October 1

I do my thing and you do your thing.
I am not in this world to live up to your
expectations, and you are not in this
world to live up to mine.  You are you
and I am I.  And if by chance we find
each other, it's beautiful.  If not,
it can't be helped.

Frederick Salomon Perls


Today's Meditation:

How often do we get caught up in the idea that other people should be doing "our thing"?  Why do we feel that other people should see the world as we see it and do things just as we would do them?  If we were asked about it, we would say that we didn't feel others should be copies of us, but what about the disappointment we feel when someone doesn't follow our advice?  And what about the judgment we pass when someone else does something that we deem as "wrong"?

Other people aren't in this world to live up to our expectations--it's as simple as that.  Unfortunately, though, we often think that if someone isn't living up to what we expect of them, they're somehow failing, somehow disappointing us, when the fact of the matter is that the disappointment is something that we're doing to ourselves.  While most of us would claim to believe in the concept of "live and let live," how many of us would qualify that statement with, "as long as. . . ."?

Many parents are disappointed when their children choose not to go to college, yet many of those children go on to live happy, fulfilling lives even without a diploma in a frame.  Many people are disappointed in their friends because of decisions they make, but isn't it their lives that they're leading, and isn't it their right--their responsibility--to make the decisions that feel right to them?

Diversity on this planet is one of the few givens.  Diversity is visible, as in race and gender, but it's also invisible, and shown in the ways that we make decisions, the ways that we do things, the ways that we show our love, and in many other ways.  One of our most important tasks in life is to stop trying to run the show and not just allow others to be different, but to celebrate those differences and to take advantage of all that those differences offer us.

Questions to consider:

Why is it sometimes so difficult to let others "do their thing"?

How might we go about learning to let go of expectations and allowing others to lead their lives as they see fit? 

Whose expectations do you try to live up to most--your own, or someone else's? 

For further thought:

We need in love to practice only this:  letting each other go.
For holding on comes easily--we do not need to learn it.

Rainer Maria Rilke


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