Alright so the year has officially settled in and most of us are getting back to our regular routines. I am even already starting to write down the correct year when I am required to enter the date (good sign!). But still being so early in the new year, I feel so many of us still continue to reflect on the previous year in all different kinds of ways.
We think about 2013 and think about all those moments that really stick out. The funny, the surprising, the happy, and so on. But I feel some of the moments that stick out the most are the ones that can be considered the, "bad," ones. Everyone's bad of last year is most likely different and can vary from the ones that hurt the most, or the ones that stick out in your head that continues to be something you want to change or do something about. I mean, for a lot of us, this is where our, "New Year's Resolutions" come from right?
So I was minding my own business at my favorite Coffee House, and there was a few people sitting close to me that were having a certain conversation. Ok... so that's where the minding my own business kinda came to a stop. Sorry group of 4 or 5 strangers.
Anyways, the conversation was all based on the year and a certain...quote I guess you could call it, that I am sure everyone has heard some kind of version of. I forget which one they read because I didn't want to add to my creepy level and get closer to their computer screen, but it was the one that basically states that hopes and expectations are the main cause for pain. To sum up everything, they were saying that for this year they will try to not have any hopes and get rid of their expectations.
Ok hold up, I don't usually do this..ya know, do the creepy listening in on thing, but it was about something I had just seen going around like crazy on Tumblr and was planning on writing about anyway...so that's my excuse.
Anyhow. Don't hold me to this but I think it was Shakespeare that was first quoted with this? Well, I remember hearing it or seeing it around quite a few times already throughout my life. Every single time I would whole-heartedly agree. Even after I got out of rehab I was still in agreeance...and to be completely honest, I have to fight myself to push that mindset away still sometimes to this day.
I remember the day that I really thought about this whole idea for quite some time. Actually trying to live life without any expectations or hopes. So no expectations for the day to be good, no expectations for your friends or family to treat you well or anything like that. And then for the getting rid of our hopes bit. Having no hope. Sure, goals can still be made , but the hope and expectations we usually have to get there, just would not exist. So in the end, if the goal is not reached, or you think you "failed" at something, would there still be no pain? If we did not have expectations of the people we decide to keep close , would we still be affected by them treating us wrongly? Could we still just shrug it off, walk away and just forget about it?
Image by: Nina Matthews
Maybe, maybe not. But all I know is that hope and expectations have done a lot of good in my life. Keeping my expectations of how I should be treated and how any kind of relationship should go about in my life needs a few expectations. Not many, but just a few. I know for a while when I didn't have expectations from my partner, not only did it get abusive, but simply nothing about it was good. The people we DECIDE to keep in our lives should be the ones that we know that truly care. So we SHOULD be able to hold them to certain expectations. Ones that we should of course be held to as well. Being nice, caring, showing empathy, love and care...you know, things like that. I feel it is not only a matter of respecting others, but also having to do with having respect for ourselves.
And for my quick opinion on trying not to have any hope. Sure it can be possible, but is it something we really want. For a long time hope was something that was completely lacking in my life; I couldn't find it anywhere I looked.
Looking back, I think I was scared. Maybe scared to see something I hadn't in almost a decade, a world of possibilities...a "normal" world. I had no idea what a normal world could be anymore, but I didn't know if I could handle the challenges of sobriety.
The way I see it now? Hope is something we should all have. In fact, maybe even something we need. If not, the short and fragile life we have will not only become dull, but will be a waste of everyones talents and possibilities. Our hope is what pushes us to keep going. Our hope is what keeps us from giving up. Our hope is what keeps our spirit alive.
Just because we haven't gotten somewhere, only means we haven't gotten there yet. That's definitely something I have learned in my short year and a half of sobriety. And one thing I can promise you all, is that if I didn't regain my hope in thinking I could even get to where I am now, I most likely would not still be here writing this right now.
So in the end, keep those hopes and expectations. It might just save your spirit, and even your life as it did mine.