Don’t quote me here – but ‘for every single act, there is a consequence.’ I don’t remember where that is written, but the idea is quite basic and indisputable. We learn about the act of CAUSE and EFFECT from the time we are young.
It is only logical, then, that we are taught to develop expectations. Whether the expectation is in the form of something tangible or materialistic or whether it is in the form of having something occur, it is pretty much a given, that we are absolutely correct when we expect reactions and responses to the things that we do and the things that happen around us.
So, we’re all in agreement that expectations are totally natural, understandable, unavoidable and normal, right?
But it is also a fact, our resentments and disappointments stem from our unmet expectations. Sounds a bit like a ‘Catch-22.’
Lets look a bit closer – and we find that although our resentments and disappointments stem from unmet expectations (which happen and our out of our control,) the amount of importance and how we let this impact us – that is entirely within our control. In other words, if I am very much in love with someone who absolutely doesn’t return those feelings, it is a very sad, disappointing situation. Unrequited love hurts REALLY BAD!
But how this situation impacts us….that is entirely our choice. Will I stay in bed, with my blanket up over my head, lose 20 pounds because I can’t bring myself to eat a thing, cry morning, noon and night about the love I am not receiving, maybe even have to start taking anti-depressants in order to get myself through the day? Will I live in self-pity and continue to obsess about the love I ‘lost?’
Or will I give myself permission to feel the hurt, to express it appropriately and accept it as part of the flip side to all the wonderful parts of being in love? Will I possibly even be courageous enough to look at it up close and find where I may have been more honest with myself along the way and see signs earlier in our relationship that may have shown me that this might be the outcome if I continued with things as they were? Maybe there was a point where I actually played a part in the final outcome, either by being the way I was or by deceiving myself and not looking honestly at the other person’s behavior because it wasn’t what I wanted to see.
The event, in this case unrequited love, does not meet my expectation, but if I dwell on the negative emotions such as disappointment and let myself become resentful, letting my self talk sound like this … “I knew it…things like this ALWAYS happen to me; I NEVER get the love back that I am willing to give to others; I’m not as pretty as other girls, that’s why this happens to me…” (you see the point) … I set the ground for a slew of negative self-talk and self-degradation and build a case for resentment. *Maybe subliminally, but within my control if I take the time and courage to face it.
I’m a licensed clinical social worker and have worked extensively as a counselor with children, adolescents, couples and families. I combine professional experience in the mental health field along with my love of writing to provide insight into real-life experiences and relationships. I hope my down-to-earth approach to living a happier, more meaningful life is easy to understand and just as easy to start implementing right away for positive results!