Our mind is a consequence of duality. It’s a by-product that comes into being when observing a non-dual reality through a finite, dualistic instrument. We are born into this world and die right back into it. We know of our limited life span by observing others around us who die and disappear. Our daily reality consists of a false sense of solidity. We have seen the sun rise so many times, there’s no reason we’ll anticipate it won’t rise tomorrow. We are enveloped by a solid feeling of time. Past and future. We project what we have seen and know to be true of yesterday unto the future day of the morrow.
Therefore the natural outcome is the creation of expectation. We expect life to repeat itself. To recreate similar situations over and over. Whether we come to this conclusion by observing the cyclical behavior of nature, or by becoming aware to our habitual choices within our psyche. This natural state of expectation is found with everything we relate to. It is a predictable process when relationships between one and the other form. It is highly unlikely that two minds can relate to one another without forming a complex set of expectations.
When we interact with each other, our interaction is based upon our own understanding and comprehension of life and ourselves. We see life through the lens of our experience and thus expect others to behave and respond in similar ways. It is an unspoken language that we assume everyone around us knows. We are brought up to speak, write and describe in similar terms. When I say water, most people around should understand what I mean, and expect a clear and wet liquid. When describing the phenomenal world in terms of shapes and forms, most of us speak of a very familiar reality.
When we talk to one another, describing certain situations, we naturally expect our friends to understand what we are talking about. Mostly because we have created a set of rules and guidelines most of us seem to follow. The challenge comes into view when we attempt to describe and portray an inner experience. When we describe or touch upon our feelings. Though similar, we feel and interact with the world very differently. Our set of guidelines on the surface, when driving a car, paying for groceries or walking our dogs is quite similar, but around love, consideration and emotional needs we can be as different as night and day. One person might need to hear that they are loved; another shown and another feel with touch. Internally we speak very different languages.
Since on the surface, we are taught to express ourselves verbally, we carry our inner emotional selves with that same attitude. We have an inner dialog of what we expect others to see and understand our needs to be. Yet, most of us are not taught how to converse with our inner worlds. We aren’t given the tools to express our emotions and abstract sense of self, and thus when attempting to describe we are at a loss for words.
We are even further challenged when faced with our beloved’s perplexed facial expression when we attempt to share our inner worlds. When as a child we are shushed when crying or unable to verbalize our emotional pain.
We feel disappointed. We can’t seem to convey our message. The point we are trying to make seems to be missed by the other. We feel they can’t or won’t hear us. We feel unseen and thus we are pained. That pain, disappointment and in many times anger furthers our inability to share coherently and eloquently. We are clouded by a rush of emotions, tears and erratic breathing. It is now even harder to get our point across.
I often hear people say: ‘I have no expectations’. Having no expectations isn’t possible as long as you are alive, breathing and have a functional mind. If you are going to see a show, a movie or a performance, you might not be expecting a certain outcome, or the experience to be very defined, but you expect to be entertained or at least have a good time. It is highly unlikely your mind, which is a calculative instrument will choose boredom or simply sitting there to experience nothing.
As a society, we’ve taught ourselves it is better to expect nothing then be disappointed. Saying we expect nothing, is very different than having no expectations. Aspiring to have no expectations, in a way, is the aspiration to have no thoughts, no pain and yes, no pleasure. A deep part of our sense of gratification is the fulfillment of our expectations. There is no problem with having expectations, as there is no problem with having disappointment. When missing the mark, all you are expected or invited to do is try again, nothing else.
In relationships, expectations play an important role. We have expectations from our beloveds and the connection we’ve created. We want our loved ones to magically know what we want, need and expect. Once we understand that expecting is a natural state of being, and a by-product of being alive, we can start taking more conscious decisions around the expression of what we expect from one another. To have no expectations is actually walking away from a mature state of connection. You might not be verbally saying what your expectations are but you are expecting nonetheless.
Therefore having clear conversations of what we hope and expect our connection, our love life and our life together to look like is the recipe for a deep fulfilling relationship. There’s nothing more important than learning the communication tools necessary for the expression of our inner worlds with each other. The fact we speak, on the surface, the same language, doesn’t imply we talk the same language of heart. Learning what your beloved needs, expects and hopes for is probably the most important part of deepening into relationships and yet, the most common area of exploration most people seem to miss.
Taking the time to explore, in depth, what your partner wishes for, imagines and expects is what allows the relationship to blossom beyond your wildest dreams. It is also the first crucial step when estimating a new relationship and in knowing if we share similar values and expectations. One deep clarifying conversation might determine years of miss-alignment and walking together yet towards two completely different directions.
And so, expect fully. Do not be afraid to expect your partner’s expectations. Ask for their deepest hopes and dreams. Learn everything you can and find the places where you both align and can share fully. Holding back, hiding your inner language of love, lacking the tools and expression needed to go deeper isn’t the solution. Talk, express, hope and dream. Just not only within your own world, reach out. Speak, share invite your beloved into your island of hope, and trust me, when you do, you’ll be surprised how often they want nothing more than to fulfill your expectations right there with you.