Expectations are like premeditated resentments …

This epithet is attributed to AA (Alcoholics Anonymous), though I cannot vouch for a thing heard secondhand. I’ve never been to AA, thankfully never needed it. I don’t drink or smoke; I eat mostly organic and get plenty of exercise. That’s why it wouldn’t surprise me to get hit by a truck on one of my regular ten-mile bicycle excursions, yanking me out of circulation like an old library book before its time. If life has taught me a blessed thing, it surely has reinforced that the element of surprise is alive and well; that life rarely rises up to meet our expectations of it.

Most of my earthly existence has been fraught with strife caused by eager anticipation. From the promised childhood wilderness trips cut short due to some miniscule infraction of rules none of us kids could quite grasp until we broke one – to the impeccable standards held forth by adults with more than adequate personal integrity – our nemesis is ever going to be what we expect yet bitterly resent not getting, especially when placed on an anticipated timetable. We all engage the attribute, it’s simply a matter of degree.

But wait … what about the New Age directive to gently lob our intentions out to the universe and wait on divine timing in order to receive its bounty? This one trips me up with regularity. I am not a patient person by nature, though I try mightily to cultivate the trait. My timeline and that of the gods often seems at odds, and I expect I’m not the only one marinating in this feeling. Perhaps it is helpful to remember that, along with knowledge that expectations set us up to bleed energy through the artery of resentment, we will still trip ourselves up from time to time. A wolf in sheep’s clothing is still a wolf.

When bad things happen to good people, it’s tough to witness. And if you consider yourself a just and fair individual and have lived long enough, you’ve directly experienced it. Since we cannot expect life to be fair and since we are virtually assured that there is no logical explanation forthcoming, one must chalk disappointments up to missed opportunities and try and hold our heads high in the daunting face of intermittent adversity.

However, if we attain a certain age and look back far enough, we are able to glimpse the wisdom of the gods, urging us to drop these expectations. For it is only when we are able to accomplish this that we experience true emancipation from anxiety and worry and claim authentic joy in living. To let life surprise us, often delightedly so, we relax into not knowing, allowing endless possibilities we could not have conceived of to bear fruit and shower us with their abundant harvest.


4 thoughts on “Expectations are like premeditated resentments …

  1. Expectations are like premeditated resentments… Pretty good; I had not heard this bonbon yet, it hits home. Expectations are like premature conclusions; expectations are the walls of the prison we keep blindly building for ourselves continuously. To relax into not knowing; what a wonderful solution indeed. Expecting the unexpected…
    Wonderful blog!

  2. Morning bella: Good article. Thanks.

    I’m one of those people you refer to, though I don’t think of myself as ‘New Age’ who puts ‘orders’ out to the Universe, and though I have an insane level of trust they’ll drop into my life I don’t allow myself any expectations as to when it will happen. I don’t recall ever feeling any frustration, nor any disappointment if it happens slowly, or not at all, though I’m unsure why. Might be I just don’t invest a lot in thinking about it once I put my order out.

    My thought is that it’s something that works, probably for everyone, but maybe not, and that it ties in closely with quietude and gratitude for what’s already in each of our lives.

    But I’m not evangelical about it. I’ll keep my file folder of trust and low-key expectations out there waiting for things to happen when the Universe gets around to it, and keep on living my life as a day-to-day adventure. I wouldn’t want it any other way, but I’m content to let others decide whether it’s a good way for them to approach life.

    However, as you know I’m insane. Almost every day I allow myself to gaze in awe at what I believe to be a planet out there wondering to myself why everybody doesn’t wish they were me.

    Thanks for sharing the post. J

    1. Aloha Jules:

      You sound suspiciously like my husband 😉 who is a very low-key person, very connected to the earth, and who has taught me much in the way of trusting my feet and the heartbeat of nature simply through his gentle example, lo these 20 blessed years. Beings such as the indigenous peoples of our planet, as well as yourselves, doubtlessly have been scattered onto this earth to anchor those less grounded through demonstrating a quiet reason and purpose to which the rest of us sometimes, even if unknowingly, aspire. After all, we’ve all come here for the ‘earth experience,’ it seems to me.

      The life of the mind brings us the beauty of language; moves the collective into certain exploratory regions and carries value. However living in our bodies teaches us, though often we don’t put it together mentally, the deep wisdom of Mother Earth. I can also attest that it keeps us as healthy as we are able, given certain factors (genetics, age, e.g.). As we attune within and listen to the subtle goings-on, we become aware of an intrinsic balance, and can trust the body to correct itself before things get too far out of whack or trust it to guide our feet to get help. This same attunement keeps us in harmony by according respect to all of life. (I’ve always loved CS Lewis’ Space Trilogy, especially the final and third book, demonstrating what living in the head can wreak upon a world being ruled by, well, a big giant severed head.)

      I’ve always needed to live close to nature, and only now in these later years of my life do my body and head begin to sync up, as I live my daily existence more in the flow of the universal scheme of things than ever before. I am in daily gratitude for this profound existence, and so glad you read my blog and offer such thoughtful commentary. Thank you.

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