One thing I am really learning about and working on is to get rid of expectations. Taking in the sunsets when I can has really got me contemplating this idea. I have realized that often expectations rob us of the joy of the moment. This isn’t to be confused with anticipation which can be exciting in its own right. Expectations on the other hand give us a preconceived notion of how we would like thing to work out, or believe things will work out. So if I have the expectation that something is going to be exceptional and it turns out to be wonderful in a different way I may still enjoy the occurrence. The trouble lies later when I go to analyze the difference between what I expected to happen and what actually occurred. No matter how good the actual experience or event was I will measure it against, and compare it to, my expectations. That in itself takes some of the magic and enjoyment out of the experience. Whereas if I don’t form any expectation of an event and just live it organically I will experience the joy in the moment. Therefore, if the experience is wonderful then I will partake in its wonder, if it is exceptional I will cherish the exception. If I don’t go in with a preconceived outcome I can just take it for what it is.
When we hold on to a moment that has occurred in our lives, it is much like holding on to a note in a melody. As soon as we grasp or hold that note for longer than it is intended then we lose the melody. That note no longer serves its purpose and instead loses all meaning and relevance. It will eventually become displeasing. The only way to enjoy the note is in its place in the melody of life. Let something go and accept it is gone. If you anticipate that something will happen then that will take away from the specialness or uniqueness of the moment. If you let it go and accept it will not happen then if it does occur it will be an even more special occurrence. We are attuned to notice the exceptional in life; otherwise we wouldn’t consider it exceptional. We hardly notice all of the mundane tasks and thoughts we undertake in our daily lives. Though there are times even the mundane and rote in life can be of significance to us.
I have definitely noticed over the last few years that by knowing yourself you can much more readily accept others for who they are. Life is so much easier if you don’t expect people to be who you want them to be, but rather just learn to accept them for who they are. That doesn’t mean all people are always good, they will still have their foibles, warts and dysfunctions, just as we all do. They will not remain static, just as you won’t, they will change, develop, mature, grow, regress and come and go. The great thing about accepting others for who they are is it gives you a choice. You either will want to put the time and effort into them or you will not necessarily be congruous with them and you will be able to move on. That doesn’t mean they are any less of a person, they just aren’t the type of person you are congruent with. That type of liberation to act as you need to is invaluable. We often stay in situations because we believe we can change others, even though deep down we know that we have never done so before because people will only change when they want to or have to. That is not to say you can’t be supportive of someone who is going through change but you cannot look to where they may be going, rather you must recognize and respect where they are right now. If you cannot do this then you are not doing any favours for them or yourself by remaining in the situation. The converse applies to, they have to be willing to accept you for who you are and accept all of your shortcomings along with your assets. If they cannot then again you will either have to make peace with that or find yourself a more favourable situation or relationship.
The other aspect of this way of thinking is that it allows you to be yourself too, people will either accept you for who you are or they won’t. You cannot expect everyone to like you, if they don’t then so be it. Though if you are being yourself those you will attract will be harmonious with you. The more you get to know yourself and that you learn to accept and love the individual you are the easier it will be for you to make beneficial decisions and choices in your life. The flow and ebb in your life will be far more consonant. I was reading an interesting article the other day about sexuality and deep intimacy. I found it intriguing because the author noted that people who have done personal growth work and have reached a different level of maturity are often seeking someone who shares that deeper level of sexuality and intimacy. It really struck a chord with me because I have been having that kind of feeling myself lately. It is like my sexuality and sensuality has been rediscovered and reawakened. I hadn’t really noticed that I had put it in safe keeping for the last few years, up on that shelf just beyond my awareness. The great thing now is it feels much different than it did when I was younger. Then it was far more raw and unrefined, more looking for any outlet to be expressed. There were certainly times it took on an air of desperation. Now it feels so much more complex and cultivated and it runs much deeper within my core. I am looking forward to developing and exploring it further. I don’t expect every experience to be at that level, though I am sure all experiences will be enhanced to some degree. I am sure though there will be times that I find someone on a similar wavelength and connection and those moments will be golden and memorable.
I have spent a great deal of time and effort over the last few years working on several aspects of my life. Some of that work was very mundane like improving my financial situation and coming to terms with some of my inherent weaknesses. Other parts of that work were much more intriguing to me like exploring my inner self, reconnecting with significant people in my life, appreciating the important people and experiences in my life and rediscovering my passions in photography and writing. It was all very necessary though to get me into a better place in life. Once I got the mundane details out of the way I was much more able to focus my concentration on the intriguing aspects of my life. Though for the five or so years it felt like I was on autopilot, just coasting through life. If I hadn’t done that I wouldn’t be where I am today so I guess it was a necessary evil in the long run. I feel ready to accept whatever comes my way, to appreciate the moments in my life as they are happening rather than only through a lens of reflection and expectations.
The concept of passion intrigues me as well. Everyone has a general idea or concept of what passion is. It describes a state of being, so we can never really accurately describe it. We all feel and express our passions in very different ways. Some people feel some things extremely intensely and some other things intensely and yet others have it for a few or one. Often for those people it is white hot and burns with an intensity like the core of the earth. It can burn for an eternity, or at other times it burns for an instant and then fades to nothing. In contrast to the white hot intensity some people feel passion that builds slowly and percolates in a consistent and steady manner over a long period of time. It may reach a fever pitch at some point or it may just simmer away always there just below the surface. No matter how we individually feel it, we all do feel it to a degree. The variety of things that people are passionate about is infinite. I find you can tell a great deal about a person if you can get them to reveal their passions. For those are the gems we cherish, the reflections of who we see inside ourselves. If you really want to discover a great deal about yourself follow and develop your passions. Within them you will find yourself and you will find your freedom. No matter if it is fueled by something or someone be willing to explore it or at least give it a chance to grow, never discount it, you will always gain something from taking that chance. It may not always end favourably and often not where you expect it to go (again temper those expectations) and it may not last forever but it will often be worthwhile and beneficial to you. Now to put into practice what I preach, I think the time draws nigh.