Guan Yin Speaks. Day 29. Someone, somewhere, expects you to do something.
Good morning! This is Guan Yin Speaking.
It starts almost immediately when your little feet hit the earth plane,
"Oh look at the beautiful baby! We love you so much. You will make us proud."
"Eat this, you will grow big and strong."
"Go to the potty when we tell you, because you are messy and frankly we're tired of it."
"Go to school, get good grades. Don't swear. Don't slouch. Clean your room. Clean the cat box. Call your grandmother. Mow the lawn. Clean your plate. Go to church. Take a shower. Know what I want before I have to tell you. Don't do drugs, don't be crazy, I expect this of you."
On and on and on, one long roadway filled with expectations.
By the time you are an adult, you think you might be free of that mindset, but it's established in your mind and heart, that someone somewhere expects you to be doing something. Every moment of every day.
This continues on into adult relationships,
"I expect you to spend time with me. To love me. I expect a clean house, good meals. I expect you to work and make money and understand me and pay attention to me."
Is it any wonder that a person might spend their entire life fulfilling the expectations of others? In some ways it's not terrible, it makes us feels needed, wanted. We always have something to do. Mothers exemplify this.
This is not an aimless dialogue. This constant movement to accede to the needs and wishes of others inflicts on our spiritual life in an insidious way. Do you sit down to meditate and almost instantly start thinking of what you need to do in the day? Do you feel the invisible pull of your spouse, your animals, your children, your boss? Even just having another living being in the house creates a dynamic of,
"This being wants me to stop doing this, and do something else."
Whether it's true or not, it pulls you out of the present moment, and the possibility of silence.
Try this exercise. If there truly wasn't anything that was expected of you, nowhere to go, nothing to cook or clean, no one in your energetic circle to pull at your attention, what would you do?
If you are a dedicated spiritual student and wayfarer, you would probably settle in to a rhythm of practices and service, study and blessing time, sleep and nourishment, exercise and contemplation. For most this is not really possible, but we can approximate it by first identifying that we allow our essence to be spilled in an almost constant way by what we consider the expectations of others.
It may be actually not the case, that everyone around us is wanting us to do something. Or if it is, so what? What might happen if you said to your significant other,
"I'm going to go and meditate for an hour. I'm not going to do anything but that. If you need anything I'm sure you are capable of handling that yourself, thank you for your consideration."
That person might well just shrug and say,
"Great! Have a wonderful quiet time."
That person might pull a face of disapproval or hurt feelings, even say something like,
"But I was just going to fix your favorite lunch..."
Again. So what? What will happen? If that person packs their bags and huffs off, that relationship wasn't going to sail anyway, and if they're happy and accepting...good! Now you might feel and open-hearted desire to allow this person the same courtesy of space and allowing. The relationships bloom, the practice blooms, things go well.