Saturday, June 6, 2015

Great - or not so great - Expectations

"The cause of my suffering can end if I abandon my expectations of how I think things should be." 

This is a part of one of the first teachings  from Buddha after he achieved enlightenment. I believe it somewhat, and I think about it A LOT when it comes to my own expectations of interpersonal relationships. For the most part it helps me to process the interactions I have and occasionally the disappointment I feel. However some things I haven't yet reconciled. 

I expected that I should live my life without sexual abuse devastating my family. I don't believe that if I changed this expectation that the suffering and devestation would be altered in any way - or would processing it be any easier. 

On a "global" level I have an even more difficult time applying this concept. 

I expect that planes will stick to flight plans and not fly into buildings, and it wasn't my expectation that caused the suffering when the twin towers fell. 

I expect that every human should have access to clean drinking water, and my expectation doesn't quench the thirst of people all over the world. 

I expect that men, women, girls and boys will be respected and not trafficked for slavery and sex - and it's not my expectation that causes the suffering of those taken - and those left behind when loved ones are taken.

I expect that fathers and uncles and brothers and other people in power positions won't rape - and it's not my expectation that causes the suffering those who are being raped. 

I have not reached enlightenment apparently. Until such time as I DO become enlightened (what?it could TOTALLY happen!) I will continue to try and use this Buddhist principle as I can to end the cause of my suffering. 

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