For me it’s a positive step to critique myself and realize that at times I have unhealthy expectations of some people in my life. This was not an “ah-ha” moment, by the way; evaluating my expectations has been an ongoing process for quite some time….
Letting go of expectations is one thing. Scaling back expectations next to zero does not sound quite right. It sounds depressing if that’s all there is to it, but there’s a big difference between expectations and wishes.
So, what about hope? My friend Rita once posted, “A person needs just 3 things: someone to love, something to do, and something to hope for.” I don’t know whether that’s true or not, but it’s great food for thought, and the third ingredient — hope — is by many accounts essential to human life. Hope is often characterized as “The American Dream” of owning a home, and that goal alone drives many people to expend a tremendous amount of effort. For me, hope is sometimes as simple as a little prize waiting at the end of a long day, such as a special dessert waiting in the refrigerator. Infinitely more powerful is the combination of love and hope — the dream of finding “the one”, that perfect match, the person you want to spend the rest of your life with. Many people believe that a person will die if they feel they have nothing for which to hope. Not surprisingly, we’ve all heard stories about people (often seniors) who die not long after losing a life-long, beloved spouse.
The point of letting go is not to give up hopes and dreams but rather to untie and discard any strings and to love unconditionally. One can hope the love is returned, and when that happens, the people who matter most reveal themselves.
So, even though I feel down at times, I have certainly not given up hope!