You know what hurts you most? Unfulfilled expectations! And the emotions tied to them and the drama that Ego ads and feeds off of. This is in short a lesson I learned from a completely unsuspected teacher, the landlady I am renting my apartment from!
I had just moved in and the first night was faced with 5 hours of sleep because:
– The neighbor downstairs listened to TV loudly and I heard the noise and couldnt fall asleep
– The neighbors next to me got up early and since they have a small apartment they had to fold their sofa back up and that makes huge noise that wakes me up plus they listen to TV prior to going to work
– The elevator is very noisy and although I am not near it I hear it all the time.
I wanted to move out immediately although the apartment itself is bright, beautiful, completely new and full of positive energy. But I took a slight step back and just opened up and wrote a message from the heart to the landlady. She came over a couple of hours later and we ended up talking for 3 hours! Someone sent her from heaven to teach me something I missed out early in life and throughout my life in general, and actually was taught complete opposite creating even more friction for me all along. I was taught, I was brought up, my EGO led me to believe that the world is here to fulfil my expectations, that life is supposed to be wonderful, that when shit happens you must have done something wrong or you yourself are just wrong otherwise things like that wouldn’t be happening etc etc. I have been waiting all my life for things to “start working out”, for the right circumstances to appear, for a flawless relationship to manifest, for the world to love me unconditionally. ME, ME, ME. And I always thought I didn’t have a big EGO. LOL, really LOL.
After talking to me for a while the landlady said your ego is big as planet Earth. And I agreed. It was true. My EGO created the expectations that everything SHOULD be perfect and amazing and the fact that these expectations were getting unfulfilled not onlt this time but again and again in my ife, was killing me and putting me back in my rabbit hole over and over again. Nothing was ever good enough, nothing really satisfied me, there was always something wrong with the picture. I couldn’t see the good, or if I could it was too little, too small, too short, never, ever enough. And EGO was getting fed while my heart was STARVING. And I was aggravated, freaking out, having nervous breakdowns, and burst of anger and rage and rarely finding peace.
And then my landlady said something so practical, something I probably heard many times before but wasn’t open to accepting it, EGO would cut it off at its root. She said, its all about the APPROACH. Not what happens to you but how you approach it. Man I wanted to cry, somehow her compassion and her deep wisdom and the fact that someone who I didn’t know from Adam a few days ago was getting so involved in helping me understand life, modeling it for me in a beautiful way, touched my heart immensely.
The approach, what do you choose to see and how do you interpret what you see and how does all of that fall into the grand scheme of things. A bit wider perspective then me, me , me, wouldnt you agree? Can you see the positive and the negative at the same time without giving the negative the power to tilt the balance in its favor? Can you understand that EGO loves the negative as it can always feed on the fact that something didn’t work for YOU, so it feeds of of the emotion that you feel and assigns it value and interpretation that it doesn’t inherently have? It wants to feed. It feeds with negativity and fear. Giving in to the dramatic emotional expression I thought was being real and was owning how I feel and letting myself self-express. This was so important to me as that was something that was curbed in my family and so I easily swing in the opposite direction thinking that will fill the void from the early days, void of emotional connection. But EGO’s push for hysteria and drama is keeping us alone and disconnected. I believed the lie that EGO told me that this self-expression was my birth right and by all means I will do it until I fucking die!
But this was and is a tantrum of a hurt child and since I am working on my own inner child and healing its pains, I am able to hear this beautiful women, this beautiful soul who is saying, come back to the middle, the extremes won’t give you peace. I have been addicted to extremes cos I thought that is when I actually felt something. Having been frozen due to heavy psychological abuse in my family, this WAS probably the only way to come back alive and breakthrough the ice. But now I see, it is not the way to live, to have a fulfilling and meaningful life, to see the wholeness of it with ups and downs and find approaches that help you surf the good and the bad instead of EXPECTING the bad to finally and once and for all be eliminated.
So back to my 3 “little” problems from above:
- the neighbor below is an older lady who is about 80 years old, she is quite deaf so that is the reason she turns the TV so loud, my landlady tells me that she was quite a nice lady when she was younger but since her husband died recently she has become slightly weird and paranoid whenever anyone says anything to her, for example, if we told her to turn the TV down, she probably would be rattled by that; and I also heard that she has earphones she can use and that people have tried to tell her to use them but they are not really getting through; the head of the apt association lives next to her and he is even more affected by the TV noise at night then I am and he cant do much about it. While hearing this a whole well of compassion arose within me for this lady and what she is going through, my focus shifted from me not being able to sleep to feeling her pain, the pain of growing old, alone and scared and how big that was as well as my need to sleep. And I wasn’t upset any more, I accepted it. I accepted we are all a part of a larger community even if we don’t know the people in them, but there is something to be said to adapting to some things that we cant currently change with compassion, with love. I have tears in my eyes as I write this cos my heart is happy and feels connected, feels like it belongs and is not alone as EGO would have me be. My approach changed and my experience with it too.
- The next door neighbors, the landlady will speak to them and ask them to try to be less noisy in the morning and we will see how that goes.
- The elevator is as is, the building is old and sound travels and I will live with it.
Finally I realize I have rented this place for a short period so that I have time to look for an apartment to buy and possibly renovate so this is not forever and while its not, it has certainly given me lessons for ever, which I will never forget and which make me feel grateful to be alive.
Originally published at medium.com