Mid-Day Reflection: Act Without Expectation
My happiness grows in direct proportion to my acceptance, and in inverse proportion to my expectations.
Michael J. Fox
Expectations are tricky things. Often, we find ourselves doing things out of an expectation that we'll get something back. Or, inversely, others have expectations of us and are expecting something back from us in like manner.
I reflected last week on a FB post that expectations are often conditional...and that often leads to disappointment. Very seldom are expectations unconditional and open-ended.
Prayer can fall into that trap sometimes. Often people pray "petitionary" prayers; asking for something. If we ask, do we have an expectation for an answer? Further, do we have an expectation for a specific answer?
Talk about setting somebody up for disappointment. Far too often, especially if prayer is offered because someone is ill, or somehow at risk; a job or a marriage is falling apart; we want something so badly we make promises to do this-or-that if only we could be granted x, y or z....sound at all familiar?
If we have expectations of answers, then how do we respond when the answer seems to be an emphatic "No?"
How often do people lose Faith, give up on Church, Jesus and God when prayers don't meet personal expectations?
Expectations are tricky things.
If we challenged ourselves to do as Lao Tzu suggests and "act without expectation", how would we be changed in serving one another in such a way? Instead of doing something with the expectation of thanks or reward, we rather simply did it because it was the right, the just, the compassionate thing to do?
What if we prayed not for specific requests, but rather to share ourselves fully with the Divine Presence within and between all of us to walk forward through whatever lies ahead - joyful or tragic - and be transformed for the better from it?
What if we truly did act, and pray, and love, and forgive, and be with and for one another without expectation?
Today's a great day to start to find out....