My friend loves to travel. It is one of the main goals and purposes in her life. She never seems more alive or more happy than when she’s visiting another country or running across a few states to visit a new town and discover a little something about that new area to her. It's remarkable that she's taken so many trips in the past few years. She’s been overseas to Eastern Europe, Italy, the Carribean, and traveled around to some of the finest museums in the world. She regularly travels to visit family and friends in the States as well as traveling for work.
But do you know what one of her biggest complaints is whenever we talk? That she doesn’t ever get to travel. That’s right! Even though she travels regularly, she doesn’t see it that way. She hardly recognizes that she is living into her dreams. Instead all she sees are the trips that she hasn’t taken yet. She sees all of the places she hasn’t gone to or visited.
It’s one thing to have a dream. It’s another thing to be so preoccupied with a particular expectation, that you don’t even realize that you are already living your dream. Always looking towards the future has the tendency to rob us of the present moment, even if we are doing exactly what it is we’ve always wanted to do.
This same phenomenon happens across the board in life. We have a particular expectation of what something is supposed to look like, feel like, taste like, produce like, or ____________ like, and yet when we truly are living into the reality, we can completely miss it. Why? Because expectations are just that… expectations. They aren’t the reality. And it is completely possible to hold so tightly to expectations that when the real deal arrives, we aren’t really present with it at all. This is a tragedy when it happens. We’ve worked so hard, waited so long, and sacrificed so much to live into a life experience that we’ve wanted greatly, yet we completely miss out on the real deal when its right in front of us.
You see this happen in relationships as well. A person has dreamed of being married to that special person for their whole life. They think that when they do finally get married, everything in their life will suddenly be well and whole. Then when they do meet that special person and marry, they are holding so tightly to their expectations that they aren’t able to enjoy the true benefits of marriage that now available to them.
Are you being fully present with the remarkable moments in your life? Or are you clinging so tightly to your expectations and the way you ‘think’ things ‘should’ be, that you are missing out completely on the miracles that are happening for you right now?
What incredible thing is happening in your life right now that you are hardly aware of because the death grip you have on your expectations is keeping you from reality?