“Sometimes we create our own heartache through expectation.”
I could not have written this quote better myself and since it is unknown I’ll pretend I did. Expectation causes so much pain: emotional and physically for us with chronic pain. I am so excited about the presents I have gotten this year for my loved ones. I honestly believe I did the best I have ever done (I am obsessed with Christmas and love giving presents.) This year I put a ton of thought into each and every gift and made it special for each person I love. In my mind each of these persons will open their gift and be as enthusiastic as I feel saying: “Oh my God! I love it! This is the best!” In reality this will most likely not happen. For one, the only person I can think of who is as enthusiastic as myself is my dad. I am honestly like Will Farrell in the movie: “Elf.” My expectations are so high about the happiness my gifts will bring but to be honest what I expect in my mind will not happen. It never does and my expectations each year end up making me feel sad and disappointed on Christmas morning. I am not expecting people to act how I would react to any present or situation anymore. We are all different and express our happiness, gratitude, and enthusiasm differently. We are not all Jessica who loves singing lines from “Elf” as she walks around the grocery store with her daughter. Not to mention, although I believe my gifts are amazing and very special those who receive them may not feel the same.
A lot of us do things and are not given the appreciation we deserve for our work: myself included. I am not as appreciative to the work my loved ones do because I just get so caught up in my own life and business I take things for granted. Even when I am very thankful for one’s work or time I forget to express my gratitude and now looking back they most likely expected a different reaction than what I provided. They do not realize how thankful I am and this leads to their frustration and sadness. Two lessons: try and remember to express appreciation (instead of just thinking about it) and understand that just because one does not react how you expected them to does not mean they are not appreciative and happy inside.
Yesterday the mail came and I am super excited about the packages I bought for people and each day I hope I get a Christmas card. I am such a little kid when it comes to the holidays. I saw the mail truck outside our home and ran to our mail box: bills, and junk. I honestly wasn’t upset but my two year old daughter said: “no sad mommy, I make card.” How much better is that than a Christmas card? Later that day, Kayci and I went to pick up the kids I nanny for from school. One of the eight year olds ran into my arms and squeezed me so tightly and said: “I have a surprise for you!” She gave me a ring she bought at her “school store” with all her allowance money. She was beyond excited and said: “Ms. Jessica, I don’t want you to ever take this off!” It made my day and I will not take that ring off until it may or may not break. Kayci and I arrive home later in the day and there is a bunch of flowers on my porch. I pick up the potted flowers and see an envelope with my name on it. I open the card and there is sixty dollars in it with a note from the little girl I used to nanny for that said: “Merry Christmas. Thank you for all that you do and for being you.” I was so shocked and happy. It was completely unexpected and turns out once we stop expecting anything, we begin to receive countless blessings.
My daughter, Kayci was the most unexpected gift I have ever received. Although I always wanted children, my husband and I were not even thinking about getting pregnant. During a yoga class I realized I could not stop going to the bathroom and all of a sudden I just knew I was pregnant. I drove to the pharmacy, got a test and bam two lines. Eight months later the best thing happened to me: totally unexpected but beyond happy. The day our daughter was born was truly the greatest day of my life thus far. A year and a half go by and we begin trying to get pregnant. I expected it to just happen. I honestly thought: that I would be pregnant the month after I stopped using birth control. Clearly, my expectations were not correct and I cried each month that I realized I was still not pregnant. Then went to a fertility doctor and expected to be pregnant right away after some awful hormones were given to me and I followed the doctor’s orders. The process of trying to get pregnant and expecting it to happen destroyed me and I was very sad and beyond stressed. No wonder I was not getting pregnant. A woman’s body has to be calm and relaxed in order to have a healthy pregnancy. Fertility was put on hold and will remain there for a long time or at least until I am thirty four (kidding, kind of.) Now I have to let go of my expectations of getting pregnant and just let it be. I have been pregnant three times with my husband (all unexpected.) I have miscarried twice and of course have the best daughter in the world, Kayci. Clearly, I can get pregnant. The problem is my expectations get in the way of getting the things I want and desire. Once I expect something and it does not happen right away, I get stressed, depressed, and sabotage any chance of getting what I desire.
Cognitively, I know expectation leads to heartache and pain but I too often forget that. We all do. This post is a reminder to let your expectations go and allow things to happen. Most of you are already dealing with an invisible illness, no need to add more stress and sadness by expecting things to happen. Let your expectations totally go and see what happens. I did yesterday and got the most thoughtful ring from an eight year old and I am now sixty dollars richer.