I have been exploring the idea that happiness can only be achieved when we have no expectations. I believe all the pain we have in life is from not getting what we expected.
Think about it:
Lost Love: You never lose love. You simply lose possession of that person, which is something you never had in the first place. "I am yours, you are mine." We "give" ourselves to each other, but can never really possess each other. If we simply LOVED, without expectation of marriage, perfection, children, cooking, cleaning, 24/7 support, sex, etc, etc, etc then we would be happy.
Somehow we have come to believe that love is synonymous with happiness, and that the goal of love is marriage and being with "the one" forever and ever, amen. When we love our FRIENDS, we don't expect them to be with us 24 hours a day. We don't expect them to drop everything in their lives to please us. The times they DO drop everything are so wonderful and we appreciate them so much. So why do we put a different standard on our romantic relationships?? We EXPECT our sweetheart to stop their life for us. To upturn everything so we can move in together and support each other and give up our personal space, our privacy, and 50% of our SELVES.
This is a wonderfully romantic notion, and for certain periods of time is an incredible experience. But more than 50% of marriages end in divorce. My guess is that of the remaining 50%, only 3 or 4% are actually happy. Most people who are married are frikkin miserable most of the time. We are always hearing divorced people say how much their relationship improved after the split. The reason is that they no longer EXPECT anything of each other. Therefore, they can actually APPRECIATE the time they have together and TRULY love each other, simply for who they are.
In other areas of life, expectation is pretty much the main thing that gets us hurt. In school we expect - or are expected to, lol - get good grades. We are dissappointed - or dissappoint, lol - when we don't. If we are meeting someone and they are late, we are hurt because we expected them sooner. We get angry if that new toy isn't on the shelf. We are upset when the computer crashes, or when our team loses, or when we stub our toe, because we didn't expect these things to happen.
If we would just live life truly in the moment, for the now, appreciating what are experiencing in each second of the day, instead of having expectations of what it means and where we're going we would never be hurt.
Even getting lost in the car is upsetting because we expected to know the way, or get to our destination at a certain time, or whatever. So instead of appreciating where we are, we focus on where we're "supposed to be". That getting lost may have saved you from a four-car pile up. It may bring you past an antique store you never knew about. It might put you in front of your dream house. Or it may simply have given you a little extra time with your friend, or your thoughts. But we miss these blessings, these wonderful experiences, because we are so caught up in the dashed expectations of where we thought we would/should be at this time.
How many people give up on life because they are a certain age and think it's too late? It's only too late if you are dead. Stop expecting things and just live. Stop letting others impose their expectation on you!
You are never lost. You are simply where you are. Just be.