One of my friends told me that she went into her closet and made some honest clutter busting decisions about clothes she was no longer wearing. She decided to let them go and she put them in bags and drove them over to a consignment shop. She had originally spent a lot of money on the clothes and was expecting that the shop would want them and she would make some good money. However they told her that they didn't want any of the items. She told me she felt depressed and sulked about it. She wanted things to be other than they were. Her feelings about it were making her feel lousy. But then her mind got quiet and she thought the simple thing to do would be to donate the clothes. She drove them over to the nearest charity and gave them the items. It made her feel good.
I'm curious about how we have expectations about how things will work out. We get invested in that outcome. We start to feel good, or bad ahead of time depending on our expectations. I think it's our way of attempting to control outcomes. It doesn't actually affect the outcome. But when things happen like we were expecting, it gives us a false sense of accomplishment. We feel like we were involved in how things happened. But then when we want something to occur and it doesn't happen, it can make us feel powerless and that can make us sad, depressed or fearful.
I recently bought tickets to see the Flaming Lips in concert. The next day I won tickets for the same concert on a radio station. I picked them up and had expectations that it would be easy to sell them and make my money back. I went on Craigslist and listed them for sale. Three days went by and there was no interest. Plus there were a lot of people selling tickets to the show. I felt myself getting frustrated. I didn't like the way things were happening. I noticed this was making me feel very uncomfortable. I thought I'd feel better to give the tickets away. I gave the tickets to some friends. They were happy to receive them. I felt great, probably better than if I'd sold them.
What I'm recognizing is there are our expectations about what will happen and then there's how the world actually unfolds. We can do what we can to make things happen, but it seems the only thing we have control over is our attitude about what happens. It gives us the flexibility to adapt to what actually occurs and do something that makes us feel positive.