Expectation, At Veena’s Request, 22 Aug 2017
Theres different sorts of expecation.
A child expects her mother to support if not understand. A lover expects his partner to share both joys and sorrows. A friend expects the other to be there when he needs a shoulder to cry on, or to tell him when he is making a mistake. This is the good side of expectation.
But it is wrong to expect someone to love you back when you hardly know them, or have been busy building castles in the air (an imaginary thing we often do *1). It is wrong to expect never to fight with someone, or that they will always agree with you.
Then there is the form of expectation where we only do for others expecting something in return. This is the shallow form of Love. Unconditional love may be the ideal, but dont expect it from everywhere.
When you expect or desire something from life, you are setting yourself up for disappointment. It is not often that we labour smartly under a desire, in the right spirit, leading to its fulfilment. “I want my boyfriend to spend every waking moment with me”, is not only unrealistic, but also stifling and impossible to hope for, unless he is really that crazy about you.
The Gita, speaks often of detachment (the lack of expectation). Chapter 18, Verse 10 says “The wise man with doubts cast away, who renounces in the light of the full sattwic mind, has no aversion to unpleasant action, no attachment to pleasant action.”
So what is this detachment? A renouncing of the fruits of your labour. Not so say you dont enjoy it, but that you dont expect it. Be good for goods sake – not because your hoping to get a reward – either material or spiritual.
Why do we say sattwic mind? Because “Rajas, know thou, has for its essence attraction of liking and longing; it is a child of the attachment of the soul to the desire of objects; O Kaunteya, it binds the embodied spirit by attachment to works.” – Verse 14.7
So when we are attached to the things around us, and expect reward, we are indeed missing the moment in which we did a thing, or distracted by thought of a reward / other circumstance that would make us happier. Live in the moment, free of expectation, free of desire except the indomitable certainty of our convictions and that we will always continue to do justice to each moment.
*1 – Was is Love, or was it the idea of being in Love – Or was is the hand of fate that seemed to fit just like a glove – Pink Floyd, Momentary Lapse of Reason