Without Expectation

This post is going to be a bit of nonsense. Things are just really jumbled up in my head right now.

I’ve been thinking about that question, “what is important to me?” I think being happy is important to me. I know I can’t be happy all the time, but to feel happy and enjoy it every once in a while is something I really want. How can I be happy? I don’t know, but I do know I can’t be happy unless I am content with myself. How do I get to be content with myself? That takes a little more thought. The first things that come to mind are being successful and making other people happy. I have to knock off making other people happy because that is not dependent on only me. How do I measure success? That’s based on what other people think too. I’m miserable at this.

Expectation is a part of life. How do I learn to be ok with not surpassing everyone’s expectations? Easy, set my own expectations, right? If only it were that easy. I don’t know how to set my own expectations. I’ve been in school my whole life. I’ve constantly been evaluated by someone else. There has always been a level that I have worked to surpass. Now, I am an adult, I am on my own, I have finished my course work, I have passed my candidacy exams, the only evaluation left is my defense. My life is my own now.

With others’ expectations out of the equation, it’s easier to answer the question. I am most content with myself when I have the time to do the things I want to do…like eat healthy, exercise, draw, sleep, read, explore and visit with people. So I can answer the question, but this is unrealistic. You can’t just go about doing what you want, that’s not the way the world works. I have to balance my responsibilities with the things that make me feel content. I think, in order to do that, you need a set of values to live by and they need to come first, no matter your responsibilities or desires. Does that make sense?

Anyway, I thought maybe I’d have to get to know myself and what I want a bit better to figure this one out. So of course, I turn to doodling. Here is another page out of my Art, Doodle, Love book. I thought this page was appropriate. It’s called Affirmations. Affirmation comes from the latin word affirmate which means to steady, strengthen. The prompt on the page asks you what values can you live by the will make you a better person. You are asked to list and doodle them. Here are my pages. Some may be hard to read, so I’ll write them out.

  • Family – the most important – those you are given and those you choose
  • Love – all kinds
  • Friendship – everybody needs somebody
  • Science – the endless pursuit of knowledge
  • Goals – without direction we are lost
  • Karma – what you give is what you get returned
  • Tolerance – differences challenge us
  • Second chances – we all make mistakes
  • Laughter – life can’t be taken too seriously; you’ll never get out alive
  • Hope – it keeps us going
  • Hard work – it pays off
  • The small things – they make a difference
  • Attitude – it can make or break you
  • Cooperation – mutual benefit
  • Imperfection – it makes us unique, it makes us human
  • Gratitude – reinforcement of positive behaviour
  • Change – it’s how we evolve
  • Adventure – be the pioneer of your own life
  • Education – pass on what matters
  • Forgiveness – it’s needed to move forward
  • Choice – we make life what we want it to be
  • Integrity – the alignment of behaviour, words and thoughts

What would some of yours be?

artdoodlelove values artdoodlelove values 2

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2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Don't Worry. Be scrappy
    Jun 22, 2014 @ 10:34:41

    I didn’t think this post was nonsense at all. Your blog is so similar to mine!! This isn’t a shameless plug – the way you handle issues is so similar to the ways that I tackle mine, I really enjoy reading your posts, you have no idea!!

    The way you talk about expectations and the strange importance of surpassing those of other people is something that has become a real issue for me in my adult life. I have literally no idea how to set my own expectations, because I feel like they have always been a reflection of those around me. There’s no curriculum or marking scheme to follow when it comes to life in the real world (something I’ve found extremely difficult while trying to succeed in my corporate job).

    I ALWAYS turn to doodling – even when it comes to putting certain CBT activities into practice. Writing things down ow expressing them in a creative, arty way somehow makes these values and thoughts real – and helps me feel like I’ve actually taken the time to at least put something into practise and taken steps to help myself heal. I’m weird like that – I have to make things tangible otherwise I feel like it’s just a thought and not an action.

    Honestly, thank you for posting this. I know it’s a cliche – but it really does help to see that there are other people being affected by (and coping with) things in such a similar way. Please keep posting ๐Ÿ™‚

    Reply

  2. rosewiltshire
    Jun 22, 2014 @ 16:58:39

    Love the affirmations xx ๐Ÿ™‚

    Reply

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