Thursday, August 24, 2006

The Stress of Expectations

When I started The Rambling Taoist in late January 05, my expectation was that I would contribute an entry on most days. I met this expectation for the first few months. I then stepped away from everyday writing for about six weeks and then resumed my old frequency of writing.

Of course, as this marks my first entry in over one month, it's obvious my expected frequency has again fallen off. When I went through my first down period, it caused a lot of stress. I actually felt guilty for not writing daily. I knew that I had a regular readership and I felt that I was letting people down.

This time around there is no guilt.

One of the key lessons in Taoism is to give of ourselves WITHOUT expecting any particular outcome for it is our expectations that most often cause stress in our lives. We perform some act and then expect a particular reaction. Since we cannot know if this expectation will be met -- and most often they aren't -- we are setting ourselves up for pain and suffering.

It's a difficult lesson to incorporate into any human life because expectations seem to be part and parcel of the human psyche. We're socialized to EXPECT.

Still, if we can teach ourselves to undo this lesson, then life becomes a lot less stressful.

So, here sits my blog stripped clean of any expectation. There may be times I write a lot and there may times when I write nothing in this space. The Rambling Taoist is like a river -- sometimes the water is placid and sometimes the water will flow like a torrent.

I am content to let the words flow of their own accord without any expectation of when or where they MIGHT flow.


  1. Well, that's fine.

  2. Hi Trey,

    Noone expects from you to write on a daily basis, but we were all kinda used to this, so that's why I think most people were a bit disappointed.
    Anyway, nice to read something from you again!

  3. Dear old friend. I finally got around to checking your blog. I very much like it and the direction your life has taken since leaving Salem. I think of you and Della often. You are a good person. Thank you for sharing your thoughts.
    frazier d

  4. Come back and post whenever you like, fresh words are always welcome!

    If people are using feed readers, doesn't matter when you post, it will show up. And if not, it takes me all of half a sec to see ifthere's something new. No big deal. You're busy doing good stuff, just keep doing it!


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