Do you like your lover? Treat your lover like a dog and the chance is bigger he or she will love you back more as well. Maybe this sounds a bit doggy, but I do mean it. In a good way.
I’m teaching at a retreat in Morocco off 21st Sanctuary Retreats at this moment. Talking with one of the guests she told me: “I love animals. More than people. Often I’m disappointed in people.”
It’s something that happens to all of us. A lot of times it concerns our lover, simple because he or she is the one closest to us. Buddha already said it thousands years ago: “We suffer, because we have expectations.”
Let the lover go for a bit; we will pick him or her up later. Let’s party first. Remember when you were in high school and you had a party of your best friend on Saturday. You were looking forward to it all week. In your mind you see your self partying a few times. You imagine what kind of music there will be. You see yourself dancing with this one amazing girl or guy on whom you have your eyes set for a long time. It’s going to be an amazing party. You give it a grade. On a scale of one to ten you give it a nine. The day of the party comes. The friends you expected to be there are there. The beautiful girl of guy is there as well, only she runs off with someone else. The music is good, the beer never runs out and late at night you go home. Good party, but you are disappointed, because off the girl/guy not becoming ‘yours’. On a scale of one to ten it’s a seven.
The next week you have another party. This one is off a classmate. A bit a boring guy. You promised to go, but don’t feel like it. Again in your mind you’re playing this party over and over. The more you do, the less you fancy going. Boring people, shitty music, awful snacks. You give it a grade. On a scale of one to ten you give it a four. The night comes and you’re dragging. You promised, but you don’t want to go. At the end you drag yourself from to sofa and go over. Once you’re there the party is pretty okay. The music isn’t too bad, there are actually some nice people and there is an amazing girl/guy flirting with you. You go home, later than you expected too. On your way home you’re looking back at the party. It was actually pretty good and you feel butterflies in your stomach after the exchange of smiles and blinks with this girl/guy. On a scale of one to ten you give it a seven.
Two sevens. That’s strange. With the first seven you are disappointing, with the other one you are happy. Why? Because we have expectations and sometimes things don’t live up to our expectations. But is that the fault of those things or off our expectations.
Bring the lover back
Let’s bring the lover back. The lover we met at the last party. Things have worked out good and you’re a couple now. What we do when we have a partner is often the same as what we do when we go to a party. We build an image in our mind of how our partner will be, how they will react, what they will do for us, give us.
But it’s an image we build. It’s based on our desires, our needs. Not based on how our partner truly is. How our partner truly is, is something we only find out in the years that we will be together. And then still: we spent so many times without our partner, get influenced by people, situations and so on. Our partner spent times with us, get influenced, inspired as well. And even if we are together, everybody reacts different on a situation. Nothing wrong with that. We all have our path in life to walk.
Drop the expectations
The stupid thing is, we do measure our partner up to our expectations and if he or she doesn’t fulfill them, we are disappointing in our partner. But is that sincere? Is that honest? If we are the one expecting something of our partner and he/she is not living up to it, shouldn’t we be disappointed in ourselves? Because it was us who created the expectation in the first place. Maybe we should drop the expectations. We should just take every situation as it is.
So what has this to do with a dog? Maybe you have one. Or maybe you have a cat or a rabbit. What do you expect of your dog? Do you expect it to come up to you and wave his tail? Or are you just happy when your dog does that? For some reason we love our dog unconditional. We don’t want anything of our dog or get, we don’t have expectations of him or her. We love them the way whey are. So why don’t you love your partner the way you love your dog? Why have expectations of your partner while you don’t have them of your dog or cat? Simple drop your expectations.
This may sound too easy, well it is. You can drop expectations. If you want. The only thing you need, is awareness. If you study yourself and you are aware of what is going on in your mind, you can catch yourself doing it, making expectations. As soon as you realize this, stop doing it. Focus on your breath. Breath in and out deeply and focus on other things. The more you do this, the more you will notice that you are making less and less expectations and the more you will live in the moment.