This morning I decided not to write the original story I had in mind for today’s blog on expectation and obligation. Instead, I decided to share my thoughts and give you something to think about. To clarify, I’m not talking about basic expectations and obligations such as cleaning the house, paying the bills, or walking the dog. I’m referencing relationships, career decisions, and major life decisions. Yup pretty deep for a Tuesday morning, but that’s how today began for me.
You may or may not agree with what I am about to say so keep an open mind free of judgment and give it some thought.
I don’t feel obligated to do anything I don’t want to do in my newest chapter of life. I do feel obligated to listen to what I want and not feel pressured to go along with what other’s want from me, especially where relationships are concerned. Maybe it’s because I am older and have been through more shit than the average person. Whatever the case may be, I no longer feel obligated or bad about saying no when I listen to my inner self. I matter too, my feelings count, and if my feelings don’t match up with that of someone else, I know saying no was the right thing to do.
If you were expected to do something that you did not want to do out of obligation would you?
Here’s an example you may have come across in books, movies or real life:
Imagine you’re living with someone for a few years, and they have no expectation of ever marrying you, they’ve even told you as much in front of friends and family. But you want to be married. He finally proposes out of obligation, and you accept an eternal engagement ring because someday you might get him to marry you despite his public proclamation of no marriage.
He doesn’t want to marry you, so you become his obligation from your expectation. What kind of life and happiness would that eventually bring you?
On the flip side, imagine you propose out of obligation, she’s excited, you’re not too happy and have no intention of this leading to marriage. You’re saying, here’s a ring, now stop bothering me. How is that fair to either of you?
Expecting something out of obligation is not reality. And feeling obligated to give something out of expectation is not staying true to your beliefs. If you pressure someone into a commitment, into a career they don’t love, into a life they will resent, or you do this to yourself, you’re creating new complications in your already complicated relationship.
There have been many times in the past I have felt obligated to give of myself because of others expectations of me. I was uncomfortable but felt they had done so much for me I owed it to them. In reality, I didn’t owe them anything. My stomach would turn as I reluctantly returned the favor or changed my career path to keep the peace. Why did I put myself through that? I let outside pressure sway me and influence my thoughts and dreams which in the end did not serve me well.
I’ve learned over the years to give without expectation and to obligate myself to what truly makes me happy.
My advice, do things because you want to and do them for the right reason. Don’t expect the same in return or you’ll be disappointed.
My happiness factor had increased tremendously when I no longer was persuaded by outside influence. I took a chance on me and listened to what I wanted without fear of rejection, judgment or guilt from the outside world. I had the power to feel whichever way I wanted and I wanted happiness.