Letting go and expectations are two concepts that have been wandering through my thoughts for weeks, months even, and although the meaning of the words is clear, each time they still have a different meaning for me. No matter how clear and obvious something may seem, sometimes it takes time to put all the pieces of the puzzle in place for myself. My thoughts keep searching for the ‘aha’ moment.
Last night I had my ‘aha’ moment regarding letting go and expectations.
A couple of days ago I received an invitation for an online challenge via WhatsApp. A 21 day challenge from Deepak Chopra where the focus is on abundance. Small assignments, meditation and therefore more conscious planning of a daily moment for yourself. I decided to take on the challenge. Planning a daily moment for myself to complete a small assignment had to work, right? After I read the first assignment, my heart sank. I had to write down the names of 50 people who all had had a meaning in my life somehow. Negative or positive. Besides finding it very difficult to plan a moment for myself, I also noticed resistance in my emotions. The resistance was not very strong, but as soon as I thought about the assignment I did notice the presence of negative energy. I asked myself where all this negative energy came from and after I more consciously observed my emotions, I came to the conclusion that I felt resistance to write down the names of the people I had negative experiences with. I wanted to ignore their presence and I didn’t really want to give them any credit regarding the fact that I had also learned from them.
In the end I started writing my list and the 50 names appeared on paper pretty quickly. The assignment actually stopped after jotting down the 50 names, but I wanted to investigate it further for myself. I wanted to know what I could possibly learn from all 50 people, but since I was already quite tired I kept my research short. I decided to put a check or a cross symbol behind each name. The check stood for positive presence, the cross stood for negative presence. I actually wondered if most people would get a check or a cross, but the checks won by a good majority. A little relief was noticeable in my emotions.
I decided it had been enough for the day, put away my diary and closed my eyes. I was ready to go to sleep, but my brain thought differently about that. My thoughts continued racing around. I thought about the list of names, I thought about how I would have liked to scratch out some names and I thought I’d like to banish some of those names from my life entirely. At the same time, I thought about my diary on Mind Happiness and the obstacle I now have to overcome. The obstacle of letting go which gives me access to further growth. When I combined the knowledge of both diaries, I came to the conclusion that the names with the crosses behind them were the reason why I had not actually managed to reach the plateau of letting go (Mind Happiness ~16). These names, these people, were why I couldn’t make the jump and the reason why is because I can’t let go yet. I can’t let go of the negative emotions I carry with myself regarding those people. They still fill my little island (Mind Happiness ~ 13) and I will have to wipe it clean before I can move on. I’ve found out that I don’t have to keep trying to get to the plateau with those negative emotions, but that I first have to remove the negative emotions and then getting to the plateau will be easy.
I can’t say to myself with honesty that I have let go while I still carry such an emotional burden with me.
I know from myself that I’m not yet able to just forgive, I wish I could already, but lying about it to myself is useless and so I have to approach ‘letting it go’ from a different perspective. In order to do this, I first have to consult with myself about how I want to do this. Raising a big middle finger at these people and shouting ‘go fuck yourself’ would be the easiest (and most satisfying) way, but with that I would continue to walk the path of letting go full of hate. I would have distanced myself, but I would not learn what I want to learn; living confidently, lovingly and forgivingly. I can’t forgive yet and with ‘go fuck yourself’ I won’t get there, so there was only one way left for me; Letting go of the pain I carry with me by loving myself and respecting myself. If I look at it this way, the persons with a cross behind their name are not a curse, but a blessing. They are the learning goals that make it possible for me to go further in my personal development.
The path of letting go does not stand for forgiveness or elimination, but for guarding my own personal emotional boundaries (Mind Happiness ~ 13). The path of letting go stands for letting go of old pain and not letting new pain come in. I can achieve this by adjusting my expectations.
Letting go of expectations is the key to be able to let go of old and new emotional pain.
When I think about the people with crosses behind their names, I deliberately let myself look at the pain that I feel in my emotions and then mainly what is bothering me personally. So I left the ‘I’m mad at you because you’ve hurt someone I love’ out and focused purely on my own emotions. Why did I have a problem with these people? Injustice, rejection and fear were the most common underlying emotions. After looking at these underlying emotions objectively and with honesty, I asked myself what my underlying expectations were regarding these individuals. Genuine regret proved to be the underlying expectation almost everywhere and perhaps the craving for sincere regret comes from a fundamental craving for receiving appreciation. A fundamental craving for being valued and loved.
I’m going to try to let go of my expectations. I am going to let go of what I can’t influence, but what does have influence on me. I’m going to give myself the love from which I can find the strength to let go of the old emotional pain and I am going to protect myself from new pain by respecting an valuing myself.
I can say more and more from an authentic sincerity that I begin to learn to love myself.
Rehab update: 3 days off from fast carbohydrates.