expectations, frustrations, and relief


Perception (Photo credit: Genna G)

We begin with perceptions, then we naturally presume that our perceptions are not only accurate, but lastingly accurate. In other words, we make our perceptions in to presumptions and then in to expectations.

Eventually, we may notice that at least a few of these old perceptions, presumptions, and expectations do not match with our new experiences. We may find this confusing, frustrating, frightening, disappointing, infuriating, or even shameful. We may resist admitting to ourselves or to others that our expectations did not fit reality, that our presumptions do not fit reality, and that our perceptions may not have precisely fit the rest of reality- or only somewhat precisely. We may blame others for the gap between our expectations about our experience and our actual experience. We may deny our naivete arrogantly, then blame others for exposing our naivete, attacking them.

We may favor our expectations over the rest of reality, elevating the reality of our expectations in to an arrogant ideal to which we may then struggle to make the rest of reality conform, or at least appear to conform. <start video 2 below>We may make some of reality or even most of reality in to a problem and then try to fix our own problem with reality so that the unexpected, embarrassing details of reality may eventually conform with our sacred idolatries of expectations (or at least appear to do so).

Also, we may be very interested in other people’s perceptions, misperceptions, or lack of perception. We may be very interested in other people presumptions and expectations. We may want them to have the same expectations and presumptions and perceptions that we have. We may fear the unfamiliar. We may fear reality.

We may worship our expectations or ideals. We may reject and condemn some of reality or even most of it. We may ridicule others who dare to suggest that reality may not precisely conform with whatever idealistic expectations we worship. We may even attack them with antagonism (as distinct from attacking them without antagonism).

We may not admit that our expectations are just that. We may call them “how things really should be” or “how life is supposed to be” rather than “how I have been trained to suppose or presume that life might be, perhaps.”

We may engage in antagonistic debates and withdraw in resentment that someone did not agree with our exact set of expectations. We may split our religious traditions and political parties in to smaller sects and partisan interest groups. Of course, we can form small groups to promote a particular set of perceptions, but that does not require the angst and antagonism and contempt and resentment that is so typical of splintering groups of “true believers.”

We may adopt a persona that is a set of pretenses designed to conform to what we expect people to expect of us. Of all of our ideals and idolatries, “how I really am and how I am not” may be the most intense and cherished. “How we really are” is a similar ideal. We may also create scapegoats and enemies whom we accuse of being how no one should be (how we probably also claim not to be, even if we know that we may be pretending, struggling to manage other people’s perceptions of us).

“Look at those evil ones. Do not look at me!”

We may resist waking up. We may resist coming to consciousness. We may resist perceiving reality. We may resist courage in favor of fear and frustration. We may very fiercely deny it.


reality (Photo credit: Loulair Harton)


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One Response to “expectations, frustrations, and relief”

  1. danijela Says:

    “Experience is what you get when you didn˙t get what you wanted.”
    “Start where you are. Use what you have. Do what you can.”

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