I feel like this is a good time to evaluate my intentions for 2014 and see how it’s all going. You may recall, at the beginning of the year, I spent time figuring out my plans and determining my top five priorities (you can check out that post here). In the next several days, I plan to go through each of those priorities and really put some thought into where I’m at. Today, I’m focusing on this one.
Be Loving: learn to love without expectations and lose the fear of showing that love.
Oh, wow, this is a big one. And probably the one I have absolutely struggled with the most this year. I knew it would be difficult. I’m not sure I knew just how difficult it would be. You see, the hardest thing is the “without expectations” part. I mean, really, is there much of anything we ever do without expectations…zero, zilch, nada? Um. I’m going to take a wild guess and say no.
But I felt this challenge was uber important. For one, when I love people, I’m sometimes afraid to show it, and I don’t like that about myself. We should all be able to express love for another person without being concerned about how that might be perceived. Besides, we all love to be loved. So perhaps we should start by being loving ourselves. For two, when it comes to love, I am riddled with expectations. Sometimes those expectations are for the person I love to act or respond in a certain way. Often those expectations are that I’m going to be let down. Yes, expecting to be let down is an expectation. Unfortunately, my expectations of being let down often stop me from really expressing myself, from taking chances or even from allowing myself to enjoy the moment I’m in. Because if I enjoy it too much, the let down might be that much worse. (I know, my crazy head.)
Wouldn’t it be amazing if we all just loved the shit out of the people in our lives, no apologies, no expectations, and just let them be exactly who they are? Wouldn’t it be awesome if we all just said, “Hey, you don’t have to do anything for me. You don’t have to be perfect. You don’t have to be anything but you. And I think that’s worth loving?” Wouldn’t it be perfect if the people you loved weren’t capable of letting you down because you simply didn’t expect anything from them? Because I think that would be freaking cool.
I’ve been working on myself with this goal. And, let me tell you, it is a work in progress. I have to remind myself of this priority at least once a week. Lately, even more often. It’s kind of a daily thing. Express love. No expectations. Express love. No expectations. It’s sort of my mantra. And I’ve been making progress. I’ve come a long way, for reals. I say things I once would never have said. I express my feelings with less hesitation. It’s hard work! But it’s getting easier. I can tell you, I will not be perfect at this by the end of the year. It may always be a struggle.
But, in my eyes, this is one struggle that is totally worth the effort.
And I challenge you: attempt to do this yourself. Attempt to love those around you without trying to fit them into some box you want them to fit in. Attempt to tell them how you feel every chance you get. Just love the shit out of everything, and don’t apologize for it.