Jennifer Hoffman – It was an email from a longtime client, reader, and customer that prompted this week’s podcast and newsletter article because it was so sad and she was being treated so unfairly. She wrote:
“Last year and this year have been such a roller coaster. Not only what is happening in the world but also on personal level. I am shocked what happened with my family dynamics. I never thought my parents will feel like a total strangers or even enemies at times. I did not realized until couple of weeks ago how little they think of me and how they despise my husband so much.
What is happening to my parents?? What is wrong with their hearts and minds?? It feels like we are living in two different realities. I am scared of the future for our family dynamics. It feels like nothing will ever be the same and like nothing can be fixed or put together anymore. I am done “fighting” and caring….It broke my heart in pieces but I think I deserve it.
Most of my life I always thought about others and what they are going to think about me. I always wanted to please those around me and those close to me. Now, at 52 years old I feel like a total disappointment. I did not meet mom’s, dad’s and brother’s expectations….”
Now I know this person well and she is a smart, beautiful, strong, and successful woman who has built a very successful business and is a respected and recognized leader in her industry.
Why would she not be meeting her family’s expectations? What expectations do they have of her and why are they being so harsh, critical, and judgmental of her when she is smart, strong, beautiful, and successful?
Is that the problem here?
Sadly, yes it is. It is often those from whom we expect to receive praise and support when we proudly share our successes that we receive judgment, criticism, and condemnation from instead.
What are their expectations of us? That we fail?
Again, sadly yes. It is not simply failure, though, it is usually that we do not outshine them, show them up, become more powerful or successful than they are comfortable with, shine our lights too brightly because their darkness might be revealed. So they use a variety of emotional, verbal, and energetic tools to put us in our place, so to speak, which is the place where they do not feel that we are more successful, powerful, or accomplished than they are.
If you think this sounds like a lot of mind and energy manipulation, you are right.
What are expectations? They are the anticipated behaviors that you or someone else thinks will happen in a situation.
We have expectations of others just as they have expectations of us.
From our standpoint, we expect certain behaviors from people depending on who they are in our lives and what we want from them. From the labels they have, such as mother, father, sister, brother, partner, friend, we create a set of expectations. And when those expectations are not met we feel betrayed, disappointed, and rejected, depending on the situation.
What about others’ expectations of us? They expect certain behaviors of us too, depending on their relationship with us and what they want from us. And if we do not meet their expectations they feel betrayed, abandoned, and rejected.
Can you see a pattern here?
From both sides, expectations are what we anticipate from others and what we expect from them in terms of behavior, actions, and our interactions. To be blunt, expectations are opinions and judgments of behavior and they are all based on an agenda – what we want from someone and what they want from us.
Now it gets more complicated than that and I will touch on some of those topics but here’s what to know about expectations, they are two sides to them and they are often a portal to guilt and shame and if we do not manage our expectations they can get very messy.
Used negatively, expectations are the first step in the emotional and energetic manipulation of guilt and shame. Have you ever done something and with a single look or a sigh, felt guilty of what you did because you did not meet someone’s expectations?
Expectations are overt and covert, open and hidden. The overt expectations are the ones you are aware of – like being available to someone, meeting their needs, supporting them in their goals and dreams.
Then there are the covert expectations. These are the ones you are not aware of and do not realize are operating, such as an expectation of reward or acknowledgement, a return favor, or as in the case of my client, that you will eventually get tired of your independence and success and return to the relative comfort zone of the family fold.
Let’s look at how expectations can be used as a portal to guilt and shame. First they set up their expectations for what they want from you, how they want you to be, and how far from their comfort zone you can wander. Sometimes you know this, other times you do not. And often you have your own expectations that can blind you to what is going on around you because you have your own agenda for support, acknowledgement, love, and acceptance.
They make it difficult for you to meet their expectations and even exceed them, and the conversations shifts gear. Now they begin to find fault with us, telling us we did not do this the right way, or that they would have done things differently, or someone else did it better, right, or was more successful.
On a mental level they make us feel like we are not good enough, smart enough, or there is always someone we get compared to because although we strive to meet their expectations they are always moving that goalpost. The praise we hope for never comes and the criticism seems to get more critical.
On an emotional level they hold out the approval bait knowing that this is what we really want. So they play with our emotions, making sure we are not too happy or proud or confident. I know this sounds terrible and it is but if you have ever been manipulated like this by people you expected support from, you know that what I am saying here is how this happens. And it is devastating to you because these are the people you expected to support you.
But our own expectations get in the way too because we believe that we are supposed to meet others’ expectations, especially if they are family or someone who is close to us. We also expect certain behaviors from people based on our labels and we hold onto those expectations even when their behaviors are so diametrically opposed to them that it is obvious there is something else going on.
When our expectations get too rigid, we ar blinded to the truth of who others are and what they really want from us. Our belief that ‘family is supposed to be…’ or that ‘my family would never…’ causes us to ignore, to our detriment, truly awful behavior that we then blame ourselves for, as my client did.
Here’s the truth for you – you are not responsible for meeting others’ expectations of you. Not at all. It is not part of your life purpose or soul mission to meet others’ expectations. But conversely, it is also not their responsibility to meet your expectations of them.
Just because someone wears the ‘mother’ label does not mean that they are going to give you the kind of mothering you want or is acceptable to you. and I know that sounds harsh but soul wrenching energy trauma from challenging mothers is something I see all too often in my client work and its cause is usually that the parent did not meet their parenting expectations.
I said this in response to someone and they were not too happy with my comment. The closer someone is to us biologically and emotionally, the closer they are to our karmic path. That means your biological and adoptive family is part of your karma group and your mother is your closest karmic partner.
So with that in mind, can you see how your expectations for love, peace, joy, and harmony in your relationships with your family are often not met?
And can you see how your success, achievements, independence, confidence, and courage are seen as a sign of betrayal by those who expect you to keep your light dim enough for them to not be blinded and your energy low energy for them to not feel overwhelmed or out-shined?
It is important to manage your expectations and as we start on this next round of ascension activity, your desire for new levels of prosperity, abundance, joy, love, peace, and success in your life is going to require that you address others’ expectations of you and yours of them so that you understand how your playing small and being energetically available is what they expect and them being appreciative, supportive, and complementary of your achievements is what you expect.
Can you be prepared for the energy gap and not get disappointed when their response to your success is less than what you expected and maybe even the opposite of you wanted to see and hear?
And can you let that be OK with you so that you stay focused on your expectations of yourself and your potential and keep that light shining brightly no matter who in your life expects it to go out so they can stay in the dark?
Copyright (c) 2021 by Jennifer Hoffman. All rights reserved.
SF Source Enlightening Life May 2021