Replacing Expectation with Hope

Isn’t it funny how we fill our lives with expectations and then wander around wondering why we feel so unsatisfied?”
Jamie Shane
Feature Writer for Naples News

I have learned something very important about myself that I want to share. In order to be happier, I need to replace expectation with hope! Maybe you already knew this and if so then all I can say is: Congratulations, I admire you. (I mean that too, no sarcasm intended.) But for those thick-headed slower learners like myself, here is what I mean.

I always thought that expectation and hope were interchangeable. From Encarta Dictionary, “EXPECTATION: a confident belief that a particular event will happen”. Also from Encarta Dictionary, “HOPE: to have a wish for something to happen or be true, especially something that seems possible or likely” They have similarities, but in reality the two concepts are very different. Hope is positive. It is trusting in something, it is having faith. Expectation is trying to control the situation which can be a sure-fire set up for failure or disappointment.

People love to tell you what to expect because it confirms what they already believe to be true. I admit I am guilty of this, a lot! “This is how it is supposed to be” they good willing imply. The problem is, there really is no such thing as “supposed to be”. Life is not written in permanent magic marker. It is more like a dry erase board.

I have been expecting a lot from the people around me lately, and then get hurt when they don’t live up to my “supposed to be”. I expect my kids to get good grades, clean their room, pick up their toys. I expect my friends to be available to talk whenever I need them. I expect my husband to want to do the things that I want to do. AND SO ON… But these things are not always possible. My children may struggle with a certain subject and need extra help, my friend may have her own troubles to deal with, and well my husband will never ever enjoy watching American Idol with me, it just ain’t happening. But if I HOPE they will get good grades, be around to talk and watch TV with me, without any preconceived ideas of how the final outcome is SUPPOSE to BE, I can celebrate their effort and be happy. If my husband sits down with me for 5 minutes and watches James Durbin sing… now I am happy because I never expected him to watch it at all.

I have no Expectations about being able to live this way for now on… what I have is HOPE that I can!

One thought on “Replacing Expectation with Hope

  1. A Dry Erase board and if you lean on it the wrong way then what’s there wipes off and you have to start over… you may try to remember what it said so you can rewrite the same thing, but sometimes the clean slate lets you express yourself in an entirely new way. Here is to being hopeful and full of gratitude, because hope and gratitude can NOT coexist with fear and disappointment.

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