Expectation

Very few people will ever keep the same energy forever and it is an unfair expectation to think they should

Jeremy Walsh
Jeremy Walsh

Jeremy is a contributing writer for The Road To Mental Wellness, offering our Readers with some excellent insight.

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The root of suffering is self-obsession. In my experience, self-obsession is all about expectation. Expecting to be treated a certain way, expecting people around you to conform to your idea of them, expecting too much or too little of someone and them proving you wrong. Expecting someone to live up to the hype they established the first time you met them, like your partner in the first few months of the new relationship, that buddy you met at a party that was larger than life and everyone had a better time because he was there. Or even expecting too much or too little of yourself in certain cases. The relationship fizzles and that guy you met and instantly became friends with is nothing like you thought he was on a regular basis. What happened? Where did the energy go?
     
Very few people will ever keep the same energy forever and it is an unfair expectation to think they should. We often change, from one day, to the next, you have the opportunity to be a different person, to be more, to be less. Everyone around you has the same potential for change. So why do we want them to always stay the same?

I have considered this a lot, and I’ve come up with a way to explain some of this. First of all, you cannot expect someone else to make you a happier person. Not to say no one can or will make you happy, but that another person cannot fill you up with happiness, and you cannot fill up another person with it either. People don’t have the energy to both be happy and make another person happy on a steady basis. Two things are likely to happen in this case. Number one: you are going to be dissatisfied with the person you expect to make you happy. Number two: that person also becomes dissatisfied with themself.

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I’m going to break this down to three levels of happiness. The first one, the highest level, we’ll call euphoric. This is your highest happiness zone, the greatest of feelings, where you are in the “fairy tale” feeling. The second one, we can call content. You’re comfortable, you have everything you need to get through your day and stay relatively level. The third one, the lowest one, is going to be called dissatisfied, it’s the best word used to describe the entire level, things could always go up from here.

I believe that many people, the majority, want to be happy, all the time. Period. But who doesn’t? The problem is that people are expecting that the euphoric level is where the happiness is at. This is fundamentally wrong. Noone ever stays at the euphoric level, we’re human, we adapt. Staying at the highest level of happiness all the time becomes mundane eventually and that euphoria that was felt at first slides down eventually to simply content. Nothing might have changed, but at that point, it’s expected that you should still feel that highest level of happiness. That’s when things change. Now that feeling is gone, it fizzled out even though we’re still in the same conditions that we were in before.

So, how did we get to that euphoric level? It took a lot of energy, we gave it our all and kept our interest for the whole time until, eventually it didn’t anymore. It doesn’t matter why, it just stopped being so great.

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So now that the expectation is far above what we got, the energy level is sliding backwards too and suddenly, because you expect so much and not getting it, you’ve slid into the dissatisfied level. True happiness lies around the content level. Removing expectation of euphoria will allow you to feel something you’ve never felt before. Happiness. It’s then that you realize that your own happiness comes from within. Because you’ll feel euphoric moments still, but you’ll come back to being happy at the content level and not slide back into dissatisfied when you don’t have that euphoria again. You’ll also have dissatisfied feelings, but ultimately, it will level off again at content.

This shows just how valuable being content truly is. It allows you to experience and have greater thanks for the euphoric moments, then slide through the dissatisfied moments without getting stuck in that rut.

Of course, you don’t simply “become happy” because you lost the expectation of euphoria. That takes time, diagnosing what parts of your life your happiness comes from. And when I say that other people can’t make you happy, doesn’t mean you won’t be happy with or because of someone else, but that your happiness doesn’t rely on them and theirs doesn’t rely on you, but that you can share your own different versions of happiness together. Trust me, it’s better than expecting one person to provide the two of you with it.

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Take a trip down my mental wellness road and find yourself as you learn to overcome your own life-long battle with mental illness. Lonely – 4 fundamentals for authentic love


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