I slept very uneasy last night. I stared at the dark ceiling for a large part of the early morning hours. Those “witching hours” tick-tock themselves into the darkest corners of my little brain. I have learned to let go. Nahhh…let me try that again! I am “learning” most of the time (with a little curse word or so along the sentence) to freaking let go and release. In those reciting moments that catch me off guard I had a thought that made no sense until I got up, rubbed my forehead, had some coffee and gave into the writing prompt: “Assumption and expectation are in a marriage of hellish proportions. Stay out of their way.”
The word expectation means: “a strong belief that something will happen in the future, and a belief that someone will or should achieve something.” The “should” in that definition is what truly empathizes this word. The “should” seems to be the magic wand to the desire we place on others. We are disappointed when someone doesn’t step up to what they “should” do for us. We are crushed when our expectations of how we perceive them gets tarnished. To expect anything is to wait for the future to deliver. Our parents had expectations for us. We have them for our children. We hold expectations on our spouses, mates and lovers. We even have expectations for our pets. What are we doing to each other stressing on future outcomes?
Then I thought about assumption. The word means: “the act of taking for granted or supposing.” I remember that old saying, “When you assume you make an ass out of you and me.” Oh, and do we ever place a hold on assuming things in relationships, circumstances, and plain ole life. We assume stories that put fairy tales to shame. Instead of getting to the point of issues we rather take the assumptions and develop story lines that feed the ego. The destructive power of assumptions can shatter the strongest of relationships. They validate absolutely nothing but an imaginary character that will never be a hero.
I remember when I was studying psychology that we touched upon behavioral expectations. These types of expectations are role sets and social influences that determine how each person judges others in the world. This is learned early on in our childhood. Children learn from observing those near them. They interact with others who see the world in similar ways. They also learn from their siblings and how they are seen in the family. The impact of socio-economics, culture, gender and race all play a huge role on how children develop and interact with each other. Expectations are then built on. We gather the structure of what is expected and place them on all types of relationships. Expectations are imprinted and then we immediately begin the implementation from others. Unfortunately along side of Expectation is the bipolar partner called Assumption.
Of course we are going to be disappointed! How can anyone live up to the expectancy of another? Expectations are little hunches of what “should be.” They are no different than fortune telling the future through judgment. There is no healthy way of living a peaceful and happy life based on the assumptions and irrational expectations of others. Yes, it hurts when friends let you down. It is horrible when a spouse doesn’t step up to the plate in moments needed. It’s hurtful to watch our children do careless acts that in the end DO build a powerful lesson to them. Most people are not consciously aware of what “should” happen because they have a whole different set of expectations and assumptions as well. The whole theory of supposing and expecting seems to lead to disappointments. It is in those moments of disappointment that guilt, shame, anger, judgments, and hurt destroy the trust in another because of a belief system that we created. We fabricate the conditions that will always let us down. Let’s be honest now…we all have them!
I vow this morning to stop the insanity of assuming things without verbalizing them. There is magic when we vocalize what goes on in our minds. I promised myself a while ago to stop expecting. That has worked pretty well at times. I’m not going to lie to you it is freaking hard to stop the brain from assuming and expecting. I am not a saint. But, rather than be part of this insane marriage of expectation and assumption I need to delete the belief system that they are part of my life on a constant basis. They are no longer residing rent-free in my head. You can’t be disappointed if you don’t expect. You cannot be disappointed if you don’t assume. It’s that simple! If you want to make God laugh, make a plan…and definitely add a dash of expectation and assumptions. Watch how He rolls over and chuckles.