“My happiness grows in direct proportion to my acceptance, and in inverse proportion to my expectations.” –Michael J. Fox

My healing experiences through recovery work have shown me that Love is all around us. I see it now more easily than I used to. In the past it often eluded me because I had a chronic pattern of thinking I knew how Love would, and should, show up. And I thought I clearly knew the people that Love should come through in relationship to me. I’ve “crashed and burned” an unspeakable number of times to be able to share this with you. My expectations caused me so much suffering, along with missing many other forms of Love and happiness in my life.

It took time, real experiences (not head knowledge) and faith that I was loved and “held” by a Higher Power to really see what was happening. Love and happiness came in awesome new ways—like nature. That alone is an entire book of stories. Love did not come to me through the people I thought it would. Instead, I crossed paths with people and had surprisingly heartwarming conversations that were a one time occurrence. I had connections with other people that lasted anywhere from 3 weeks to a year or so. However, I still felt lonely and depressed because my expectation was to have a “best friend.” I had so much healing to do.

Years later, I could look back and see that my needs had been met all along, but not how I expected. The best thing for me (to bring long-term happiness) was not to have a best friend during that time. I needed to feel loneliness, so I could figure out ways to become my own best friend and care for, and nurture myself. I needed to end my pattern of self abandonment.

My expectations of what I needed in my life, and from whom, would not have led me to more happiness. I would have ended up trapped in old patterns, false beliefs and continued disempowerment. Love met me in the most unexpected ways that I could not have imagined and, most importantly, Love met me with everything I really needed. The fact that I did not get my expectations satisfied has led to some genuine happiness I never felt before.

What about you?

  • Are you able to accept the present without your expectation(s) being met?
  • In lieu of the expectation, have you noticed anything new that you weren’t expecting—if so, did you feel any happiness from it?
  • Looking back, do you see examples of when NOT getting your expectations met turned out to be better?

With a bit of contemplation on your part, I feel you’ll be happily surprised by how many times it’s been true for you too!

Cheri Thomas

Cheri works as a Peer Support Specialist for RI in Arizona. She has experienced loss and grief which has led her to write for the masses to bring voice to those in similar situations. Cheri possesses a deep passion to share with, encourage, and inspire others on what she calls the Journey of the Heart.