There are so many things to do in this world. Everyday, in so many different areas of our lives, we put pressure on ourselves and allow others to apply pressure also. Expectations can cause stress, anxiety and fear. They can freeze us and keep us from living joyfully and truly living our lives. Other people’s expectations add to our own. While they may motivate us, they also invalidate us.
Whether verbally spoken or silently and perhaps passive aggressively given to us, expectations are seldom met. They are sometimes seemingly met and sometimes even exceeded. One thing that can lead to unmet expectations is unclear communication and the fact that we are each individuals.
We can use examples as simple as how to place the toilet paper on the roll. Do you like the paper over or under the roll? How about the infamous toothpaste question. Do you squeeze the tube from the bottom, the middle, the top? These are things that can lead to arguments, as opinions differ. In reality, who is to say what the “right” way is. I’m here to say… who cares!
There are much more important things in this world than the flow of toilet paper and toothpaste! I would rather be happy and spread happiness than be anxiety ridden and share that anxiety. I feel that often in this physical human world, we are taught to blame others. We are taught to judge and with judgment often comes meanness. With meanness there is seldom joy and happiness. Even if being mean gives someone satisfaction and a feeling of power, those aren’t signs of being happy. A “feeling” of power is not actually power. It is the stroking of an ego.
My perception of ego may be different than some people’s. We all have an ego. We can grow it or diminish it. Ego isn’t a “bad” thing, it is simply ” a thing.” Something that we all have. Our ego is a collection of our stored pain. Invalidation, criticism, loneliness, heartache and physical, sexual, emotional and other types of abuse are all forms of pain. There are many ways to deal with our pain. One way is to simply to not deal with. To forget it’s there, ignore it, bury it deep underneath a smile or a frown and live our lives not acknowledging the hurts inside. Some people lash out at others instead of dealing with their pain. Others turn it on themselves, beating themselves up with little room for self-forgiveness. Do any of these behaviors sound familiar? Maybe you have some other ways of moving forward with the existence of pain. Keeping busy is a favorite way to avoid our pain in our fast moving, multi-tasking, accomplishment oriented human society.
I am here to tell you that there is another way to live. While we may all be able to find times when we have experienced all of these modes of dealing or not dealing with our pain, what would you say if I told you you can actually let it go? We can not change what has happened, but we can change our relation to past experiences and how they effect us. We can also release stored emotions and pain energy allowing us to be more neutral and less judgmental of ourselves and those around us. Instead of punishing ourselves and others for not being perfect or living up to those pesky, rigid expectations, we can learn. Every situation is an opportunity for learning. Giving ourselves and others room to learn allows for movement instead of stagnation. It creates space for love instead of instilling fear.
I know people and you probably do to, that use invalidation to control others. It is a way these individuals have learned to get others to do what they want. It is also a way to punish, intimidate and exert power over another. They may use a condescending tone or not verbally say anything at all. Instead they may communicate their judgement by sharing their opinion through telepathic thoughts, invading others with their energy, give a disapproving look or avoid interactions all together. Living in a highly judgmental society, we have all learned to judge. Because of this, it is safe to say, we have all done our share of judging at one time or another. Or many times and many others. 🙂
The style of meditation that I practice and teach provides meditation techniques to help us to be more neutral and less judgmental of ourselves and others. Thank goodness!! These meditation techniques also help us to let go of energy we no longer want. Physicists agree that everything is energy. Absolutely everything! Our thoughts, emotions, expectations and judgments are all energy! Other people’s thoughts, opinions and expectations are also energy. Anyone’s energy, ours’ or others’, can effect us. But we can decide what energy we want to keep and what we want to let go of. There is freewill for each of us. Let others live their lives how they want to. You get to choose how YOU want to live yours. You do not need permission from anyone to be happy. As Beaverton, Oregon’s own Nike encourages us, “Just Do It!”
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