The Shattering Noise of Silent Expectations

Oh my God! I am absolutely distraught by the how silly we can be, and in that I include myself. We bury our expectations within the layers of silence. We refuse to acknowledge these expectations, and let people know what we need. And, we are so disappointed when they do not realize our unspoken expectations that we fault them to unreasonable levels. Really!

We are given an operational voice box, with a boneless-ever-ready-to-wag tongue, and month to let out the words of our expectations, but still, we prefer silence. And the worst of all we expect them to know it all. Really!

This is exasperating! Foolish, if I may say so. And truth be confessed, I am not above this common human fallacy. I do also behave this way, where my needs are unrevealed, many-a-time, and I sit there waiting in anticipation that they will now, and just like that they will give what I need, or do as I need them to do. Really!

Those who know me well enough would know what I want, when I want something. Those who love me a lot, know what’s in my mind, and they will get it for me, or make it happen just like that. I don’t have to tell them, but they know it all, just like that. Really.

No, none of this belongs to the truly, really, this is fine category. It is extremely abnormal to expect others to do what you want of need them to do, unless and until you do not convey it to them. Open your mouth and voice it. Let them decide whether they can fulfil your want or need or not. If they can, well and good, if they cannot, then you know that you can look for other options.

Thank God I woke up from my sulking slumber. I owe it to the husband who explained to me, “I would never know what you feel, how feel, what you want, what you need. You will always have to tell me. If you remain silent then the noise will deafen you. If you sulk, then I will be upset, and you will be very upset, and we will fight. So voice it all out when you expect something from me.”

Aye, aye Sir. I agree. I wish I was this smart when for my ninth birthday my parents asked me what I wanted, and all that I would say is anything, while in mind I had a list buried under the silence, or shyness; or the intellect telling me, “Don’t be greedy. Don’t ask. If they love you they will know. If they don’t love you, they will never know. This means that they don’t love you. They love your younger sister even more, because she gets whatever she wants.” Right you intellectual fool, she always got what she wanted because she asked for it, you duffer!

Well, actually this constant burial of my expectations actually worked for me, as my parents always praised me as, “Their daughter who is so simple, fulfilled, with no wants or desires. Give her anything and she is so happy.” Well, they never knew that I was happy with whatever they gave me, even though it was never on my expectations list, as then the self would reassure the mind, intellect, ego of the love from the parents. The chattering of falseness in the inner finds of the cognitive section of my existence! 

While silenced expectations were the feathers in my imaginary cap, sulking and such silence did much unrequired, unfortunate, devastating harm to my career. 

I was working with a publication, managing a couple of their magazines as a senior associate editor, and their newly founded books division as the editor. The man who owned the publication had a to-be-daughter-in-law join the company, and she was made to assist me. To her good luck and my own unfortunate series of silent doing, she kept noisily announcing all that she was doing, and included in it all that I was doing, in the lists of her doing it all. I kept thinking that the man helming the company would know about how much I toiled, and therefore preferred to work hard, and let my hard work speak. Well, my hard work, became somebody else’s self-glorifying lies. Eventually, when the day of reckoning di arrive, I had a showdown with the big boss, as on his desk was a list of all faults in the books handled by her, pointing to me, and all the books that were perfectly done were in her kitty. 

I tried explaining to him the truth and re-write the list. However, her voice of conviction through time had occupied his mind, intellect and ego, and I was left with no choice but to walk away from the company, heart-broken. This led to a frozen shoulder, panic attacks and depression. 

All was healed away slowly as I immersed myself into practising as a healer, counsellor and psychotherapist. The scar remains, even though the wounds have healed. 

Give voice to your expectations so that The Universe can help manifest it. Help comes when help is asked for; prayers are answered when they are uttered. Acknowledge what you need in gratitude for it to manifest in full bloom. The silent layers covering expectations nurtures unhappiness, depression, hurt, laziness, bitterness, anger, frustration.

Let your world know what you have done, so that they know what you can do. This will let them know that you expect them to respect you for who you are. However, this will only happen when you honour and respect yourself enough to believe that you deserve what you expect. The problem is that we underestimate ourselves, and bury ourselves in the feeling of such low self-worth and dive into the abyss of denying us what we want, need, desire, wish. 

I find all these thoughts of its bad to be materialistic, and we should be spiritual beyond the desires and wishes. Excuse me please, but this soul is on a human journey to experience all that is physically, materially gratifying, till it returns to space when none of this can be experienced. So, be here, ask, demand graciously, command humbly, request assertively; let them know what you want or need, so that they can choose for themselves whether they cannot serve you what you ask from them. Enjoy being in this material world, striving to gratify the senses and calming the hormones.

I have seen relationships get calcified by the toxicity of buried silent expectations. Everyone expects from others something or the other. Their expectations are hidden in crevices. The mind, intellect, ego fuel these expectations with their own limited perspectives either dipped in inferiority or superiority complex. For one dwelling on either end of the complex-spectrum lacks the confidence to ask for what they need or want. The inferior will feel they are under-deserving, and the superior will feel that is below their dignity to ask, for others should know.

An old friend of mine, and here by old I do not mean someone I have known since many years, implying the oldness of friendship, but I actually mean a 70-year-old (I have friends of all ages, for variety adds to the spiciness of my life) friend of mine, was once hospitalised. This old man preferred to be a loner, because he found every relationship to be too complicating. “Too much to handle, I am my own best company,” when I would urge him in his fifties and sixties to look for a companion.

He preferred to live alone in spite of having a family, only because of the conflicts. And let me tell you, his mind-intellect-ego trinity revelled in conflicts created by unspoken expectations. So, this time when he was hospitalised, his aged father, all of 88, and his younger brother flew down to be with him. Once he was out of the hospital they decided to return home. I called to enquire about his recovery. He informed me, “My father and brother came to be here while I was in the hospital, but they leave in two days. I would be more comfortable and recover faster if they spend a few more days with me here. They have book their tickets for the day after.”

I said to him, “You should let them know you need them here. They will definitely stay back.”

He retorted immediately, “So, I have to tell them to stay back. Is it not in the natural flow of events that you stay back for your son and father. Is it not natural that they should not be told what they should be doing if I have just been discharged from the hospital?”

Really! Natural course of events it to what you expect me to do, even though it is not voiced by you!

I took a few de breaths, and keeping his age in mind, I respectfully explained to him, “The problem with you is that you have expected from others, without them even knowing your expectations. If they do not live up to your hidden expectations, your mind, intellect, ego weave stories against them. You believe their malicious yarns and immerse the relationship into the sea of conflicts. Tell them you need them to stay back with you, and let them decide what they choose to do. Don’t judge them for doing what they do, which maybe against what you expect them to do.”

Three hours later he called me back and thanked me, “They are staying with me, till I recover completely. Thank you for helping me find the voice for my expectations.” 

The silence of my spirit allows my expectations to be voiced. Once they are voiced, it does not matter whether they are fulfilled or not. At least they are not calcifying and toxifying the cognitive space of the mind, intellect or ego. 

All prayers uttered in the spirit of graciousness and gratitude are fulfilled, or even not then it is always for your betterment. 

I remember, a Sufi Master had once visited our home, while my father was praying. Out of habit everyday my father would play the aarti very loud while he pray at the altar. That day the Master patted his back hard and said, “Prayer is not what you show off to others; but it is the humility and humbleness to ask for what you need, and say thank you for what you receive. The religious pray to prove to the world their greatness, just as you do by putting on devotional songs so loud. Ask ad it shall be given, if it is not granted then it is only because there is something better for you.” While my father learnt the right way to pray, I kept this message from the Master with me, and it still emerges in my memory when I need this reminder.

I prayed for a husband best suited for me. I prayed for a companion with whom I could walk into the sunset of our lives. I prayed for a marriage that completes two halves. The husband appeared when we both were ready for each other.

Voicing your expectations lightens the being. Telling what you need, takes you deeper into the self. Emptiness makes space for fulfilment. Hollowness is filled with blessings. 

When the expectations keep chattering beneath the layers of enforced silence, there is so much noise that once feels that what they need or want eludes them. They cannot listen to the gentle voice of the breath which guides them towards attaining their expectations. The words you speak, is the energy you let go from your being, to make way for inspiration – the path to fulfilling your expectations.

Expectations are fuelled by the presence of relationships and every relationship helps serve you the fulfilment of your expectations. There is no harm in having expectations, but the problem arises when they are unuttered, when they are not poured out, for they stagnate and pollute the mind, intellect and ego, which then create a cacophony of senseless noise that creates conflicts around, burning relationships at the altar. 

Even if you voice your expectations, drop the pining, and accept the outcome. So, if you want or need something from your spouse or anyone else, graciously accept the “no” from them and allow the self to lead to a way to fulfil it, or then allow it to dissolve away if it is not the best for you.

Give voice to your wants and needs, so that there is a path to fulfil them; or else the monstrous raging hormonal imbalances could knock you out bad!

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