No Ballet For Her (or Don't Fall In Love With Your Expectations)

She squealed with excitement and disbelief -it was actually happening! She could finally wear the tights, leotard with the flouncy skirt and the soft pink slippers! "Mommy look, so many ballerinas!" she said to me with the giddiness of the three and half year old she is. And for that high and exhilarating moment it really was all rainbows, pink tutus and unicorns. 

image credit: RawrSheepy
 Then, "Hello brick wall". Call it fear, nerves or, the only explanation that seems to work for me lately --she's three and a half years old. She simply would not have it. Fine with watching from the sidelines, there was no convincing, forcing, scolding or bribing her to the studio floor. Yes. I tried it all.
Even more shameful is how I let this scenario affect me. Thoughts like "How dare she not do this?", "She's SUPPOSED to take ballet!" and "What do I do now?!" invaded my head.
On the ride home she was quiet, which would normally be a welcomed gift, but this was different. She didn't know what hit her either. But she did know mommy wasn't happy.  

My heart sank and my gut turned as I saw in her little face that I was making this about me. Yes, of course it was about her enjoying a ballet class with other little girls but to a larger degree it had to do with what I wanted. This had more to do with my expectations, my hopes and the image I had envisioned in my head. Ultimately I knew she was going to be fine with or without ballet. I, on the other hand, had some work to do.


Why do we hang on so tightly to our expectations, our ideas of how the world should be? Why do we become so inflexible that we actually make our own moments difficult and drama-fueled? Why do we decide to have a bad day if not everything develops according to our rules?

Mind you I'm not advocating living a direction-less life. I strongly agree with the "stand for something or fall for anything" philosophy. But a little flexibility, empathy and understanding of different world views will open more doors and do more for you than a closed mind could ever do.

Much depends on the specific situation but, for the most part, insisting on your view alone as gospel breaks down to wanting to be right. Wanting to be right comes down to ego. Ego closes you off to the greater possibilities you could never even imagine. 

Now think, how handy would having one of those great possibilities be in this very moment? Are you willing to give it up simply because you have to be right? Or because things must be exactly the way you made them up in your head?

The next time your plans hit a little snag or a full out brick wall, take a moment to see what's really going on. Ask yourself if holding on so tightly to your expectation will actually propel you forward or hold you back. You just might have an infinitely better option waiting at the other end if you let go.

I don't know if in the future my daughter will take ballet or not. But I do know that I won't let selfish expectations get in the way of her or our happiness.
Thank you for the lesson baby girl. 

What expectations or ideas could you release to help make this moment better for you?

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