It happens every year before the holidays; Worrying signs of chronic expectitis are felt in the air,
and as the holiday eve draws near, the symptoms intensify.
Doctors are worried, as a considerable part of the population is infected with this illness, completely oblivious to carrying this terrifying virus. Media channels hid the story, attempting to prevent panic among the masses, whilst the infection continues to rapidly spread.
How will you know you're infected? Those who are sick tend to say phrases the likes of: "I have to, because I hate to say no",
"What would people say if I...?"
"I have no choice, she expects me to".
Afterwards, we come to a sudden forgetfulness of what we aimed to do, where we wanted to be and in fact who we really are.
Physical reactions are quick to follow; when we do not structure strong and solid boundaries we are like puppets on strings, a feeling that physically resonates in our bodies creating back, shoulder and neck pain.
If so, what is the root cause of the disease?
The disease leads to a chronic need to stand up to the surrounding environment's expectations without any consideration to our own will. The first symptoms are revealed thanks to the so common phrase of "I can't say no" which, as mentioned before, tends to intensify during the holidays.
The problem is that the condition is devastating since it contaminates faster than an airborn virus. It spreads through Instant Messaging and runs through our phone lines. Sometimes a phone call from your mother, father, kids, mother in law or a person from work is enough to plant the virus. Before we know it we have already lost control of our way of living.
Our way becomes someone else's, and his or her way are in fact someone else's and so forth. When we live according to someone else's expectations, we must keep in mind that him too was fulfilling conditioning that originated elsewhere, so that no one knows, remembers or asks about his own expectations from himself.
The virus is passed on and on until no one is left to live his life according to his own free will, no body actually remembers what he originally aimed for or is able to distinguish his desires from his conditioning.
Did you know that the first regret of dying people is: "I wish I'd had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me."
We go through our entire lives filling our parents' expectations, our friends' expectations - anyone expectations but our own. We choose what to study, where to work and sometimes even who to marry trying to fulfill societies' expectations of us; Living up to the image that was created for us while we were naively sleeping in our cradles.
Expectations are created with each and every social interaction we experience.
We met new friends? A new system of expectations was born;
We were invited to dinner, so would the other side expect us to invite them as well?
We received a birthday present, so the other person will expect one on his birthday. Someone called us to see how we are; now he will expect us to call as often
It is an endless two-sided process- the other side expects from us, and we expect from them. The main problem is that we dare not always aware to the array of expectations which our environment holds. The social-familial array is vast and laden, which makes it impossible to always remember who and what I need to answer to now.
Answering other's desires, is a 24/7 work, that will at most times leave us tired and empty.
When we make the social-environment accustomed to the fact that we always do as it wills, we render ourselves bitter slaves to reality. We will always feel that bitter taste, feeling that "no one appreciates me, despite of everything I do". It is that and more, the further you do to fulfill other's expectations, the more obvious it becomes, the more granted the deed and deeper becomes the pit in which your own desires are buried in.
Our social-environment is accustomed to passing that ball, we become accustomed to it and it becomes invisible to us.
We are taken for granted, educated and programmed to do as we are expected.
When we do not get as much as we gave, we are gravely disappointed and then life is reduced to the form of an open ledger that yields immense and mutual frustration.
We must understand that a one-sided violation of this unwritten treaty is a declaration of war. However, if we stand our ground, if we explain ourselves with determination and sensitivity, our environment will eventually respect our decision and accept us as we are.
And if not? It is okay, not everyone must love our choices. It is only us that truly need to accept our own decisions.
Buy yourselves some flowers; why to expect for someone else to give them to you?
A new year is a good time for us to start listening to ourselves and think about what we really want. How many of the things we do are just to please someone else while damaging our own will?
Listening to ourselves is the most precious gift we can give to the world;
Our serenity and happiness have an enormously impact on everyone that surrounds us.
As you all know, I am a strong believer that music can help us with any physical or emotional illness, and it is worthwhile to use in Chronic Expectitis as well.
Alanis Morissette's song, "Sorry to Myself", is an exceptionally powerful song that deals with us hurting ourselves through putting someone else first:
"I'm sorry to myself.
My apologies begin here before everybody else.
I'm sorry to myself.
For treating me worse than I would anybody else.
Well, I wonder which crime is the biggest ?
Forgetting you or forgetting myself...
Had I heeded the wisdom of the latter,
I would've naturally loved the former.
For ignoring you: my highest voices.
For smiling when my strife was all too obvious.
For being so disassociated from my body,
And for not letting go when it would've been the
kindest thing.To whom do I owe the biggest apology?
No one's been crueler than I've been to me."
Anthony Hamilton, lyrics of the song "Freedom" represents, in my point of view, unleashing ourselves from the chains of the world, for the sake of our own freedom.
"Felt like the weight of the world was on my shoulders…
Pressure to break or retreat at every turn;
Facing the fear that the truth I discovered;
No telling how all this will work out;
But I've come too far to go back now.
I am looking for freedom,
Looking for freedom…
And to find it cost me everything I have.
Well I am looking for freedom,
Looking for freedom...
And to find it may take everything I have!
I know all too well it don’t come easy;
The chains of the world they seem to move in tight;
I try to walk around it,
But stumbling’s so familiar;
Try to get up but the doubt is so strong;
There’s gotta be a wind in my bones..."
Beethoven's piano concerto no. 5 (known as the "Emperor Concerto") is the ultimate piece that awakens us to the fact that we can travel the world with strength; live up to whom we are in a balanced symbiosis, leaving behind our stubbornness and chains of necessity.
Be brave, Listen to yourselves.