Great Expectations

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RAJGOPAL NIDAMBOOR

Most of us live with far too many expectations — expectations unfulfilled are awfully disappointing.

Expectations reflect our behaviour, including fancied or distorted attitudes, or previous responses in comparable situations. The actual fact is we are naïve. We’ve our fixated needs, or feelings. This also means we are simply not in charge of our emotions.

It’s only when we cultivate awareness for our latent and/or innate emotions within us can we evolve, understand ourselves and also others, and meet our day-to-day challenges resolutely. What does this mean? We ought to be receptive to criticism and unflustered about expressing ourselves. This holds good for every form of expression that we are naturally endowed with — idioms of affection, love, suffering, pain, happiness and action, including ‘putting-up-a-brave-front.’ In other words — the ability to live through troubles, with the hope that ‘this too shall pass.’ This also portrays the face of solidity doggedly waiting for the squall to pass.

It’s apparent that our ability to cope with troubles has the greatest impact on our responses, reactions, proactive nature, or character. For example, people who are confident, self-assured and capable, in their own estimation, are less likely to feel prickly in expressing themselves and/or accepting criticism. Likewise, people who are not self-assured are more likely to be self-protective, guarded, or ‘closed.’ It’s only we learn, understand, and work towards correcting this ‘frozen’ context, can we reach a level from where we can truly mirror our emotional state — of cultured, or refined, behaviour. The best thing anyone can do is to constantly seek and fulfil a particular need, or choose relationships that seem to realistically fulfil a genuine need — not needs that have ulterior motives. Philosophers articulate that if one has a legitimate ground, or cause, it’d help to locate one’s own divine instrument — to aid our course ‘out of the woods,’ when difficulties, or troubles, engulf us.

Our habits, or patterns of behaviour, and the manner in which we conduct, or do not conduct, ourselves through them, are more than just corporeal expressions of our own unsolved feelings and thoughts. Such oft-unresolved situations, or issues, lead to routine reactive behaviour, anxieties, and ‘fleeing from the situation.’ They tend to hijack the goodness in us. This is what that provokes us to react without rationale when facing most of life’s familiar issues. It clogs the layers of rational thought and action; it leads to internal bickering, animosity, angst, and also disgust. If only all of us would remember that there is always one useful strand of rationality in every irrational action, our world would become a much better place to live.

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