Releasing Expectations and Embracing Gratitude

We have expectations, expectations of ourselves, our spouses, our children, those around us. We expect that the day will unfold a certain way. We plan and prepare as best we can so that everything will get done, everyone will accomplish what they need to accomplish and things will go the way we expect.

Expectations can be good. They usually move us in the direction we want to go in. They may bring about certainty and edge us toward sanity.

But expectations can be the thief of gratitude. When we cling to these things, when we hold to them so tightly and allow ourselves to be disappointed when they are not met, we lose the opportunity to be grateful for the way things unfold in our world. We miss out on the chance to experience unexpected beauty. Things rarely go exactly as planned, no matter how much we prepare. And especially walking through this world with little ones in tow, this is even more true. And it's ok. It's perfectly ok.

Instead of allowing ourselves to be disappointed when life doesn’t roll out in front of us the way we expect, instead of feeling like something is lost, is there a way to shift our perspective? Can we instead ask what the gift is in the situation? Can we embrace gratitude for what is and look a bit deeper for the beauty?  Can we release the hold we have on our expectations and allow the universe to unfold with its own plans, letting go of how we think things should be so that we can embrace the wonder in how life actually is.