A quote I like by Pema Chödrön:
Hope and fear come from feeling that we lack something; they come from a sense of poverty. We can’t simply relax with ourselves. We hold on to hope, and hope robs us of the present moment. We feel that someone else knows what’s going on, but that there’s something missing in us, and therefore something is lacking in our world.
Rather than letting our negativity get the better of us, we could acknowledge that right now we feel like a piece of shit and not be squeamish about taking a good look. That’s the compassionate thing to do. That’s the brave thing to do. We can’t just jump over ourselves as if we were not there. It’s better to take a straight look at all our hopes and fears. Then some kind of confidence in our basic sanity arises.
[And then another quote uumlau has previously posted in response to the one above, from the Tao Te Ching:]
Success is as dangerous as failure.
Hope is as hollow as fear.
What does it mean that success is a dangerous as failure?
Whether you go up the ladder or down it,
your position is shaky.
When you stand with your two feet on the ground,
you will always keep your balance.
What does it mean that hope is as hollow as fear?
Hope and fear are both phantoms
that arise from thinking of the self.
When we don't see the self as self,
what do we have to fear?
See the world as your self.
Have faith in the way things are.
Love the world as your self;
then you can care for all things.
And then I just read something regarding expectations along the same vein, yesterday, by Carl Rogers. I'll have to come back with that one when I've got the book handy. eta: Okay I’ve found the quote and I’m not sure it (or the quotes above) is the kind of food for thought being sought in the op- but it’s Carl Rogers and therefore possibly worth posting anyway. From “Growing Old: or Older and Growing?”:
In my marriage of so many years, and in these friendships, I am continuing to learn more in the realm of intimacy. I am becoming more sharply aware of the times when I experience pain, anger, frustration, and rejection, as well as the closeness born of shared meanings or the satisfaction of being understood or accepted. I have learned how hard it is to confront with negative feelings a person whom I care about deeply. I have learned how expectations in a relationship turn very easily into demands made on the relationship. In my experience, I have found that one of the hardest things for me is to care for a person for whatever he or she is, at that time, in the relationship. It is so much easier to care for others for what I think they are, or wish they would be, or feel they should be. To care for this person for what he or she is, dropping my own expectations of what I want him or her to be for me, dropping my desire to change this person to suit my needs, is a most difficult but enriching way to a satisfying intimate relationship.