best is a waste of your time and your energy. Now if it is something you see value in doing then of course you should do it to the best of your experience.

And as for love, I do not accept love as a true emotion, except perhaps from a parent to a child.

posted on Feb, 21 2009 @ 07:14 AM
Its asif this thread was sent!! Thanks for your thread, it has actually opened my eyes on the subject of expectations!!

I have also just ordered this book :-) any others by this author you can recommend??

posted on Feb, 22 2009 @ 04:10 PM
I've been trying to explain this to people, espesially 'cause valentines day just passed and you always hear about how someone's day didn't go as expected. It's hard to make plans without expectations, I've been working on this for a year now and improving little by little. "Get rid of expectations" is something I tell everyone when they ask me why something happened the way it did.

Wonderful post, written beautifully, loved it.

posted on Feb, 22 2009 @ 04:49 PM
reply to post by theRiverGoddess

I'm glad your spirit is well, though I was thinking more of mrpriebe81 who seemed to be expressing a bit of exasperation. But I'm glad you responded because I think you raise a great point.

The fine line you refer to is, to my mind, acceptance. I think it's reasonable and even healthy to desire certain things, such as love and happiness. But the real key to me is in being able to accept the form our fulfillment comes in.

In expectations we attempt to control the form, and when we don't receive things exactly in that form we become disappointed. And it seems to me that the more control people attempt to exert, the more often they are thwarted and the less happy they are.

[edit on 22-2-2009 by TravelerintheDark]

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