Google defines expectation as, “a strong belief on happening of something.”
William Shakespeare once said, “Expectation is the root of all heartaches.”
These two sentences express two different perception of the word ‘expectation’. Google portrays it to be something positive but Sir Williams explains it to be something negative. Something we should all try to stay away from. Something which would devastate us into an irreparable loss if not fulfilled.
Well! Enough of digital and philosophical knowledge. Let’s get back to reality now! The real question here is, do we really have to keep ourselves devoid of expectations? Do we really have to force or hearts and minds to stop feeling something which a normal human would ordinarily feel and experience? You will find your answer by the end of this article.
We being humans, expectations are rooted deeply in our veins. It is an emotion just like other emotions. The reason people are afraid of it is because sometimes, it lands us on the rock bottom. So basically people are not afraid of expectations, people are afraid of the consequence of such expectations. People are afraid to hit the rock bottom. They lack the self-confidence and belief of rebuilding their broken parts.
Being an ordinary human myself, I have also been played by expectations several times. I too have hit the ‘rock bottom’ and have managed to build my broken pieces. Be it the expectation of securing good grades during my board exams or the disappointment of not receiving proper attention of certain people in my life, I have been through the cycle of expectations countless number of times, even after knowing I would fall in the same pit over and over again. But today, I thank God for making me face such disappointments, and for giving me strength to handle them. Today, I am a stronger person with a happy soul.
Time is the biggest teacher, and it is this teacher who taught me that every person who expects is not a fool. It is actually very easy to turn off the switch of expectation and to keep yourself devoid of it, than to dare to expect and handle its consequences. Most of my readers would agree that life is a lesson. It teaches us several important things. We either learn it the easy way or the hard way, but at the end of every chapter, we learn a lesson. We understand the moral of the story of life. Expectation is one of the hardest chapters of life. If you devoid yourself of it, just by the fear of being addressed as a ‘fool’, you lose an important lesson of your life.
Let me give you a real life experience. I recently figured out that my childhood friend who is also my sister, would be leaving town very soon. I was devastated to know that. My heart did not want to go through the pain of separation. I did not have the courage to face it, so I started hiding my feelings. I did not cry the day she actually left town. I even controlled my tears while saying my last goodbye to her. I saw her crying but kept my emotions intact. At that time, probably the right thing would have been to express what I felt, to let my tears roll down. But instead I chose the easy way of ignorance and pretendence. I acted as if I never expected her to stay. Days passed and I could not control my emotions anymore. I called her immediately and burst into tears. We both started weeping over phone and she consoled me that she would try her best to meet me soon. Today I am so glad that I was brave enough to accept the feeling of expectation and strong enough to handle the non-fulfilment of the same. This experience, has made me emotionally strong today. I am able to cherish the bonding that we share, in spite of being far away from her.
So, while following the right path, you will come across a chapter called expectation. Life will shatter you over it, you will be called an emotional fool several times, but if you follow your life lessons properly, you will learn to build yourself over those disappointments. You will learn what to expect and what not to expect. The things which once broke you will act as building blocks in your life. At this moment you will realise you are not a fool after all. You will understand that you are just a human, who is courageous enough to expect and strong enough to get over the disappointments arising out of those expectations. You will learn that foolishness is shutting yourself from a basic human emotion and not embracing that emotion with a brave heart.
I hope my readers will understand that expectation and strength to handle its consequences are never independent of each other. They always go hand in hand. If you are brave enough to expect, then be strong enough to face its consequences. Come what may! Know that you are one among many other brave hearts in the world.
In the end, I would like to sign off by quoting the words of my favourite author, Elizabeth Gilbert which goes something like this, “This is a good sign, having a broken heart. It shows that you have tried to achieve something.”
Expectations are not always FOLLY. They are sometimes COURAGEOUS and BRAVE!
Be Brave, Be Strong!