Hopes & Expectations
Before recovery, we confuse hope & expectation. We believe that our wants and desires are the responsibility of others to make happen for us. When I look back at my own time in active alcoholism, I unknowingly assigned partners, friends, family members, and co-workers with the responsibility of my personal happiness. If everyone was doing as I expected them to, then I would be happy. I would have the income, husband, job, social activities, etc. that were what I determined to be the appropriate ingredients to my happiness. I expected it. In all of this, I never put the responsibility of my happiness on my own plate. I expected others to know this, and act accordingly.
Living life with this type of moral compass opened myself up for constant disappointment, let downs, and resentments. These resentments would fester for years feeding my ego and alcoholic mind. It was the fault of some person for my not being able to accomplish some milestone or objective I wanted, further fueling my desire to drink, and thinking that the choice to drink was justified. We drink when we're happy, and we drink when we're sad / angry. We drink because the sun came up, and we drink because the sun went down. It all ties back to drinking because we're alcoholics; well that's how it was for me at least.
What I have come to realize is this; expectations are ego driven. They come from a place of self centeredness and rarely benefit those around us or the greater good of humanity. These expectations are typically rooted in a fear of some sort. Fear of loosing security, fear of lack, fear of loss, fear of hurt, and fear of pain. When I look back at some of my own ego driven expectations I can see clear as day which fear they were rooted it. I expected my former husband to have a high power job, and have an income that would provide us with all the comforts I deserved. When we dissect this expectation we can see that it was rooted in two fears; fear of lack and fear of security. As I type this out I can feel the suffocation this expectation had on him. I am remorseful.
When I live in hope, what I know to be true is this; my hopes are unselfish in nature. For me, my hopes are the dreams of my soul. They come from a place that is not of this Earth, and I believe they are whispered to me when I am still, open, and flowing with the will of my Higher Power. I hope to be a wife again. I hope to have a marriage that is filled with love, mutual respect, creativity, and adventure. I hope my children will see me with a man that shows them what unconditional love is, so they in turn can emulate that in their own lives. This hope comes to me with ease and peace. It's because of this that I know it's a hope of my soul and not a demand of my ego. There isn't a timeline in place that I expect this to happen in. My happiness isn't dependent upon this. I am happy as I am. I am at peace with the person I am and the person I am growing into. For the first time in my life I can say I love me, very much. In everyday I have happiness. There is joy to be found in the journey, ever flowing with the river of life.
Hopes are the dreams of our souls and leave the world a better place when they manifest. Expectation are the demands of the ego, and leave behind a wake of destruction and pain in their aftermath. Live in hope and you'll leave behind a world better than the one you found.