March 04, 2013
On expecting nothing as a way to improve the quality of your life in a heartbeat
In recent months I've been thinking about how it is that I find fault with others so often for so many reasons.
I finally stepped back and thought about the overarching emotion that encompasses all these perceived failures by others: I expect from them what I expect from myself and when, invariably, they fall short, I get angry or annoyed.
But I have begun — I say begun because it is a process so fundamental to my way of looking at the world that I have to catch myself falling back into my old habit many times daily — to turn this around 180° and a whole new mindset has begun to take hold at the very core of my philosophy and way of being.
Just as I am at the center of my world, every other person on the planet is at the center of theirs.
So when I don't receive the kind of attention or action I want, I assume the other person has decided I'm not worth their focus.
Nothing could be further from the reality of the perceived failure.
The other sees me as a peripheral occurence in their own self-centric world.
This is fine.
It is as it should be.
The fault is never with the other person: it is always with me, with my own perception that somehow I am owed anything by anyone else.
When you ignore me, I am fine with that.
When you don't respond to a reasonable question, well, guess what?
It wasn't a reasonable question — because if it had been, you would have responded.
Bottom line: set the bar for what I expect so low that it essentially rests on the ground.
Let it stay there for the rest of my life.
Everything and anything people do that makes me happy is a gift.
And as I begin to understand the power this suddenly refocused point of view brings to every waking minute, my perception of myself and others takes on an entirely different aspect.
Just the initial returns from this whole new take on things are rich and deep.
I see also now why I am so madly in love with Gray Cat: she too expects nothing but accepts the love she gets with unmitigated pleasure and joy.
March 4, 2013 at 08:01 AM | Permalink
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Eloquent, thank you.
Posted by: Marianne Kandel | Mar 5, 2013 12:03:52 AM
Joe, I may not make you happy much, but you make me happy every time I read your web postings, which is almost every day. And then the happiness lingers, so it is a big deal over here.
(Man, I laughed so hard at the rubber suit posting and then I snorted when I scrolled lower and saw in bold letter something about you Crack Correspondent because in the rubber suit post it was mentioned something about the suit in the a** crack).
(While I'm at it, I think the difference between misc and unknown is that misc means misc while unknown means unknown. In other words, there are a whole bunch of countries whose percentage is so small they get lumped into misc, while unknown is just plain unknown what country they are from).
Hope I get to hear from Flautist and Joe Peach again before too long as they make me happy every time I read them too.
Posted by: Jerry | Mar 4, 2013 9:13:21 PM
We judge others by their actions. We judge ourselves by our intentions.
Posted by: antares | Mar 4, 2013 4:03:18 PM
It sounds so VERY,VERY simple,yet is so difficult to really attain. As we inevitably start with our own expectations and remain there.
Nice to hope for that, but rarely is it possible to attain!
Posted by: larry ziegler | Mar 4, 2013 2:41:11 PM
"Sometimes you just have to look hard at a person and realize that he's doing the best that he can--just like you." -- from the movie"On Golden Pond"
Posted by: PT | Mar 4, 2013 10:11:26 AM
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