We all have expectations.
Usually, we have more expectations of our closest and dearest than those we work with. This is where it gets messy and hurtful.
From parents to kids, to husbands and wives, GFs and BFs, siblings, colleagues, friends and etc. The list goes on.
We expect our kids to do their share of work in the house, or have some sort of respect or even understanding of how everything they are enjoying right at this moment is all earned through our blood, sweat and tears.
We expect our spouses or partners in life to be there for us even when we do not ask of them. We expect them to just know when to hug, kiss and comfort us.
We expect our superiors to recognise our dedication and reward us accordingly.
We expect our siblings to stand up for us when we are being attacked.
We expect our technology to work as they are supposed to and we start breathing out flames when the internet is down.
We expect a whole lot, day in and day out.
Most of the time, our expectations may be unrealistic or unreasonable. Simply because, we do not have a complete understanding of what is going on with that person in question. We do not know what he or she is personally going through. We can’t read what’s brewing inside his or her heart and mind.
To claim that we do know everything would be a big fat lie. Unless you are a mind and heart reader.
Personally, I found it most challenging to care for someone who is undergoing a potentially terminal illness. Managing expectations in this case becomes a delicate affair. What the ‘patient’ expects of those around him or her, and what we expect of the ‘patient’ as well.
Sometimes, it is hard to try to balance motivating the ‘patient’ from being a ‘victim mentality’ to a ‘survivor mentality’. Not all of us are built the same way. Not all of us are strong in the very same things.
I have been a terrible care-taker and supporter of a dearly beloved who is very ill, as shared in my previous post of The Cancer of May. I have had to struggle with my own preferences and expectations at the expense of the “patient’. In fact, I was not helping much at all. For a while, I was more concerned with what I thought was right and not the welfare of the ‘patient’. And this is downright sad and shameful. Because the ‘patient’ was not feeling nor receiving the care or love. So, I had to learn to adjust my own expectations of myself and of those around me.
We can never truly know what one person is going through – illness or no illness. It is best to just show care and concern without being judgemental. Emotions do run a little crazy during a challenging or a crisis situation. We become fragile and vulnerable. Perhaps, even a little unhinged. And it’s totally understandable.
To be honest, I can’t say that I will be graceful and dignified if the same happens to me.
I guess it’s true that pain and illness may not necessarily change us, but rather – they reveal us.
So, if we expect certain things from someone or some people – we should fully expect that they may not deliver on those expectations. Just as we may not deliver on theirs of us.
If we are honest with ourselves, we know exactly when and how we have failed to deliver on others’ expectations of us. Most of the time, we justify by asserting that their expectations were unfair.
See how this expectation game goes?
Hence, banish the expectations and focus on the love and kindness.
At best, concentrate on resolving the conflict or challenging situation. For instance, let’s not make a bad situation worse by arguing to death or assigning blame to one or the other.
The only time expectations become a good tool is in training us to be better in every way. This is what I shall be working on too – to be a better carer, helper, friend, supporter and etc. I choose to focus on giving the care, showing the love and being a comfort to those around me. More than anything else right now, I should not create more causes for worries.
As we do not wish for others to judge us or expect anything unreasonable from us, we can do the same for others.
As we do not wish for anyone to give up on us, we should try not giving up on someone who is working hard to improve.
The art of fearless living is about expecting the best from ourselves, but always prepared to face the worst in every situation without losing our positive and respectful attitude.
Peace, my dear friends.