🏹 Aim high while lowering your expectations
One of the things I struggle the most with is expectations. Probably you too, as it's something common in humans. I'm constantly disappointed by the turns of Life and quickly enter states of frustration that take me a lot of time to process.
For a period of my life, I aimed nowhere, afraid that setting my sight on something would only drive it away. I spent most of my days with my eyes closed, concentrated on breathing and attempting to free myself of desire. But it never happened. All that really happened was that I got stuck in a routine that drained my energy and made me feel constantly miserable.
Like it or not, we have the desire to create, and if we don't use it we usually suffer. At the same time, we create things hoping that they will offer rewards and we have high expectations of what those rewards might be. We go about this, many times oblivious to the probable reality that the act of creation is the reward itself.
In many esoteric and mystical texts, it is said that the more you work to serve others, the more Life will reward you. But for this to happen, your main goal must be to serve and not to be rewarded. It's hard, really hard, to keep the focus on that. Besides, how can we know we're really serving and not just secretly wanting the prize?
I think one way to go about it is to be really ambitious as to what you can create, for all creation is ultimately a service in some way. It's also healthy to accept we want to be prized for our actions, doing otherwise is probably fooling ourselves. Yet, the ambition to create should surpass the ambition to receive.
We already have many priceless gifts from birth: every part of our body is a gift and we should be grateful for every day we don't lose one. So what are we using them for? Do we use our feet to walk to beautiful places? Do we use our hands to build, garden, and craft? To hold? To heal? Do we use our eyes to look around with deep focus? Do we use our imagination to see beyond the material world?
Let's not be blinded by positivism though. Just as we've received many lovely gifts, we've received a lot of nasty ones too. Many of us are marked by trauma since childhood and this can weight on us for a long time.
For me, a life free from traumatic memories and intrusive thoughts would be a beautiful reward. And yet, it doesn't happen. It all keeps coming back over and over, no matter how much meditation, how much work, or how much reading about it.
Sometimes I get obsessed with being rewarded with more money for what I do. When I see things with more clarity I realize that this is a distraction from the present, a way to get lost in the mind and stop enjoying the gift of the now. If more money is meant to come, it will, but losing energy on desiring it will rob you of all you can achieve right now.
My conclusion is that it's healthy to lower expectations on this and just dedicate time to creation. I find that while I'm creating, I'm not being tormented by all that, or at least it has far less weight. And there is so much to do and create even without monetary rewards or the eternal liberation of my soul!
Maybe all that has the purpose of preventing us from becoming too comfortable so that we keep creating. After all, that's how Life remains dynamic, through the never-ending creativity of its beings. At least that's what I choose to believe. Because on the other end lies the possibility that discomfort is only there for us to suffer a meaningless existence, and that would be depressing.
Creativity may be just the necessary medicine for many ailments of the Soul, but it is wrongly attributed to talent. We don't need to be talented to create, we just need to create. There are many blockages that manifest when we want to start doing this but that's how we heal, by confronting these blockages and breaking through the barrier of stagnation into the realms of creation.