Saturday, September 6, 2014

Natural Expectation

©2014 ML Monroe

I'm afraid to live any place but in expectation.
~ Leonard Cohen, The Favorite Game

Over the past decade or so, there's been much focus on being in the present moment. Many interpret that to mean we stay focused on today and have no expectations. From my point of view, that's a near impossibility. I wouldn't get out of bed in the morning if I didn't expect the natural flow of time would call me forth to work, to breakfast, to greet the day. Although that sounds simplistic, there is a natural expectation that dwells within all living creatures.

The bee expects to find sustenance when it reaches a flower. Her inclination is to reach for it, to touch it, to check it out. She does that because of her natural expectation around flowers.

Humans have natural expectations too. Infants are born expecting to be fed and nurtured. Most newborns naturally turn toward the mother's breast, open-mouthed, searching for food. They live in that precise moment with a need and an expectation that the need will be met.

Our fears and anxieties are often born out of unmet expectations. Or the thought that the expectations may go unmet. Our thoughts, our creative imaginations, so vital to our life and survival, can also conjure fear.

Understanding that some of our expectations are natural provides balance in the now moment. Expectations mean we are looking for or forward to something. What creates the negative side is our anxiety that those expectations will go unmet. If we live in the present moment, we can acknowledge the expectation and the feelings around it without allowing those feelings to overwhelm us, and without getting upset with ourselves if they do.

What are your natural expectations? How do you feel when you think about them? What feelings overwhelm you when you think the expectations aren't going to be met?

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