What are our expectations, moment to moment? Are they realistic or unrealistic, given who and what we're dealing with? How do I tend to feel when I'm going along with expectations that the mind is holding? Are my expectations more like wishful thinking?
What changed the trajectory on the idea of expectations was hearing Jimmy Kinnon, the founder of Narcotics Anonymous, say... "oftentimes an expectation is a resentment looking for a victim." That landed on me big.
After taking the time to sit and meditate on expectations, I realized they were at the heart of my suffering. I began to notice patterns of expecting something to go a particular way that I deemed "Good" from my perspective; it not happening the way is "Should," quickly followed by disappointment, dejection, getting jammed up, anxiety, depression, and even fear. That usually resulted in my shutting down in some way that 50% of the time looked a lot like rebellion on a spectrum.
Unrealistic expectations, in particular, led me everywhere I didn't want to go, playing a big part in an inner tension of irritability, restlessness, discontent, and holding my breath and bracing for impact, fearing let-down that led to skepticism about so much of my life. As a result, I tended to be withdrawn into kinda my own world of thought, which turned out to strengthen my addiction mind in really unhealthy ways.
At some point, I was introduced to a Japanese expression... "Mushotoku," pronounced "Moo-show-toke." It meant to live each moment without expectation and discover.
I learned that from that perspective, it's living like a child discovering something for the first time, exploring the possibility. That was very different. In that way, I was far less butt hurt in my experience because things are so much more open, and happiness is more natural for me; when I'm consciously and intentionally living and moving through my life and interacting with others from the perspective of Mushotoku Presence. Without so much expectation, the happy discovery was my physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual gravity was centered more within me that outside of me, leading to stability.
無所得 | Mushotoku| Being without expectation.