These People in Your Life


These people in your life–
do they exist just to make you happy?
Are you helping them
to feel good about yourself?
Do you need them to act a certain way
in order to feel good about them,
about yourself?
No, you say?
Well then,
stop having expectations for them,
nurturing the expectations
like you’d nurture a rare and precious plant
from the bitter winter wind.
Let the wind blow.
Let it freeze your expectations,
that they may crumble into fine dust.
Ah, there now.
Now you can see these people as they are.
No you can see yourself as you are.

I just read a passage by Pema Chodron in which she wrote “Don’t have expectations, just be kind.”  It was some serious food for thought.  How often do I as mother, wife, teacher, neighbor, carry expectations regarding the choices of others, and how often do I become disappointed when those expectations are not met to the letter? Please don’t misunderstand–I’m not saying that I should drop any idea of holding people accountable for their behaviors.  I just want to give myself and them the freedom to be as we all are, and to respect and honor their life process, and–whatever arises–to be kind.

4 responses »

  1. Heh. How perfectly the “shoe” fits over here, Lorien. Thanks so much for the gentle, compassionate reminder. Especially love the idea of giving myself the freedom that you note–terrific, and liberating, point. Thank you….Namaste….

  2. This is something I have found to be so liberating. I see someone close to me who is always cutting herself off from people who love her, just because they are busy and don’t meet her expectations. She carries resentment and disappointment with her, but will never let the people involved know. It only damages her. I learn from seeing this in her and I resolve to try not to do this myself (not always easy!!)

    • Yes, my friend, not always easy–hardly ever easy at all, really! There is such a strong tug to close down and shut off from life. I applaud your courage in using your experience as an opportunity for inquiry, to decide who you want to be in this moment.

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