The Gifts of Covid-19
Covid-19 sucks. We are living in uncertain times mixed with fear, frustration, boredom, and loneliness. Not to mention confusion and conflict and an overwhelming sense of loss. However, amongst the unpleasant thoughts and emotions and circumstances, there are gifts to be found within these circumstances. Some people might really be enjoying spending more time with their family. Some people might realize that they have a lot of unresolved resentments within their family. You may be someone who loves to work at home, or you may have discovered that you are actually miserable in your line of work and are thinking about a different path for your future. Whatever your personal experience is, this is a great time for discovery. A time where we have an opportunity to examine what is truly important to us, what we really need and to get curious about what possibilities may be available to us right now. One of the topics I teach in my coaching program is how to examine our expectations. The definition of expectation: A strong belief that something will happen or be the case in the future. A belief that someone will or should achieve something.
Many of our disappointments, frustrations, hurt feelings and wounds begin with unexamined or inadequately expressed expectations. It is not a secret to the world that having expectations can be viewed as a negative thing and will often lead to resentment. We are told to just not have them and that we would be better off without them. Okay. Fair enough. But that is the same sort of statement that we may hear over and over again when we get hurt, just let it go! We are told. Okay! Let it go…don’t have expectations…but that isn’t so easy to do is it? It’s not just some decision we make. There are tools to be had in order to release our hurt and release our expectations. You can’t just wish it away.
Most of our expectations are operating on such a deep subconscious level that we are not even aware that we have them. We pick up beliefs from the moment we are old enough to form a perception about how the world and the people in it should be and operate. We learn this from our parents, school, friends, teachers, movies, books, television. The list goes on and on. We determine how things should be based on our perceptions and our beliefs and we expect people to see it our way, do it our way and we think about what it means personally to us if someone or something isn’t going the way we believe it should. The minute we throw in that word “should” we know there is an expectation there.
This topic of expectations is in full illumination for me during this pandemic. When I teach this topic, I use a very broad and relatable example of when an expectation can come and bite us in the butt. Holidays. Ever wonder why so many times a certain holiday can be so filled with conflict, hurt or disappointment? Valentines Day is a really good example. Someone didn’t show up for someone in the way that someone thought they should have and that got interrupted into that someone doesn’t “care about me”. With my own self, having studied this topic and teaching this topic and being in full awareness of the sneakiness of unexamined expectations, I still forget. Until I remember again. My most recent awareness of the cause and effect of expectations was this past Mother’s Day. It was one of the nicest Mother’s Day that I can remember. You would think that might be the opposite given that there wasn’t a large celebration with family, a brunch to be had and no special plans. There was zero room for expectations. In fact the expectation might be that nothing at all will be recognized. After all, it’s Covid 19…so what could you expect? The small tokens of appreciation exchanged between me and my loved ones were gold. They were authentic and simple. They were given and they were received. I didn’t need a fancy gift. I didn’t need a bunch of flowers. I didn’t need a card.
The gift of coming into awareness of having an expectation is that you get to examine what you really need. You get to learn how to express to someone what it is that you may be expecting. Most people can’t guess but we assume somehow that everyone should just know what to do. We think that sometimes things are just owed to us without having to do anything about it. We think some things are just obvious and we just expect those things to happen without expressing a need a for it.
What if people are walking around all bent out of shape thinking they are being hurt and disrespected when only they are experiencing that because of expectations?
To learn more about the symptoms of expectations, mining them to discover what you really need and how to release the ones that set us and our life up for disaster, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. I am offering free coaching sessions for a limited time.