Well-Being: Sense of Possession and Sense of Expectation

meadow, sunset, nature

Sometimes I feel that I am a prisoner in a cage that is made of time and space. For, no matter how hard I try to escape or surpass any of these, even in my dreams, it keeps coming back to me. The cage has two other elements. One of these (other elements) is the things that belong to us in our thinking or belief, while the other one is our Sense of Expectation.

Most of us tend to get caught between the past and future. Things that we bought or received as gifts from our friends, families, and loved ones eventually imprint on us such impression that they should remain with us to our death, that we should and must never leave them or part with them. On the other hand, the future – that exists only in our imagination – brings with it a ‘bundle of expectations’, the bundle being different for each individual. Amid all these ‘things from the past’ and ‘future expectations’, we forget to live in the present.

Replacing old possessions, while getting rid of possessions that are useless, unusable (i.e. damaged or otherwise unusable) or/and no longer in use goes a long way towards freeing oneself from the sense of possession. For, this would make one realize the fact that “nothing is mine forever”, which, in turn, would give an individual a certain degree of “sense of freedom” from things one possess.

However, It is incredibly difficult, sometimes seemingly impossible, to give up expectations. Expectation generally means looking forward to something to happen in one’s favor or to one’s liking or one is looking forward to someone to do something for him in his favor or to his liking or to satisfy his desire. Our expectations regarding anything, whatsoever, should be based on the present and actual state of affairs, pertaining to that particular thing. When one begins to do things instead of thinking; begins to act instead of imagining, one is eventually able to get over his Sense of Expectation. More often than not, thinking and imagining results in baseless assumptions.

Anger is usually caused by expectation; greater the expectation, greater would be the intensity of anger, caused by the former (zero-expectation would flatten any possibility of getting angry). Therefore, by putting a rein on our expectations, we can actually control our anger or, at least, keep it at a manageable level.

If we focus on our expectations all the time, chances are that we will eventually be someone who keeps only those relationships that pleases her. If we keep persisting along this line, there will be a time when we will become entirely self-centered human beings, who are absolutely insensitive to other people’s feelings or problems or their particular situations or conditions.

Consequentially, our relationships with others may turn out to be very fragile, like a glass that is in the danger of breaking at the slightest fall; volatile; and short-lived. Every now and then we will have break-ups with people, simply because they fail to stand up to our expectations and don’t seem pleasing in our eyes anymore. Well, accepting a person in his entirety; that is to say, in his “whole being”, and not as a ‘fragment of himself’ could, ultimately, be rewarding.

Instead of severing relationships with others, we may want to do just the opposite: making an effort to re-establish relationships with those, who have broken relationships with us. We need to have a heart as wide and vast as an ocean that is so deep that every unpleasant and disagreeable things are drowned and disappeared in it forever.

Nothing is unexpected and anything and everything is possible. Therefore, we need infinite mental flexibility and openness so as to accommodate whatever may come in our way. This is to say that, we must and should not have any preconceived idea or, in other words, expectation regarding anything or anybody.

This could, possibly, be related to our idea concerning “being in the present”. To be in the present is to possess an absolutely flexible and open mind that can be molded, shaped, and reshaped in a positive way in response to the present reflexes. Mental flexibility or receptivity as such can save relationships for us or help us to overcome and get-over an unpleasant or/and disagreeable situation.

Source by Mohammed Iftekharuddin

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