Hope vs. Expectations vs. Reality

I had to give myself a reality check over the past couple of days and it has taken me some time to process it. It was a wake-up call to “hope vs. expectations” and it was disappointing. Somehow I have managed to bleed expectations into my hope.

Years ago, someone called me “pathetically hopeful”. I was originally hurt and offended but after a couple of weeks, I managed to turn what was meant to be negative comment into a positive for myself and I claimed it, strutting proudly that, “Yes I am”. Today I am rethinking this…maybe over thinking is a better way to put it.

Let’s put the two definitions together, shall we?

Pathetically – in a miserably inadequate or ridiculous way.

Hopeful – feeling or inspiring optimism about a future event.

Let me write that out for you…

Terri is feeling or inspiring optimism about a future event in a miserably inadequate or ridiculous way.

Yeah, I’m back to feeling it’s not such a great title.

I have always had hope that certain relationships in my life would change but knew that they probably wouldn’t and I was okay with that. I have come a long way in having a relationship with myself and normally I don’t really wallow in what others think, say or feel about me. I’m not saying that it doesn’t hurt sometimes, that’s only natural, I just don’t allow it to affect me to the point where I’m typing out a long-winded, babbling blog post to get it off my chest. For the most part I am able to acknowledge and accept who I am and love myself without the need for any affirmation or acceptance from anyone else.

Let’s talk about “hope vs. expectations”, shall we?

Hope – a feeling of expectation and desire for a certain thing to happen.

Expectation – a strong belief that something will happen or be the case in the future.

Can you see where the confusion comes in? The word “expectation” is right there in the definition of “hope”. Not cool. I have somehow allowed my hope for something to turn in to a covert expectation; secret and hidden in the subconscious of my mind until the day before yesterday.

My hope over the years that a certain relationship would change surreptitiously morphed into an expectation that it would. You see, in my hope I was comforted and accepted that it possibly wouldn’t. In fact, I was pretty sure it wouldn’t and that, “It is what it is”.

But, the wake-up call came through a text conversation with one simple word, “Whatever”.  That word hurt my heart all over again and I cried.  I had to take a step back and think about why this one trivial little word hurt my heart so much. Then I realized that somewhere over the years I had let my guard down and twisted my hope into an expectation; an expectation that this person would encourage me, or say a kind word to me, or just even accept me for who I am and when they didn’t, I was left hurt and terribly disappointed.

So now I must get back to the place of remembering who I am and how far I’ve come. I need to remember that ONE person’s opinion of me does NOT define who I am. I have decided to no longer hope for change in this relationship but completely ACCEPT the reality that it is what it is. I will accept this person just the way they are and not waste my time in hoping for something different. Nor will I waste anymore time considering/wondering what events have shaped this person or what they are possibly going through that causes them to be so callous and uncaring. Sounds kind of harsh but I just mean that I will not let this person rent anymore space in my head.

Yes I said it. There are just some things in life that hoping for is a waste of time. I will spend that time and hope elsewhere.

3 replies »

  1. Interesting thoughts to consider. I tend to think of hope as believing in the possibility that my desire will ? can happen. But this is a good reminder to not expect it, not to plan on it when it involves another person’s choices. We do have other things to focus on, like our own choices and our own serenity. Yeah. I needed this.

    Liked by 1 person

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