This is an excerpt from Clutter Junkies No More, by Barb Rogers. Another book I’d recommend if you’re struggling with clutter.
“Expectations are dangerous, not only for the person who has the expectations cast upon her, but for the person holding the expectations. When we expect others to do what we think they should, when, and how, we inevitably end up disappointed, frustrated, or angry. If the person wants to stay in our life, in whatever relationship, and they can’t live up to our expectations of them, it feeds into poor self-esteem, guilt, and shame.
If you want to put expectations on another person, try this: ‘I expect you to live your life to the best of your ability, to do whatever it is that will make you happy and content, and I wish you well in all things. I love you because of who you are, not because of what you do, or don’t do. I don’t have to agree with everything you do, or don’t do. I don’t have to agree with everything you do, but I would fight for your right to do it.”
Expectations are one way we block our heart. When our hearts are blocked, so are possibilities in our lives. Lovingkindness meditation is another practice where we can release expectations of others and facilitate forgiveness. Forgiveness is another way to create opening on our hearts, so we can live and love radiantly and powerfully.
Sit comfortably. Notice any tension in your body and release it through breathe. With eyes closed, take a few breaths in and out. Continue to be present to physical sensations and release any tension.
Now start with yourself: Think or say aloud:
May I be full of loving kindness.
May I be free of danger of any kind.
May I be happy and well.
May I be at peace.
Continue to focus on gentle breathing. Repeat the lovingkindness statements for yourself, until you feel ready to move on. Now evoke an image of one you love. Repeat the statements replacing “I” with the person’s name. Allow different people to come to you, repeating the statements focusing on each person who comes to you – gently expand the circle from people you love outward to the world. You may evoke someone you are angry at, or don’t like. See what it’s like to include them in your lovingkindness. You may finish with:
May all living beings be full of loving kindness.
May they be free of danger of any kind.
May they be happy and well.
May they be at peace.
May YOU be full of lovingkindness. 🙂