Letting go of expectations

 

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Fear is the biggest thief of freedom. And freedom even within oneself comes at a great cost and through a vigorously painful initiation.
I have been afraid. I have been afraid of many things and I am still afraid.

Previously when I was afraid, I would deliberately encourage myself to be brave. What else was there to do? Weakness and fear are treated as if they have no space to occupy. I banished the places, people and things that made me afraid. It was way easier that way and I just I did not know better. However my own fears created by myself were and still are things I can’t yet shed quite good and quickly enough. In a world asking us to stand out, be counted, be brave and stay strong we miss to articulate that fear itself is a manifestation of a need that requires not only attention but also acceptance.

This fear is inevitable. It’s the biggest ego problem of the soul. And it is cultivated by our expectations in society and the culture we live in. Society shapes how we move through  the world. Inherently the intention of societal norms of the day are not to impact fear in people in most cases but to create a collective harmonic co-existence among us. A collective harmony that has created an imbalance in matters of economy, race, gender and spirituality. And amassed a heap of confusion and an unrealistic rat race.

Collective living is fueled by expectation whose oils burn day and night by fear. The world changes because that’s how it’s supposed to be. We are dynamic and are never meant to be in one place for very long. These collective expectations are the cloth that covers the individual ability to express their innermost self actualised expectations.

When a woman can not have children for some reason, she ends up being frustrated and depressed by the very expectations that she has no control over. She suffers the societal shame out of the laid expectations that eventually renegates her soul into perpetual unworthiness, anxiety, depression and she endures horrific mistreatment.

This begs us to re-examine ourselves in the most unusual way not just on this matter but other matters pertaining to the socialised world. The socialized world is a world that’s especially harsh to women.

As a young woman I had a lot of expectations that I laid out for myself through the lense of the socialised world. On top of that list was the expectation to find love in the form of a man and keep it. It’s at the top because failure to achieve this means dealing with a lot of unwarranted shame, abuse, meanness and rejection.  This usually laced by a myriad of partriachal traps that required way too much. This expectations were not for me. They were not mine. Society created them over time and some were forced down our throats over time as well. So here I am, as a young woman and even through out the years dreaming and imagining this to be the completion of my existence. My ego is happy but my soul is bleeding. I follow the socialised rules of my culture, slowly but surely, dancing and jumping over hurdles of rejection, climbing mountains of recreating myself to fit, running marathons of fitting in only to arrive at the finish line and be met with nothing. Nothing at all.

When I tell people about it, they are quick to dismiss my feelings. They say, you have not met the right one yet, the right job, the right wealth, or that I haven’t even met the love of God as if arriving here to find nothing was not brave enough already.

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To be blackmailed into arriving at places that don’t exist is to say the least heartbreaking. Literally. It’s painful and exhausting no wonder many continue to uphold the falsehood of arriving and relying heavily on the others validation to create a sense of truth. There is no sense of truth. There is no arriving. Turmoil awaits at the end of it all.

What is now left is to confront the source of this socialised world. We create a falsehood about love being the completion of our existence. We even brag when we find it and shame those who don’t. It is easier to think of yourself as lucky and deserving than others.  It’s easier to think you have arrived sooner or that the comfort of a partner, children, wealth, health finally means happiness . It’s practical. It’s easier because that’s how we know how to be! Lingering questions destroy our little paradises therefore we avoid them.

But if there is nothing then why keep piling and piling illusions of achievements then? If women who have children are as so happy and accomplished as they say why is there a need to ostracize other women who are not lucky enough to bear the fruits of their wombs? If our marriages are safe havens of happiness, love and completion why do we despise unmarried people and especially single mothers? And if men think we must let them choose us and they have an upper hand why do they almost always shame us into accepting them or force us into social conditions with little or no consent?

Complete people do not need podiums of declining empathy and staggering pride.

So, say I score well and land me everything society said would put me on a pedestal but still, I am hungry and starved, yearning and searching!

Expectations are tiresome and shading them to arrive at the truthfulness of the inner self  needs alot of unpacking. Unpacking is ugly. It forces us to see how twisted our expectations are because in the process we step on many backs, ride on many sleepless nights, swim in many tears while the ever so shallow ego attacks us into staying in that meaningless place. Perhaps it was meant to be like that, just perhaps.

It takes self criticism, soul searching, communion with others, alone sessions of tough questions of which you don’t need to have answers. You need to acknowledge your fears, see them as a creation beyond your control, embrace them and stop fighting them by banishing them or striving too had to fulfill them at a cost not worth the trouble.

I say fuck it. And live. Let the soul do it’s work.

 

 

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I am a Kenyan woman who enjoys writing and vlogging about the Kenyan feminist issues while fusing dreams into stories related to the kenyan culture.

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