Are they? Are there really relationships without expectations?
When we have expectations even from ourselves : how we have to be, how we have to behave, what we have to do, how well we have to do it, in how much time can we accomplish it, and so on…isn’t it the most unrealistic thing to say that any relationship can exist without expectation.
When we want so much out of ourselves why wouldn’t we want more out of any other person wherein we are probably investing our time, feelings, affections or monies. The degree may vary, the barter could be different, the outcome can be freedom, priceless or even intangible…but it’s there.
Selfless love on the other hand is an action that requires no reaction, it’s about giving and moving on to the next moment, one does not dwell on it nor does one revel in it. Yet people tend to connect the two together. They want a relationship which is based on selfless love. How can it be possible when relationship in itself means attachment?
Relationship is a bond, an intricately woven fabric of emotions, sentiments, needs, wants, vulnerability and inter-dependency. Yet very oft you hear a person proclaiming, “I can live without anybody!” but can that happen? We are social animals by nature, we need each other …. It’s just that sometimes we don’t want to accept it. And that’s where the real problem begins: acceptance.
Acceptance of another’s virtues and our vices is equally important when we choose to judge others. Are we without fault? Then why can’t we cut the other some slack. It’s okay not to be perfect, we weren’t meant to be in any case. It’s your perception and expectation of how they should behave as a reaction to your relationship with them is what makes them right or wrong in your eyes.
So, is it possible not to expect? NO, but we can choose our reactions when our expectations are not fulfilled. Let the expectations not define the relationship. Selfless love is where it all begins with. The love we give our child as we cradle it for the first time in our arms, the joy of fulfillment that brims over when we look into eyes of our loved one during the nuptials, the belief we have in the Almighty. Where does it all go with the passage of time? It attaches itself to our thoughts, our feelings, our desires, our wants and we forget the gratitude we felt of just being lucky to receive them in the first place.
We as parents do a lot for our children and all we want is love and respect. We are hurt beyond compare when we do not receive that in measurable form. We love our significant other, our partner, our spouse and then we are traumatized when he/she loves another more. We pray to the almighty God morning and night and yet we are ready to turn against him when he doesn’t answer our prayers.
Recall the first moment when you decided to start any of the above relationship, did you weigh these possibilities? Did you ask for a barter? When we ask ourselves this, we would probably roll our eyes in exasperation. No! We did all of this because we wanted to. Returns on our investment were wanted only later, as expectation rose.
So then the next question would be…how do we make it work?
I am as good or bad as any of you, with my own share of ups and downs and what I have learnt through experiences of my own is that the only thing that holds everything together is when you are true to your own nature.
Is there anything that you would have done differently in that given situation? If yes, then go ahead and do it. If no, then don’t fret ‘cause it is beyond your control in any case. When you pull out what you invest you feel the pain less but do that because you want to do that not because the other person has made you do it. Only then will you be able to live with yourself.
Relationships are like a flowing river. It can be clear and smooth flowing, or meander gradually into murky waters. Sometimes it runs at a languorous pace with parallel banks and sometimes it narrows to cause rapids with twists and turns. Every river yearns to reach the wide ocean but sometimes it just dries up.
It is up to you to make what you can out of the relationships that you have in your life. Expectations are natural so do not deride yourself for having them. More often than not they will be fulfilled, be positive, be true and do what makes you happy. It’s only a happy person that can make others so.