Gift & Gratitude


Having lived in the land of shifting expectations, I am able to grasp the impacts on both the acquiescent and the entitled.  Having survived a home where PTSD created a hyper-vigilance within me; I was perpetually planning, always looking forward and not embracing the moment thus, I am continually evaluating how I live and interact with those around me. I believe it is essential to live mindfully, to value every breath and embrace all it has to offer.   I am not naïve enough to think that there are not challenges. Human nature causes us to understands and assimilate our experiences based on our past.  Also I am not saying one should not have boundaries. Having been through a relationship that was riddled with emotional abuse and physical intimidation I actually have a list of experiences and behaviors I will not tolerate. Yet I arrive at this point, considering what I believe to be the foundation of relationships, familial, social, or romantic.

Having a recent conversation on a friend and her disappointment with a colleague I was surprised the number of times I heard “… but I expected”.  Another similar situation with a friend talking about her significant other and the recent challenges they face “…he didn’t” and “… I expected him to…”.  This creates pitfalls and ensures frustrations. Were the expectations communicated? Did you share your frustration? What accountability do you have in the situation? Are the typical responses yet I am not sure I agree. This too made me consider what I think of relationships. What is my view of those interactions?

I believe a relationship, be it friendship or otherwise is a gift! It is something for me to embrace and appreciate. A person has allowed me to share their life and I should not impose ideals on those interactions. Focusing on those expectations will set me up for sorrow. I will either laboriously attempt to make the relationship fit those ideals or will find myself in a perpetual cycle of hope and disappointment.

I deeply believe love is about what I give; “I love you” and it should be offered without condition.  I would be truly blessed if I can find that same unconditional offering in return.  I suppose this all comes down to where my focus lies; I choose that to be what I can give.  I think the ability to give fully and to offer unconditional  are some of the greatest qualities I can share. I cannot say that it is easy at times the prospect is scary but desire to live in the light of joy and happiness outweighs that fear!

“Happiness is living without expectations. “

– Peter Cajander


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