Recently a good friend and I reconnected after not corresponding for the last few years. This reconnection came on the heels of paying attention to a number of synchronicities that kept reminding me to reach out to inquire how my friend was doing, despite the reasons why we stopped talking in the first place.
The truth is as human beings we often let our emotions get the best of us. We allow our egos to run the show. As a result, we lose out on a lot of lot of amazing reationships/friendships that nourish us and inspire us to be better people. Rather than be vulnerable and deal with the issues with courage and honesty; we succumb to our ego and all the emotions that arise. This kind of recourse creates a disconnect within us that reinforces the belief that it’s safer to hide our feelings, rather than face and discuss the issues which will undoubtedly arise in any friendship or relationship.
After chatting with my friend about the reasons why we lost touch and re-visiting the details of what transpired; we candidly discussed our feelings, what we were going through in our lives at the time and how we allowed our emotions and circumstances of our lives to get in the way of what is most important- our friendship.
Shifting Our Perspective
What it all boils down to is a shift in our perspective. When we shift our perspective we learn the importance of developing meaningful connections with others. This shift helps us understand why it’s important to maintain honesty; to let go of our expectations, and to embrace uncertainty.
For most of my adolescence and young adult life I, like most people learned to be a people pleaser. I had a distorted view of how relationships worked. Sometimes I invested in my relationships/friendships much to the detriment of my own values, feelings and sense of self worth. It was uncomfortable for me to deal with the uncertainty of how a friend or loved one would react if I didn’t meet their expectations and be who they wanted me to be.
As a quintessential people pleaser, I believed that in order for people to like me I had to make them happy. So there’s no surprise when I tell you, I developed an unrealistic set of expectations of others and myself. And whenever those individuals didn’t meet my expectations a wall of resentment grew until I couldn’t tolerate them or how I felt. Inevitably I ended up sabotaging those relationships and completely severing my ties with those individuals.
As I continue to grow, I have come to realize I’m not in charge of anyone’s happiness and I’m not supposed to be anyone other than who I am. More importantly I am not responsible for reactions others have when I speak my truth with honesty and love. Through a number of tough lessons and friendships lost, I now know no matter how much we try to control and manipulate a situation it doesn’t mean things are going to end up the way we imagine or expect them to. Hence, the importance of surrendering expectations and learning to embrace uncertainty.
When we place expectations on ourselves and others, we set ourselves up for failure and disappointment. Learning to surrender our expectations is invaluable because it leaves room for all parties involved to be authentically themselves! Imagine the freedom to express and be authentically YOU. Imagine the gift of unconditional love and support you could give others by letting them express themselves and be authentically who they are. Now that is some serious LOVE!
The fact of the matter is everything in life is uncertain, including how others will react when we openly and honestly express how we feel. Sure it’s almost certain the sun will rise and set each day, the moon and stars will come out each night, and our bodies are magnificent vehicles which have the capacity to support us if we nourish them with love and care. But amid these “certainties”, on the flip side remains so much uncertainty and in every facet of our lives.
I speak of uncertainty a lot in my posts because for a lot of people embracing uncertainty is a hard pill to swallow. I get it! But when you think about it, everything in life involves a degree of uncertainty. EVERYTHING. However, most of us have become so conditioned living with a manufactured sense of comfort and security, we automatically equate that to certainty. In all actuality the ball can drop at any time in our lives; shaking up our sense of comfort and security. Yet we cling to what is comfortable because we love to bank on certainty.
As I embrace uncertainty more and more, it makes me realize the importance of being present and grateful for everything I have. Moreover, I am able to set my expectations aside to honor and nurture relationships with people I care about in a much deeper and loving way. Vincent van Gogh once said, “for my part I know nothing with any certainty, but the sight of the stars makes me dream.” This statement alone reinforces within me the belief that everything in life is precious and that the only thing we can be certain of in this lifetime is that one day it will all go away. Contemplating the impermanence of all things allows me to embrace and honor everything a great deal more, including my relationship, my friendships, speaking my truth, and taking risks on behalf of my dreams.
By learning to invest more of your time and energy into loving yourself and nurturing your inner Spirit, it fills you up with a kind of joy that spills over into all areas of your life, including your friendships and relationships. When this happens you can almost guarantee much of your expectations and need to please others naturally falls away. The best part is when you embrace uncertainty, you relinquish the need to control situations, outcomes, and reactions of others. Above all else, you deepen your level of connection with others in an honest, loving, and authentic way.
So are you a people pleaser? Do you put the feelings and needs of others in front of your own? Do you place unrealistic expectations on others, as well as yourself? How is that serving you? Can you see the importance of surrendering all expectations and accept others for who they are, rather than who you want them to be? More importantly, can you love and accept who you are? Finally can you begin to embrace uncertainty and regard uncertainty as an essential component to creating a space of possibility in which your friendships, relationships, and dreams have the freedom to flourish? I’d love to hear from you. Feel free to drop me a line.
With Love & Light,