Does your real partner matches your ideal partner in your head? … Yeah I know, neither does mine.
We all have ideals about how our loved ones, friends and even strangers should behave. You are not alone!
Wouldn’t you agree that it’s time to let go of that ghost that can only cause us disappointment?
Look at these examples. Can you relate to any of these?
• A co-worker starts a meaningless conversation exactly at the precise moment when you have just 30 minutes left to meet a deadline. He continues even after you inform him about the deadline.
• Your mom starts asking -Why aren’t you choosing to teach your children the importance of being responsible?. She insists in the subject even after you express your reasons.
• Your husband doesn’t have the initiative to plan or help you plan a fun weekend for the whole family. Even though you have expressed this need and he has agreed about how beneficial it could be, he doesn’t seem to be able to do it. He is content staying home.
• Your wife doesn’t really think having sex is as important as you believe it to be. – Now our priorities have changed, it’s really hard to have the energy for it after spending all day with the kids and working – she says. You come to an agreement to have more date nights per month, but they never happen.
We have an ideal behavior in our head that others never match. As long as we keep those ideals alive we are keeping expectations alive, and therefore disappointment will always be a given in our lives.
So we arrive to this statement:
We can’t be content and have expectations. We can feel one or the other but not both at the same time.
Wouldn’t you choose contentment over expectations? If you are living a default life like most of us, most likely (and unconsciously) you won’t.
I made a video this week about this imaginary ghost that follows us everywhere and how to start getting rid of it.
To start getting rid of expectations we need to vanish the perfect imaginary ideal in our heads first. So that we can see and connect with the real person in front of us.
The thing is: We think letting go of the ideal means we are giving up on ever being fulfilled and content.
Quite the opposite I would say.
• Letting go of ideals means we are now ready to acknowledge, see and listen to the person in our relationships.
• Letting go of ideals means we can take action regarding our discomfort and we can also set healthy loving boundaries around our relationships, that is to say stay in Integrity with ourselves.
• Letting go of ideals means realizing that our ideal imaginary partner or relationship model in our heads is not stoping others from being who they want to be. So what is it really doing? The answer again: making us feel disappointed. • Letting go of ideals means remembering others aren’t here to fulfill us, they are here only to live their own life. Only we can and are responsible to fulfill ourselves even in our relationships.
• Letting go of ideals means realizing that those ideals are standards for yourself and that others aren’t obligated to follow our standards.
• Letting go of ideals means realizing that we have the power to make ourselves content, when we expect others to meet our needs and standards we are giving that power away.
• Letting go of ideals because you would only need them if you wanted to take things personal.
Here is a little visualization of how we can start changing our ways:
Old way: Letting go of the ideal that our co-workers shouldn’t interrupt us feels like we are then going to let everyone interrupt us from now on, and of course that doesn’t bring us contentment.
New way: Letting go of the ideal that our co-workers shouldn’t interrupt us means we aren’t going to expect anything of them, they might or might not do it. However, I can set loving boundaries by communicating my preferences and giving solutions to problem. (still not expecting they will be able to completely do what they say, they might they might not). I can take action (when possible) to do something in my power to stay away from the interruptions. I can see where I am currently interrupting others in my life, or where I’ve done the same in the past, so that I can understand my co-worker s better. I can remember that the fact that I don’t like it doesn’t mean they should stop, nor does it mean they will stop. I can hold myself responsible and actively work on providing solutions to my problem without interrupting others with my problems and then start doing that which is bothering me. (It’s very common that in our efforts to stop what bother us we start doing that same thing).
Did you ever realize that you had an imaginary partner in your head that you use to compare your real partner with? Remember, what we share can be medicine for someone else and for sure a step closer to a stronger vida!