I have been a lifelong subordinate to my exceedingly high expectations.
The perfectionism runs strong. When I am having a Bad Day, it typically consists of struggling to get anything done because I am either 1) petrified at the possibility of experiencing my own perceived mediocrity, or 2) discouraged & angry from pushing through with something anyway and then being displeased with the results because they were not up to my standards like they were supposed to be (supposed to be, damnit!). This includes basic functions such as tidying up or taking a shower.
But this is not always the case, and I sat here at my little blog tonight to talk about how it feels when this is not the case, because that is important.
When being a victim to expectation is not the case, intuitive living is.
And this is what intuitive living feels like for me:
Getting really clear on my highest values and aligning myself to those values unapologetically.
For me, one of the utmost priorities in my life is writing and creating.
When I allow absolutely everything else in life to revolve around that, releasing expectations feels — effortless.
What it comes down to is that SO MANY of the expectations I hold for myself and my life circumstances are actually ones I picked up from other people. I adopted them from society, from childhood experiences, from previous and current relationships. Their expectations became my story, and separating my own bonafide expectations from the pile was a damn long journey (that I most definitely still am on).
But the most liberating discovery that comes from following MY expectations — the ones that are mine outside of external influence and conditioning, the ones that have held a place in my deep through hell and high tide and whispered their truth to me underneath all the years and the noise — is actually SO. EASY. to do.
Because the only ones I truly have for myself are that I’m
1) kind & happy
Knowing this, from here I can make any given decision at any moment to the best of my ability. It really is that easy. It really is. I know you may be skeptical (so am I on the Bad Days), but trust that the ease comes and that it is wondrous and real.
I can make decisions, and I can make them with confidence, and I can stand in the truth and power of them without feeling shaken by judgment.
(Side note: surrounding yourself with people who unconditionally support you and your choices helps, too. Go get you some of those if you don’t already have them.)
Of course responsibilities still loom and adulting is still so overwhelming sometimes, but recognizing that I can disown the expectations I’ve been carrying around that do not serve me (which in turn do not serve others) is a pretty damn big deal.
What expectation can you let go of right now, as you read this? There are so many choices, friend. Do you hear those incessant cries of “you should be this, you should do that, your life should look a certain way”? Do you hear whose voices they are? Do they sound like yours? Are they loving? Are they wise? Do they reflect your heart and your soul and your spirit?
If they are not your own (and they very well may be, but you really need to listen to know for sure):
Take the echoes, hold them for a moment in your strong and gentle hands, and then drop them in the ether. Watch them tumble away into the fog. Tell me how it feels.
If you don’t miss them, you probably listened very hard, and for that you should celebrate.