“i expect nothing & accept everything.”
this powerful affirmation is the title of a chapter in the book i am reading through right now, Unfu*k Yourself by Gary John Bishop. it got me thinking about expectations. when i first read the affirmation, my mind immediately went to a defensive mode & spat out thoughts like “how am i supposed to plan for life without expecting things?” & “expecting nothing is basically synonymous with not doing anything because doing something usually yields an expectation. i want to do things with my life.” the more i thought about it, though, the more it became clear to me–expecting nothing does not mean i cannot plan or that i do not do anything. it means i do these things without being tied to & obsessive about the outcome. it means that i am completely living in each moment & fully embracing life as it comes at me–not concerned about what has happened in the past that could happen again or what might happen in the future.
expectations can add a lot of negativity to our lives. we have expectations about pretty much every aspect of our lives–what our relationship should be like, how we should perform in our jobs, what our house should look like, how we should dress, what we should look & feel like after doing this diet, etc. it’s exhausting. striving for better quality of life & setting goals is not a bad thing, but being so attached to a certain outcome (expectation) that we can’t ever be happy or enjoy the process is. it’s a never ending cycle.
this is where the second part of the affirmation comes in–accepting everything. once again, my immediate thoughts were defensive–“well if i accept everything then that means i agree & am okay with everything & don’t have my own beliefs or views or opinions on anything, which totally isn’t true!” & “accepting everything just sounds like such a passive thing to do, such a cop out.” but, also, after letting this one marinate for a while i realized, accepting a moment or a situation doesn’t mean giving into it and doing nothing. accepting a moment means addressing & realizing that moment for what it is, whether it’s what you wanted/EXPECTED (there’s that word again) to happen or not then moving on from there.
i expect nothing & accept everything. to me, this affirmation can be summed up as “i live in each & every moment”. because in order to fully be present in the moment, i cannot expect anything & i must accept the present moment for what it is. being in the now is always something i strive for, and this affirmation is just another avenue for me to explore that. join me?