We shall resort to our recurring stoic principle. Hold no expectations. Do that, and you’ll have no unmet expectations to ruminate.
Nothing prevents you from appreciating the potential rendered benefits you may encounter by happenstance. Consider them a bonus. (Read Seneca’s writings, ie De Beneficiis, for a more introspective treatment on the matter.)
Neither must you build expectations if you live by way of happiness with what you have. Further, the more your possessions align with your underlying necessities, the less you have to lose.
However, with regards to that which you do lose, the less of a strong grip you exercise, the less you need mind the absence. Be willing to let go. Be open to reacquire any essential element.
Rather than cloud your mind with expectations, really enjoy that which lies everywhere around. Contemplate it to any insatiable extent you desire, for that capacity is limited by nothing short of your imagination.
As I boarded the rush hour metro on a recent evening, I was not the mindful protagonist. Rather, I must have carelessly drifted off into Neverland. The metro car felt notably more spacious than customary at this hour. I deemed it that very bonus to which I earlier alluded, and it would have marked the end of story.
Notwithstanding, some women glanced in my direction. The air felt notably ill-humoured. The looks varied between indifferent, mildly depressed, moderately concerned, to alarmingly repugnant.
Yet I occupied my fantasy tale still, descending further along the corridor. A woman finally tapped me and uttered something I initially misheard. Then she repeated. “Esse é o vagão de mulheres.” [This is a women’s car.]
I looked around, and eureka … indeed it was. Not one other male occupant.
This Rio metro system feature slipped my mind entirely. Women cars enabled strictly during the rush hour period, the pink-colored labels are as clear as sky for the mindful observer.
Does it always feel this tense? Or had they deemed me a particularly threatening specimen? On few occasions had I found the company of so many women this chilling. These were my thoughts, waiting to switch cars at the next station.
I had no expectation to occupy a fully jammed train car at this hour. Likewise, I didn’t expect any comfort to the contrary.
Consequently, this faux pas I committed doesn’t exclude the potential for mild entertainment.
Joining the party in a more traditional train car, I found myself tightly sandwiched between bodies of uniformly distributed sex. This too, I didn’t expect not to occur, for it nearly always does, and yet, when it doesn’t, my indifference shall not stride in any direction.
Passengers squeezed to capacity in sometimes unnatural contortions, struggles to grasp on to something or someone and maintain a semblance of a balance, care not to violate the intimate bounds so delicately woven, it would take a rare individual to entertain any moderate extension to the tense act.
And yet the car ceases movement, time and time again. Discomfort reigns. Involuntary exaltations are heard. Expectations seem unmet.
Precisely in midst of such frequent an irregularity does expectation abstinence prove most powerful. Does a halted mode of transport terribly deviate in principle from an orchestrated circus act stopped mid-course?
It surely presents one or two discomforts, but does the discomfort cause any substantial ache compared to even a morning migraine? Does it render the slightest bodily ailment? Or do you merely permit emotions to run amok in consequence of unmet expectations? Pay the thought due diligence.
Similarly, ask yourself, what expectations do you hold at a point of a meetup? Do you expect a timely rendezvous? What thoughts does your companion’s unfashionably late arrival trigger? What flows through your consciousness? How do you spend your time of anticipation?
Ponder the above, for the circumstance is one among the frequent. One may opt to numb the consciousness entirely, seeking refuge in virtual reality. Another may experience an increasing buildup of rage.
The circumstances behind the late arrival may lie among the incidental. Alternatively, they may reflect a misalignment of priorities. These factors unbeknownst to you may float through your mind, polluting your better judgement.
Now be that as it may, consider this. The affairs led you to your current predicament. Nothing can reverse that.
What is the better use of time? Is it the sour rumination of the subject? Or is it the acceptance of the ephemeral moment for what it is, and your due acting in a mindful, conductive manner?
Imagine a period of relaxation on a park bench, solitary retreat in course, expectations nonexistant. Are the two situations, decomposed into their primitive components, radically different? Need your imagination venture prematurely into the nonexistant?
In my experience, it is not unheard of to appear at an organized event. And guess what? Not a soul appears. Yours truly lounges there for a time, a quarter hour after, possibly more.
But yours truly holds no expectations, recognizing this as too recurring to act otherwise.
Any former logistical parameters are written off the books. Remaining are myself, the ephemeral moment, and the surrounding environment.
I might form my own meetup with the individuals in sight (or invade an existing). After all, decomposed into primitive aspects, a meetup need be nothing more than an exchange of ideas among characters. I may venture on an unexpected side journey. I may pursue a creative endeavor, this subject to few physical constraints. I may proceed on a solitary walk.
There is one thing I will not do: plunge into virtual reality in quest for numbness or rationale.
Questions, comments? Connect.