Monday, April 25, 2016

Mindful Monday- Great Expectations

The expectations kill me. 


    Yesterday we attended our grandson's baptism. As I arrived I noticed gifts on a table and on people's chairs. Gasp! Was I expected to provide another gift? I felt the pressure and immediately afterward the resistance. My boy had already been gifted and even though I knew it, I felt that I should look like a generous grandmother. What are the rules of proper grandmothering? Am I doing a good enough job? If there were rules would I still feel resistance to keeping all THE RULES?
    My mother sent her grandchildren a card and money year after year. Then one year she forgot my daughter. She was getting older and well, it slipped her mind. I feel badly that we remember her slip up more than we remember the years of sweet cards signed in her broken English.
   I choose to be kind to myself and believe that I am doing the best that I can. I gifted a perfect present to my grandson and we had time together to enjoy it. Giving another one at his event would not provide a nurturing experience; it would only satisfy my need to have other's approval.
   The key learnings from this month of self-compassion are:

  1. I make mistakes. I disappoint. 
  2. I am a generous person and try to meet the needs I see around me.
  3. I would like to believe that people are doing the best they can with what they have.
  4. If I believe others are doing the best they can then I can except that I am doing the best that I can with what I have.
               If you want to learn more about self-compassion Kristen Neff has a wonderful website.

April was a month to explore self-compassion. You can read more about my Year of Mindfulness here.


  1. Such a powerful reflection, Gabriele.

    So much of what people do can be led by that sense that we need approval but, as you point out, when we work from a place of mindfulness, we can break that cycle.

    I was very touched by your comment about remembering the one time your mother forgot: isn't that such a shame? I'm very conscious, as a mother, of trying not to get in to the habit of living in a way that my children don't start to take me for granted. I think of it as another gift for them, to teach them to always be actively grateful for every relationship.

    Am learning so much from you, Gabriele. Thanks so much.

    Have a great day: it's raining here, thank goodness!

  2. I'm glad to hear that it is raining. It sounds like you need it. Thank-you for commenting. You have provided much of the information for me to build a foundation of mindfulness.

  3. It is so easy to put ourselves under pressure to meet others' expectations, or what we assume are their expectations. I think it's important to recognise, as you did, when we would be doing something just to gain other people's approval, and to learn to be kind to ourselves.


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