This week in our little Soul Creative group we are focussing on the effects of an Expectation Hangover.
And when we talk about Expectation Hangovers, who better to lead us than Christine Hassler, author of the highly delicious book called, surprisingly; Expectation Hangover!
I’ve summarised a big part of Christine’s intro in here, and smothered in some of my own juice as well. Make sure you check out her book for a deeper dive.
You know that feeling when you have poured your heart and soul into something that you are pumped about, inspired to do and have your head down, getting on with it, focussed, committed and motivated.
And then, at some point, you put your head up and realise that you are not where you want to be, or that the vision hasn’t come off as expected.
You go on to marriage and have an expectation of how it is going to be. How it will be different to how everyone else does it. That you will be the game changers and everyone will think that you are the role model and co-authors of ‘How to Have a Happiest Most Full of Love and Sex and Desire and Friendship Marriage’. You say it in your vows. And then, at some point you lift your head and wonder how the hell you got where you are. And it couldn’t be further from the title of the book!
You’ve trained 5 years at university, blood sweat and tears. All the exams. Assignments. Presentations. Feedback. Beers. And puffing and panting your way to get to the end so that you can have the dream position only to find that it is NOTHING like you expected and wonder what the hell you have done with your life.
All your life you wanted to be a mother. You dreamed of your children being little angels spawned from you and your lover. They would be healthy. And vibrant. And funny. and cute. And obedient. And easy. I mean, it has been happening since the beginning of time right. How hard could it be? And then, you wake up…oh no you don’t wake up because you haven’t been to sleep for 43 hours because your two cherubs have colds and are miserable and are screaming and need fed and changed and hugged and burped and reassured. And at the end, really, it seems all you are there for it to be a slave to this little unit.
You want desperately to be a great mother. But you feel like you are dropping the ball. Like all the time. Sigh. It is hard arse shit when you set out with a dream of how things will go and then, it doesn’t.
One of the worst feelings about having an expectation hangover is that we feel like we have failed.
That we haven’t met out standard or goals.
Especially if we have poured our hearts and soul into it.
When it become about the destination and not the journey, we seem to experience pain and discomfort.
When we don’t get what we want after pouring all of our time, love, efforts and hearts into something it can feel like it is a cruel universal joke. On US.
All the good feelings that we had along the way, in the excitement and creative phase, vanishes and we are left asking ourselves, “why the fuck is this happening?”
The main reason that disappointment happens is to teach us a paradigm shift. It causes us (if we choose to learn this) to look inside and go within and ultimately find a new direction.
We don’t voluntarily sign up for lessons in Expectation Hangovers so that we might learn. It threatens the scared part of is that clings to control, security, external results.
So, in order to shift this, we might have to take another focus.
Not a head focus, but a heart focus. A curious exploration to see if you can find answers.
Not the answers that you might expect!
- Control is an Illusion.
We put in work, so naturally we expect results. Right? We expect that if I work hard then I will be rewarded and I will achieve all I desire. We are told that aren’t we? When we achieve goals and meet our expectations we feel safe, satisfied and rewarded. Validated even. Worthy maybe even more.
But have you noticed that we don’t actually have that much control over our lives?
Kids get sick unexpectedly.
We lose our jobs.
We fail the exam.
They don’t call us back.
And we aren’t talking about giving everything over to a higher power and not having any accountability or input into our lives. No, just looking at the way that life seems to work. That we can plan our arses off as to how things will be and then, it shifts…it does. It does right?
It has been said, like a gazillion times:
“It isn’t what happens to us, it is how we respond to it when it does that matters”.
It does seem though, that we put far more effort in attempting to control life than we put into taking responsibility for our expectation hangovers.
This isn’t about trusting in a higher power as much as it is about TRUSTING OURSELVES to be able to deal with things when they don’t go the way we planned.
Besides, lets be honest, if everything went to plan, imagine all the surprises we would miss out on! All the little changes in directions. Lessons that we wouldn’t have been exposed to. Pleasant things can come out of shit things…
2. Your Comfort Zone is Your Trap
Comfort zones are a thing that in the last 10 years or so I have heard a lot about.
“Get out of your comfort zone”.
“Magic happens outside your comfort zone”.
“Comfort zones inhibit growth”.
It makes sense that we like to find ourselves snuggled up in our comfort zones. They feel safe. Like nothing can touch us. We don’t feel exposed. We wont get our little feelings hurt.
In our comfort zones we choose behaviours that seem to keep reinforcing the feelings of security. Our brains highest desire.
It feels familiar. Like we know this place. Our exhale place. But our comfort zone doesn’t feel safe and secure because it is healthy, it feels that way because it gives us the illusion of control!
From inside this bubble we look and long for the highs of achievement, of love of inspiration, of passion…but in here, we don’t want to feel the uncomfortable feelings that come along with stepping outside our safe space.
So, we continue to play safe.
Engaging in behaviours and routines that are so familiar. Repeated patterns. Have you noticed them?
I see a lot of clients who desperately want to step outside of their comfort zone, and feel like they are ready to make the step and then because of all the years of story and and a million other reasons, they just can’t do it. They stay trapped inside the safe confines of the comfort zone. The familiar. Even if the familiar feels heavy and un-liberating. It is familiar. And in familiar there is safety.
If a plant outgrows it’s pot, do you leave it to be root bound and die, or do you upgrade the pot? Nourish it? Water it? Feed it? Give it space to grow?
The comfort zone is the shell of constriction….not actual protection!
When I am feeling the feelings of an Expectation Hangover…I know that I am in a growth phase and I am going to get some yummy learnings!
No matter what you believe about yourself, you are worthy of and deserve to expand!
3. It Ain’t Out There
Are you a “when/if/then” kinda folk?
“When I get the job I want I’ll be happy”?
“If they call me back I am worthy of love and affection”.
“When I get married, then I will feel accepted”.
“If I just had another qualification I would step out and speak about the stuff I love”.
“If I didn’t lose my job I’d be a millionaire by now”.
“If I had more supportive parents, then I wouldn’t be suffering now”.
Insert your own when, ifs, buts….
Many people ‘work on themselves’ so that they can get something external to themselves.
And lets be honest, it is bloody amazing and important to have dreams outside of ourselves.
But when the inner work we do is designed solely to get outer results, we will continue to experience Expectation Hangovers!
We think that happiness comes from getting what we want. And so when we don’t get what we want, we are deflated. Let down. Disappointed.
Our obsession with what we can do, or have or be means we are constantly looking for an external result.
Here is a news flash and it is worth highlighting:
“Fulfilment is not something we can make happen”.
Breathe that in for a moment.
Not something YOU can MAKE happen.
It is only when we have the courage to let go of what we EXPECT will happen the we begin to experience the kind of fulfilment that lasts!
Each Expectation Hangover gives us the opportunity to let go of something external that we have clung to for worth, safety, or love and to find – in ourselves – the experience we are actually looking for!
4. You Are Not Being Punished
During the let down from and Expectation Hangover it is so easy to feel like we deserve to feel shit.
We buy into the common misunderstanding that bad things happen as tests. Or even payback for something we may or may not have done in the past.
Most of us carry around some form of fear that the universe, or god, or spirit, or energy is judging us in some way. So, when things don’t go our way, we believe that this is penance and we deserve to suffer through it.
THIS COULD BE NO FURTHER FROM THE TRUTH
The truth, if you want it, is that EVERY circumstance that you encounter is actually FOR your highest good – even if by fuck it doesn’t feel like it at the time!
Hear this please:
The universe does not punish, test, or keep a list of all the good and bad things/the right and wrong things! It just doesn’t. There is not an ounce of evidence that that is even slightly true!
You didn’t do ANYTHING wrong! No THING.
You have ALWAYS been doing the best you could! Really! Truely!
Even if you don’t believe this right now, just yet, please just open the little space in your heart and mind to consider that this might be more true than the BS negative self talk you have been carrying around.
Beating yourself up about being tested and failing is only adding to the pain and temptation to stay in your comfort zone. Each time you consider stepping out you worry you are going to be punished…well, lets let that BS story go. Now. Drop that shit like a hot arse piece of coal. Poof!
Keep looking at life as a grand adventure. No clinging to ideas of how it needs to be or should be.
Opportunities to grow a plenty!
“When you dance, your purpose is not to get to a certain place on the floor. It is to enjoy each step along the way”. Wayne Dyer
Biggest love to you all