“Fear doesn’t prevent death, but it certainly prevents life.” – Darren Hardy
People are amazing! They surprise me almost every day, whether good or bad, I am surprised.
One of my own personal little rules is: “Never expect anything of anyone, that way they’ll always surprise you.” This was challenged by my therapist last year. According to her, we should have certain expectations of people especially those closest to us. So I packed my little rule in a mind box, pushed it into my subconscious and set about expecting stuff of people.
I expected that phone call from a friend. I expected The Caveman to be nice, help out and bring me flowers. I expected Stretch and Mouse to behave and not fight. I expected my family, in-laws and friends to understand me. I expected strangers to be respectful. Worse, I started expecting so much more of myself.Truth is, it didn’t work. Not for me, not at all. I became sad that no one was behaving the way I wanted them to. I was deeply disappointed, which meant that after much analyzing of everyone and myself, I fell into the abyss of Deep Disappointment and Anger. That was one rule my rebellious nature need not have broken. I went in search of the rule box, unpacked my rule and filed it back onto the shelf marked “important notes to self”. I stopped the expectations.
Of course I still expect my family to be kind, clean up after themselves and make me a cup of coffee every now and then, but I will not constantly expect everyone around me to constantly be awesome and happy and phone me and love me no matter what. Everyone on earth has their own lives, issues and minds. Sometimes people have stuff going on which makes them unhappy and they behave in odd, rude or unexpected ways. That’s life. I’ll go back to believing in loving unconditionally and not having (sometimes impossible) expectations of others. This is what works for me.
I wrote last week about by battle with the Dragon named Social Anxiety Disorder and the response has been overwhelming. I never expected my ‘hits’ to almost double or to gain a few more followers. I never expected any of my friends or family to read the post and I least of all did not expect all the love and compassion. I was amazed by how many people told me that they feel the same. Most surprising was my own reaction. By merely putting it out there, I feel about fifty percent better. It’s like letting out a big fat secret; letting go of heavy baggage, and the SAD Dragon no longer seems that big and monstrous. I know that I’m far from cured (might never be), but I do know that out there in the world there are people who feel the same, people who support me and who know what I’m going through even if they don’t understand. Flip, a good friend, gave me some helpful advice – to always try to bring myself into the present. To bring myself to where I am and enjoy who I’m with and not think into the future and worry over what may or may not happen. I am so grateful.
To everyone “Thank you.” I love you not for what you can do or have done for me, I love you more because of it, especially The Caveman.
Thank you all for surprising me.