The beauty of human life is that we learn our life lessons through experiences. Some lessons are learnt through positive life experiences while others are learnt through bitter experiences which take place in our life. Each experience that we undergo or emotion we feel is in reality a result of our past actions or what we term as Karma.

However, today I do not intend to discuss on karma or effects of karma or the cycle attached to the very same. Instead I seek to dwell on and appreciate a lesson learnt on the aspect of human expectations and human frailties attached to it.

I had an epiphany of sorts wherein I have come to terms with the fact that the primary cause of all my sufferings has been expectations. I expect a certain circumstance to surround me. I expect humans to return the respect I give, the love I shower and the warmth I exude. I expect appreciation for my hard work and success for good work. I expect accompaniment for the travelling I do, the trekking I plan for, the marathons I enroll for, the food I wish to taste, the sports I wish to try my hands on. I pause and ask myself as to whether it is necessary to be supported by fellow human beings in this life journey of mine? Do I need the support of family, relatives, friends, life partner, children, colleagues to be good at what I do or can I prevent myself from expecting anything from each and every human being that exists in my life? Can I not do my duty and conduct my responsibilities without constantly expecting support in return? Will I not be successful in my endeavours if people do not meet my expectations? Why can I not travel the world alone or with people who genuinely make an effort to participate in my plans or for that matter make plans and ask me to be a party to it? Why can I not taste something good even if there is no one to share it with me? Why do I need to get married? (Yes now you know – I am not married) Is marriage supposed to be done because I expect my husband will be a certain prototype who will shower his love on me, feed me or for that matter hold me tight? Again, here I’d fail again when my life partner / husband / children will not be the kind I expect them to be? You see, at all stages of our respective lives – we fail because we associate expectations with situations and humans.

I consider myself lucky to have discovered, understood and learnt to appreciate the importance of chanting, prayers and meditation. When I pray – I do not ask, I only thank. When I thank, it means I am expressing gratitude. When I am expressing gratitude, it means I am content. When I am content, it means I have enough. When I have enough, it means I am in abundance. When I am in abundance, I have nothing to ask for – hence nothing to expect. Now let us come to meditation. Meditation inter alia includes pausing, breathing and connecting to the divinity within. Once you appreciate the divinity within, you only associate positive qualities and affirmations. There is also a reason behind it – which is that every atman or the soul in simple words is pure and true. When we recognise our soul, we recognise the good qualities which resides in each one of us. Our atman or the soul is free of attachment. When we recognise that we are not attached, we do not expect. Attachment in any form breeds expectations. Therefore, to connect with the divinity within helps us to reduce and ultimately get rid of expectations.

Sending love and gratitude your way,

Mahamaya

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Mahamaya Chatterjee

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