The one most debilitating threat to my serenity is to have expectations of people and unrealistic expectations of myself. When I expect others to be as courteous, respectful and responsive as I would be toward them I set myself up for resentment and frustration. It only makes sense that not expecting folks to do "the right thing" would afford me less self induced pain and suffering. But, No...not me! I keep falling for the woo every time. Until I've had enough brain pain, only then, do I take inventory, regroup and remember: I cannot control what people say or do! The control that I do have is only over me and my actions. I may be recovered from alcoholism but I'm sure not cured of the "ism" of this disease. The "i.s.m" of alcoholism meaning the "I, self and me". They say that the alcoholic has selfish and self centered tendencies. And control issues! You know, if everything goes the way I want it to go and you only do as I would have you do ,then, life would flow much easier and you would see that you'll be much happier as the result of obeying my demands (or at least I'll be happier)..Lol!
Expectations of myself can be just as debilitating. I start the set-up by establishing a false foundation of self. Believing that I should be well in touch with my feelings and emotions, thinking I'm somewhere in my recovery that I'm not and always wishing to obtain consistent perfection as to not irritate and cause fluctuation of my self esteem.Once I believe and establish footing on these shaky concepts then any thought or experience I perceive to be contrary to my false foundation causes me to reject it as to not cause dis-ease, discomfort or disruption in my thinking which produces anxiety and personal affronts to my self esteem once again. The remedy to this is to just give myself a break. Contrary to my own belief, I Don't Know Everything! And that's o.k. I tell myself that it's alright to make mistakes ,and, if it's alright for me to make mistakes, then, it must be alright for others to make mistakes too (without some grumpy dude getting pissed off because you're not acting right).
So, the Einstein in me says:
Increased Expectations=Decreased Serenity
Decreased Expectations=Increased Serenity
Something tells me I won't always remember this equation in the heat of my intolerance. So, although I may at times momentarily forget it; I do know that emotional pain is a great motivator to try something different. Maybe I'll refer to this blog!
Peace, Guidance and Gratitude...