Friday, June 26, 2009

Are You Surprised By Your Expectations?

Mixed Media on Matte Board
8"x8" matted, image dimensions 3.75" x 4.5"
$25 includes shipping 

Oh makes me think of surprise, especially a big black O on a magenta pink background.  And what makes us feel surprised?  Expectations?  When something turns out differently than we expected we are surprised, sometimes pleasantly, sometimes not so pleasantly.  I was talking to a friend today and we mentioned a mutual friend.  I commented that there is a thing this person does that "pushes my buttons".  Her comment was that it might push hers too if she had expectations.  And that is it, isn't it?  We often have unspoken expectations, ones we're not even aware of .... until things don't go as expected.  These expectations float just below the surface until something dislodges them and they bubble up.

 I might say I have no expectations about some new situation I'm going into.  But as things progress I find that in fact I do.  A friend gave a talk to a small group, thinking she had no expectations.  But at the end of the evening she found a whole little constellation of expectations twinkling around her.  She expected she would like her host, that she would feel some rapport with him.  She expected she would be treated in a certain way by him, a way that denoted respect to her.  She felt disappointed and slightly agitated when these expectations weren't met.  Sometimes when we think we have no expectations what we really mean "I don't know what is going to happen."  And during or after the fact we can see that we often have subtle and unconscious expectations.

The situation where we feel most free is where we have no expectations.  It's okay whatever happens.  We know that the universe does not exist to please us.  The next best thing is to be aware when expectations arise.  We can feel their tug but it's a bit like the monster in a nightmare.  When we turn around to look at him, he looses a lot of his power.  So just to see, helps loosen the reigns of expectation.

And now I am going to stumble off in the direction of bedtime without saying anything amusing or foolish.  What did you expect?


  1. I guess expectations are a way to secure our ego - but I'm thinking also they can drive us to action, which is not always bad...

    Love your Oh! painting:)

    Have a wonderful day,


  2. I'd agree with Patricia that that expectations are a form of security - a way to make sense of the future, which is really an unknown however much we want to think otherwise. I know I've been tripped up so many times by expectations, so I can't claim to be beyond them. Seems though that they'll come regardless, and maybe it's a good idea to welcome them in for a cup of tea, and then tell them to go once the cup is empty.

    These art pieces you've been doing are great! What a cool project!