Saturday, February 25, 2012
Losing My Expectations
“We always enter into relationships with expectations of what the relationship will do for us. This is true not only in romantic relationships but also in other areas—family, work, friends, and even casual encounters. More often than not, we’re not even aware of our expectations; but when we experience a relationship difficulty or conflict, it’s likely that our expectations are not being met.”
Ezra Bayda, “Beyond Happiness, The Zen Way to True Contentment”
When I recently came across this book by Ezra Bayda, my thoughts immediately went to my relationship with Siete. I am always lamenting that I do not have the closeness and trust with my little horse that I share with her mother.
“When our expectations aren’t met, difficulties automatically arise and we may experience disappointment, anger, or fear. Unfortunately, instead of looking inward to see our own expectations, we usually focus on who we can blame or how we can fix the situation. We’ll almost always view our relationship difficulties as problems to be solved, as obstacles to overcome.”
If I think about why I don’t feel any tension with Silk, I see that it’s because I don’t want her to “be” any particular way. I have always just loved her as she is. Rather than wishing things were different, I simply deal with what is and accept that she and I can work it out to make it better for her. So, why can’t I do that with Siete? Partly, it’s because I compare her to her mother, and they are very different personalities. Silk wants to be my partner and is glad to be with me, no matter what we are doing. Siete has a vibrant spirit, a strong will, and does not give a hoot about whether she is pleasing me or meeting my expectations. So, over the years, I’ve come to assume that when I have an expectation of how I want something to go with Siete, it’s often going to end up being a challenge or even a battle of wills.
“These difficulties are our exact path to freedom, in that they push us to go deeper into our life, to work with the very things that cause us so much unhappiness, namely, our demands that life, and others, be a particular way, and the sense of entitlement we have in thinking that we need to feel a particular way.”
Over and over again, Siete offers me life lessons and little tests of my confidence and my ability to communicate without using words. Spirit to spirit.