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Letting Go of Expectations

April 27, 2012
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Let go of any expectations.  You have no idea what your best looks like.

Heirloom tomatoes

Left: Hillbilly, Top: Aunt Ginny's Purple, Right: Cherokee Green

When we plant a lovely little tomato transplant into our garden, we typically have expectations for it.  We expect it to grow, flower, produce fruit and provide us with a juicy slice or two for our beloved BLTs.

Sometimes these expectations are met, sometimes not.  The tomato plant might get eaten by a garden pest,  taken down by late blight, or just plain struggle in extreme weather conditions.

Ever been unhappy or upset that said tomato plant did not meet said expectations?  Yeah, me too.  Though maybe if expectations were not there, we would not be unhappy?

What if we planted the tomato, as a part of our love for gardening–but rather than expect specific outcomes, we just enjoy the moments to nurture it, to watch it grow,  or to taste it.  And if said tomato, crapped out on us…we’d enjoy the moments of visiting the local farmer’s market or our neighbor for that juicy slice on our BLTs.  Or heck maybe fresh tomato sauce instead.

Cherokee Green tomato

Green-when-ripe heirloom named Cherokee Green

Finding Joy in Life’s Surprises – Releasing Your Expectations

Below article from

As we endeavor to find personal fulfillment and realize our individual ideals, we naturally form emotional attachments to those outcomes we hope will come to pass. These expectations can serve as a source of stability, allowing us to draft plans based on our visions of the future, but they can also limit our potential for happiness by blinding us to equally satisfying yet unexpected outcomes. Instead of taking pleasure in the surprising circumstances unfolding around us, we mourn for the anticipation left unfulfilled. When we think of letting go of our expectations, we may find ourselves at the mercy of a small inner voice that admonishes us to strive for specific goals, even if they continually elude us. However, the opposite of expectation is not pessimism. We can retain our optimism and free ourselves from the need to focus on specific probabilities by opening our hearts and minds to a wide variety of possible outcomes.

When we expect a situation, event, or confrontation to unfold in a certain way, it becomes more difficult to enjoy the surprises that have the potential to become profound blessings. Likewise, we may feel that we failed to meet our inner objectives because we were unable to bring about the desired results through our choices and actions. Consider, though, that we are all at the mercy of the universal flow, and our best intentions are often thwarted by fate. As you grow increasingly open to unforeseen outcomes, you will be more apt to look for and recognize the positive elements of your new circumstances. This receptivity to the unexpected can serve you well when you are called upon to compromise with others, your life plans seem to go awry, or the world moves forward in an unanticipated manner by granting you the flexibility to see the positive aspects of almost any outcome.

The further you distance yourself from your expectations, the more exhilarating your life will become. Though a situation in which you find yourself may not correspond to your initial wants, needs, or goals, ask yourself how you can make the most of it and then do your best to adapt. Your life’s journey will likely take many unpredicted and astonishing twists because you are willing to release your expectations.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. July 9, 2012 10:33 am

    I had a few minutes of downtime at work and was trying to think of something to cook this week, so I thought I would check your blog for recipe ideas. I stumbled across this post and this article. This really hit home with me and was exactly what I needed to here today. Thanks!


  1. Gardening, Yoga and No Expectations

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