Are Your Expectations Supporting You?

creating without possessing, acting without expecting, guiding without interfering.

Verse 51 from the Tao Te Ching by Lao Tzu

If you look at your daily life you probably don’t realize how many expectations you hold for the day. We expect to wake up in the morning. We expect to arrive safely at work and on time. We expect our car to start or the buses to run. We expect the power to be on all day. There are thousands and thousands things that occur in our everyday lives that we just expect to happen. When they don’t, we get upset. This verse of the Tao speaks to us to let go of those expectations. It asks that we move through our day in a place of attention and awareness of what is going on around us with no expectations of anything occurring in a certain way. It asks that we stop looking for certain results. The awareness and attention you have could be considered to be a place of anticipation. When you ask yourself the question “What’s next?” from a place of discovery and curiosity, you are living in this place of anticipation and you are letting go of expected results. This place of “What’s next?” is one way of letting go of your expectations.

These three lines in verse 51 are asking us to move through the actions of our lives from this place of letting go. You act, and yet it is not you who is acting – it is the Tao. It is not you who speaks, creates, guides – it is the Tao. If you come from a perspective that the Tao is orchestrating all things, everything that happens in each moment, then it is not your creation, your actions, or your guidance that is occurring every day. It is the Tao’s. If all these actions are the Tao’s then whatever happens as a result is also of the Tao, and therefore not yours either. All things come from the Tao and all things return to the Tao. By letting go of the results and the expectations of certain results we can focus on the present moment and immersing yourselves in the Tao. We can concentration on becoming one with the Tao and one with all things. In this state of letting go, of allowing, you let go of stress and frustration. You let go of disappointment and anger. You let go of grudges and power struggles. You operate from a place of “It’s all the Tao” and “I am one with all that happens.” You operate from a place of peace and love.

In love and light


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