Letting Go to Embrace Freedom
By: Lara Scriba
(4 min. read)
This past year, I’ve been tackling the challenge of learning to let go of my expectations. I found myself grappling with the question, “How do you let go of your expectations without letting go of your dreams?” A delicate interplay between idealism and realism. How do you bridge that gap?
We are conditioned that if we want things to happen, we have to work hard, and if it does not come to fruition, there is a personal failing at play. You weren’t clever enough, didn’t work hard enough, want it enough, make time for it, and the list goes on. Essentially, no excuses. If you say you want it, find a way to get it done.
The paradox, though, is that by saddling ourselves with rigid expectations, we devour our ability to dream. When we allow expectations to dictate our lives, we limit our potential and the possibilities that lie ahead. We confine ourselves to a narrow path, fearing failure and avoiding risks. By succumbing to the weight of expectations, we miss out on opportunities for growth, personal development, and self-discovery.
I had become fixated on what was “supposed” to happen, often measures of someone else’s success that did not include the unique dynamics of my actual life or dreams I held close to my heart. I was measuring myself against others’ lives, which looked nothing like mine, and trying to force myself into a mold that would never fit.
I have chosen a very unconventional life, and there is no mold for me. I have to learn to forge my own path. But this can be said for each and every one of us. None of our paths are identical, so why do we force ourselves to hold onto expectations that were never meant for us in the first place?
This past month, I finally hit a wall, realizing my unrealistic expectations did not only apply to myself, but the weight hung heavy on those around me as well.
I was missing the absolute brilliance, freedom, and abundance that was lying just outside the tiny circle of my expectations. It was as though I had blinders on. A deep gnawing of frustration that I still, despite all my best efforts, hadn’t achieved the goals I set out for myself.
It was time to get really clear about what I was hoping to accomplish by setting those expectations and what success really meant to me if I honestly incorporated ALL aspects of my life.
I became very quiet and flipped the script. Asking myself instead, “Where do I notice abundance in my life? What am I grateful for? Who have I connected with that lights me up? What makes me feel alive, at peace, or deeply engaged? When have I felt inspired or inspired others to try something new?”
The Universe seems to love a challenge and did not disappoint. I began to receive messages, both in the subtle realm and in very concrete ways—phone call, an email, an experience with a friend, a spontaneous conversation with a stranger…mirroring back the essence of what I truly was seeking in this world…true, authentic connection. I opened myself up, and the answers came flooding in.
I wanted to break out of the compartmentalization we often assign to different parts of our lives. I want to blend it ALL with the magic I feel when I connect energetically with others, myself, and the world—the moments where I experience the ability to access my true essence and support others in finding theirs. Whether I am homeschooling my boys, giving a reiki treatment, learning how to surf, or sharing a numerology forecast, I want to be all in. To open up to the possibilities available to us, to cultivate a sense of curiosity and wonder of what exists beyond the limits of our own minds.
There is an inner wisdom, a knowing that there is more. That we are capable of more than we can ever really comprehend, and that if we can have the courage to trust and take action, it will all unfold. Each step lights the way for the next. Never needing to know the ultimate destination, but trusting that by following our own inner compass it will lead us where our soul knows we need to go.
I want to be deeply present in each moment, to take it all in—the abundance, the despair, the sadness, the delight and noticing, allowing, and then tending to what needs attention at that very moment. Recalibrating over and over again, moment by moment, we stay in alignment with what feeds our soul. We nourish all parts of our being and ultimately will end up in a place that is deeply aligned with the dreams we hold for ourselves and our world.
Living in the present moment is the key to breaking free from the clutches of expectations. By focusing on the here and now, we can detach ourselves from the anxiety of meeting future expectations and instead channel our energy into the present moment and the people around us. Allowing us to fully engage in our passions, explore new avenues, and find joy in the small moments rather than fixating on the outcome.
So, can we trust that no matter what happens, we have what it takes to figure it out? Can we be humble enough to admit when we have started down the wrong path and simply try again without harsh judgment?
Building trust not through achieving perfection each time but by consistently tapping into our inner wisdom and building the confidence that no matter the outcome, we can find our way.
Trial and error is what builds character and resilience. Taking on challenges that push us beyond our comfort zone forces us to figure it out on the fly, building confidence and character. We grow, learn, and discover parts of ourselves we never knew existed.
By cultivating self-belief, we become empowered to take risks, pursue our dreams, and redefine our own definitions of success.
By letting go, we allow ourselves to embrace freedom. Breaking free from the shackles of expectations requires a conscious effort to let go of the need for external validation.
It is essential to reclaim our ability to dream, to live in the present moment, and to trust ourselves. By letting go of the weight of expectations, we open ourselves up to limitless possibilities and embrace the freedom to create our own path.