Low expectations

Over the last year there have been three instances where I have been blessed with low expectations. I know that we are accustomed to thinking of that in a negative sense. But what I am trying to convey is that I have been willing to simply show up and let the experience and interactions unfold as they may.

The three instances I call to mind are all significant. Not one is trivial in any sense. All were potentially fairly high stakes. And yet, I was able to simply show up and let it unfold.

There is tremendous freedom in low expectations. I guess as I reflect on the essence of the attitude, I realise that it is that I don’t need anything in particular from the encounter. I am willing to receive whatever comes my way.

Such an attitude is a grace – I cannot will myself to desire anything other than that which I desire.To be open to receive whatever comes in the absence of specific desire is a real gift. I can be present to what unfolds as it is, without it needing to be other. As a result I am able to notice the gifts of what is, without regretting that which I hoped for.

I hope the grace of low expectations will take root in my life.

4 thoughts on “Low expectations

  1. Mags,

    Your embrace of low expectations matches well with my Close Enough thoughts in this morning’s journal…

    Close Enough
    Journal August 2, 2017

    I read My Ancestral Home yesterday, a delightful poem by Louis Jenkins about a family trip to Sweden and a countryside search for their ancestral home. Along the way the seekers recognize a farm from old pictures and pull into the driveway to discover a family picnic taking place in the front yard. They are welcomed into the fold and spend a delightful afternoon laughing and visiting in the warm glow of kinship.

    Later in this day of bonding, an unexpected revelation reveals that they are at the wrong house! These now familiar faces are not those of family, their real family lives three miles down the road. Lars-Olaf, the patriarch of this clan offers to give their relatives a call and set them back on course, but the poem writer concludes with this thought, “I said that no, it wasn’t necessary, this was close enough.”

    Close enough… a small handful of letters tumbled into two words in such a way as to leap up and launch my imagination.

    Close enough… running long in appreciation and short on expectation.

    Close enough… a refreshing refrain of reason for ears who live in a world of never enough!

  2. I wonder if “Low expectations” could be replaced by, “No expectations”? It would then be aligned to the Ignatian exhortation to detachment in its elemental state. To be deliberately detached from the objective is to go through with the process, seeking no reward but to do His will. Satisfaction is in the acceptance of the outcome, without great joy or disappointment.

  3. So many disappointments in life are rooted in our expectations of other people and situations. When we can strip away those high expectations and accept each person and situation in the reality in which we meet them, we can appreciate each for what they have to offer. Great wisdom in this post Mags. Thank you!

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