I am not sure how many people read the stuff I write or how many like them or can connect to them. but from the few feed backs I have received I have seen that people see me as a highly negative, pessimistic person. May be I am, may be I am not. I would love to believe that I am not rather than I am..
This blog is my bucket of ice cream. A place where I run back and crawl into and pretend to disappear when the big dark world outside has hurt me some how. But as I was looking back at the last few years of my life, and going into that mode where I become my own worst critic, I somehow feel that this bog – this “cushion” is making me believe that its oki for me to get “hurt” from time to time as I will always have “here” to come back to and feel good about myself.
I also realize that the I might have filled this whole place up with so much of negativity that its high time I get out of here. So this Hopefully is my last blog entry for a long time to come and as I am leaving, I am compelled to write just one last time about resentments.
Last night was one of those nights for me.. I wouldn’t be lying if I tell you that spend the whole of it looking back at myself. The good times the bad ones. Mostly the times when I felt wronged. At first I could only think of one or two.. but later there came many more. What was interesting that I lost count on how many times have I disappointed myself because I’ve expected a close friend, a relative, a neighbor , or even a stranger to do something…..and they don’t, won’t, or can’t.
I hinge a lot of my happiness on other people. Sometimes, I expect them to treat me like I would treat them. It doesn’t always work that way. Time is the most important thing I can give any one. I think it’s a sign of respect and care that I show when I give them some of my time.. For, you can get everything back other than lost time. But when other people start taking this devotion and loyalty of mine for granted, I start to feel hurt, then irritated, then angry (I for a fact believe that I stand correct from my point of view). In fact, as the “time” goes by, the worse it gets, and the angrier I be.
I remember a tiny instance narrated by “Lori Deschene” of the tinyBuddha.com in this regard. This is what she wrote:
“Before I left for my two-week holiday family visit, I asked my boyfriend to wash our sheets before I returned. I hoped to come home to a clean, organized apartment, with everything as I left it. That is not, however, how things panned out. Instead, I came home to a somewhat disorganized space and a pile of dirty towels—along with an empty refrigerator.
My boyfriend told me he’d been busy, and he didn’t have time to do all the laundry or go food shopping. I translated “I didn’t have time” to mean “I assumed you’d do it when you got back.”
At first, I felt annoyed. I thought, “I wouldn’t leave laundry for you,” “I would have bought at least some staples in case you were hungry,” and a few other righteous gripes about his domestic shortcomings.
I was going to let him know it’s not okay to take me for granted, but then I realized something: I was assuming his actions meant that, when they may, in fact, have only meant exactly what he said—that he got backed up and didn’t have time.
So instead of expressing my dissatisfaction with the expectations he didn’t meet, I expressed exactly what I felt: “When you say you don’t have time to do things around the house, I sometimes assume you expect that I will do them.”
He responded, “I don’t expect that at all. I expected I would do them later tonight. I know you’re busy too.”
This right here, I suspect, is the cause of most conflict in relationships: one person does something or doesn’t do something, and the other makes assumptions about what it means.
I have done it many times before—assumed the worst in someone I love because they didn’t do what I would do. But this rationale fails to consider that other people have different ways of doing things, and they have no idea what meanings we’ll assign when they choose to do things their way.
They also can’t know precisely what we expect unless we express it. I asked my boyfriend to wash the sheets, and he did. But more importantly, he’s a thoughtful, considerate person on the whole, and this one incident was not a big deal in the grand scheme of things.
We have a right to communicate when we feel hurt or offended, but maybe love is learning to be hurt and offended less often. The people we care about are generally doing their best—love is recognizing that instead of assuming the worst.”
Her narration that “assuming the worst” may be the root of all evil may be true in many instances But my experiences have taught me the hard way that Anger always comes from frustrated expectations!!
I have realized that when you discover that you’ve been hit in the fact with a thwarted expectation, the best thing to do is to take a breath. Instead of cursing, believing that I’ve been foiled yet again, I can ask myself the one or all of following questions:
Was my expectation realistic?
Just because I would do or say something in a specific situation does that mean that everyone has to act in the same way?
Do I even have all the facts right?
Am I making up any of the details of the circumstance?
Am I making assumptions about the other person’s motivations and agenda, thoughts or beliefs?
How do I EVEN know what I assume to be true is actually true?
Is there any other way the situation could be perceived?
And FINALLY, Even if this other person disrespected or devalued ME in some way, was it what I always expected them to do? If so, then it is high time I reveal and realize where I disrespect or devalue myself through my thoughts and beliefs about me..!! I cannot get that which I do not already have. If I want to be valued, respected, or loved I have to respect, value and love yourself first.
This thought process has helped me a lot to let go of the feelings of resentments that I had associated with some instances from my past. I feel much lighter now. I believe that the same will work for anyone who is still with me on this post. Once you’ve examined your expectations, change your thoughts, and decide upon the best course of action.
If someone has maligned you in some way, it is not within your control to alter another person’s behavior. The only thing you really can change is your inner image of that person in such a way that you are feeling less disappointed or hurt or bitter or cheated, or wronged by them. It is working for me and will definitely work for you as well.. trust me on This..
The Truth is, everyone is doing the best they can with the light they have to see. Some people are missing a few batteries in their flashlight. Others have no idea how to turn on a flashlight. They are in the dark, unconscious to, their own unrealistic expectations and misguided thoughts that their actions are based upon. You can choose to dim your light to match their or shine your light to brighten their way.
I have realized that as you begin to appreciate others in spite of their faults, you begin to appreciate yourself in spite of your own faults. Carrie Fisher had once quoted “Resentment is like drinking poison and waiting for the other person to die.” Imagine going to wedding and some one comments that you looks 20 pounds lighter, and you feel happy because you did not go there fishing for the comment. It was unexpected and hence really nice 🙂
As I am writing this article I catch my self having frown lines on my and small pout and alternatively a small smile creeps up my face. I think I am enjoying doing this. May be its time I stop writing.
As I am bidding a goodbye to this virtual wormhole for a while I would just like to say once again that it’s always easier to preach than to practice. Having no expectations from the ones we love is merely impossible but when you find your self deeply stranded in the state of despair due to unmet expectations keep saying this to your selves “Great Expectations are premeditated resentments”- it helps.!!