The Positive Effects of Lowering Expectations of Others

Dealing with other people is challenging. It’s difficult to have positive healthy relationships with people. Most of us are not programmed like that. It’s normal to struggle in dealing with other people. I’m thankful today after a lifetime of struggling. I’ve learned a lot of things that make it a little bit easier.

On Facebook and YouTube, when you share what’s going on with you, you can inspire me to make more inspirational videos. I’m here by the grace of God. If things were up to me, I would be dead now because I couldn’t take the pain of life. I had to wake up. I had to have a spiritual awakening to survive. I was so miserable with life before that I was going close to not living and wrecking everything. I am grateful today that I’ve been given the gift of a spiritual awakening. I’m being a deeper part of who I already am which you already are, too. I’m discovering and asking to be of service every day. I am doing my best each moment and living in the now. I had a similar transformation in my life as Eckhart Tolle descries where I just couldn’t live with myself anymore and I was desperate to do better. That’s a big part of how I do better with other people today. It’s by focusing on what I can change which is my attitude and what I can’t change which is pretty much everything else.

I had a situation recently that highlights my change. My mom’s first grandchild was just born just recently. I told my mom she could come and visit  but we don’t want people staying with us until we get adjusted. We have told anyone that wants to visit us the same thing. It seems my mom did not like that.

As soon as you start guessing what other people are thinking and doing. The truth is you don’t know. You don’t know what’s going on with them and it’s just a story you’re telling. I try not to even tell stories like that because it just gets difficult. The fact is it’s been a week and a half since Madelyn was born and my mom still hasn’t visited. In fact, my mom says she wanted my wife to invite her.  I’ve communicated this to my wife. My wife is surprised that I haven’t build a huge resentment over my mom or my wife in this scenario because I don’t control either of them.

My wife is her own being just the same as I am. I love my mom and I love my wife that’s all that matters. I love my mom, she has loved me since I was young and I love my wife. Nothing else matters. The things I can let matter besides loving my mom and my wife are where I have the chance to make myself miserable and depressed. If I hadn’t done it a bunch of times already and got so miserable I couldn’t hardly live anymore then I’d still be doing it.

I got lucky I got so miserable doing the things most people can do and just be a little miserable. I got so miserable with so many bad habits. Being depressed and resentful about what other people were doing was a big part of that. It was foundational in my suffering. I was forced to either do better or die. I’m lucky because most people can make it through life just fine and miserable.

I’m lucky I couldn’t handle being miserable. It was too painful to be miserable all the time. When I focus on just loving my wife and loving my mom, things are simple. I communicated what my mom said to my wife and told her she could do whatever she wanted because I don’t know what’s best for her. I don’t know if it’s best to invite my mom over immediately. I don’t know if it’s best for you to invite her in two weeks or two months or whatever. I trust you to use the information my mom has given.

I don’t mind if you don’t invite my mom at all. That’s fine, she’s given you that choice. I start going in and trying to placed expectations. You can immediately see that in doing that misery starts to bleed from my whole being. The only way I can be is to accept other people as they are.

This isn’t something I just figured out. This is something that I’ve been given by other people. My mom said after being married to dad for almost 30 years after he passed away last year. She said that the only way she could be happy with him was to expect nothing out of him at all. That was the only way she could be happy was to expect nothing. That’s the basic idea if you want to be happy with the people in your life, you have to expect nothing of them. Someday, you will craft the expectations in a way that they disappoint you. Your expectations are something you are creating. They’re not relevant to the other person. You create the expectations, you create the disappointment. If I expected my wife to invite my mom in a certain time period then I could be disappointed. If I expected my mom to do all kinds of other things I could become resentful. I can’t live like that. It will kill me.

I’m lucky because a lot of people can live like that – in constant misery. I lived like that for as long as I can remember up until sometime in 2014 last year where it was as if a switch  went off. I went from a space of misery and resistance that my daughter gets into sometimes where she just gets upset. I lived like that so much finally I just gave up.

I’m happy with it. I’m not resentful. I’m happy and alive and that’s a miracle. I asked God to please let me know what I’m supposed to do. Please let me know what’s helpful for the people in my life. I ask and I pray to make good videos because that’s what I’m doing right now. I don’t need to pray to be a good husband at this moment. It’s helpful because I don’t say negative things about my wife. The most important thing is what I’m doing right this second. When I’m driving, I pray to be a good driver. I pray to be a good dad. I’m holding on to my daughter and I don’t want to suffocate her in this infant holder. It looks like that’s going well.

I try to listen and do my best each moment. If I expect my daughter not to cry I can get miserable when she’s crying. The other night I expected too much out of myself. The main thing I get upset about is expecting too much out of myself. I expect for some reason that I should be able to do everything and then some and then do some more. When I get to the end of the day sometimes or just when the day is starting out, I get this suffocating feeling like there’s no way I can do everything. The only way to make it better is to drop the expectations on myself. I’m just here to do my best each day. If I can drop expectations on other people then I have a chance to drop expectations on myself.

If I go around expecting my mom to visit or expecting my wife or in laws or brother to do things or you to do something then I’m only likely to be disappointed. If I can’t go on having a relationship with everyone in my life including you without expecting you to do something for me then how can I not expect myself to do all these things?

It seems that my mom’s biggest point of misery is expecting herself to do so much more than she can. She says that she feels like she’s not worth it and not worthy of love. I felt that a lot in my life. My wife and so many people in my life gave me this love I feel worthy myself until finally I kept asking for help and now I do feel worthy. From that state, I can give you what I have. From that state, I can give you the feeling of kindness that I have towards myself because I was miserable with myself. You’ll notice that no matter how miserable you are with other people you’re ten times that bad with yourself.

If you expect something out of your friends or family or coworkers or people online, you’re expecting 10x as much for yourself. What you’re doing is obscuring your expectations of yourself over other people not meeting your expectations. If you can stop expecting things from other people, then you can start looking at what you’re doing to yourself. Yesterday, I made 11 videos and then I went to my meeting. I showered, swam, and spent a few hours with my daughter. I had dinner and spent an hour or so just talking with my wife. I spent hours gaming and playing with my friends. I did a ton of things yesterday and then my dog almost killed a possum in the backyard. Where do I get the idea that I should do more than that? Where do I get the idea that I should also have time to do more things?

I get the idea by feeling like you’re not enough. When you don’t feel enough, you will try and put everyone in your life in a position so that you see them as not enough. My friend’s not enough. My husband’s not enough. My mom, dad, brother, sister, or girlfriend is not enough. The resentment that took me into surrender was a resentment over my in-laws. My in-laws are amazing. There were people that would do a lot to get in-laws like I have. Yet, when I was miserable all I could see was that they weren’t enough. That brought me to my knees because it was so painful that I wanted to numb the pain. I’ve numbed the pain most of my life through drinking. it brought me to my knees because it was so painful that I didn’t know what to do with it. That pain of resenting my in-laws brought me to my knees.

It only took two weeks. It took a little longer to build the resentment but once it was there it was alive. All I could think about was numbing the pain every day all day. In two weeks it brought me to my knees and I gave up. I don’t know how to live enough to deal with a wonderful set of in-laws. Please help. I’ll do whatever it takes to not live this miserable life anymore. I’m thinking about drinking because of how I feel about my in-laws and then the behavior I did to follow up on that. I don’t want to hang out with your family anymore because I just can’t handle them right now. So it wasn’t just the behavior itself, but then my follow up behavior.

These things are hard to deal with. Other people tend to be challenging because other people reflect the things we don’t like about ourselves. You see the things you don’t like about yourself in other people and then you are helpless to do anything about the thing you don’t like in other people, but you don’t stop and ask yourself “what am I doing?” What am I creating? What reality am I creating? Am I making a reality where everyone in my life is a wonderful supporting person? Or am I making the reality where this person’s a jerk, an idiot, mean?

You’ll be amazed to see these are all things you think about yourself. You may not think you’re a wealthy idiot, but you get the point. You’ll see all these things you hate about other people . That’s why it’s hard with children because children have so many of those things all together. A child will  often reflect half of the things that you can’t stand about yourself back at you.

A person on the street might get one or two things. Your children or your family are likely to reflect the things you don’t like about yourself. When you see that, then you can be thankful. You have loved me and that’s enough. That’s the miracle – to see that you love other people in your life. That’s all that’s important. And anything else is misery you’re creating inside that all comes back to something about how bad your relationship with yourself is.

Today I pray to be aware of any expectations I’m placing on anyone else. By being aware of them I can choose not to go through with them. If I realize I’m expecting something of my wife, then I can choose to drop it. If I don’t know I’m doing it, I’m powerless over it. I can’t change something I don’t know about. I pray to be willing to change anything that needs to be changed in my life especially my attitude. I accept the things I can’t change in my life which is anyone else’s attitude and anyone else’s behavior. I pray that in talking about this today that you have the same opportunity to get to know yourself a little better. I’m sharing this out of my love for you because I love you the same way I love myself. I can’t love you any more or less than I love myself. I’m sharing this because I want you to have the chance to have the life filled with love and joy that my life is today. It’s not perfect, you would look at it and  see that I have other chances for improvement and yet what you see here is how I am almost all the time. The same way I am in these videos is the same way I am in private with my wife and daughter. It’s the same as I am gaming online although I may curse a little bit more, I’m working on that. There’s that consistency and these videos are an important part of my spiritual practice to take care of myself to remember each day what’s important. I’m honored you shared this with me today and I hope you have a great day today.