Contributed by Johanna P.


Many years ago I stopped making resolutions because I didn’t keep them past February. But, this year I had a change of heart. 2012 was a rough year for me, probably one of the toughest of my life, but I made it through. I decided that if I could survive last year, I would have strength to do a better job following through. So I made an intention.

When I was a kid, I had an image of how my life would be when I grew up. This image changed slightly when I was a teen, but I’ve always been focused on this image. Now that I am all grown up, I have achieved many of the goals I had as part of fulfilling on this image and I am proud of myself. However, there is an underlying disappointment, a feeling of “lack” in myself as a result of the many expectations I fell short on—expectations about what my career should be like, what type of relationship I should have, what my income should be, and so on.  No deeper was this feeling of lack felt than in the area of relationship. Why? Because I do not have the relationship of my dreams, nor children, nor the white picket fence lifestyle I had imagined.

The fact is this: what I expected to achieve was based on the views of a child and, to a large extent, social conditioning, and I was burying myself alive under the weight of these unfulfilled expectations.

Since expectations can be a source of future resentments, my intention is to let go of the relationship expectations I have had for myself. This does not mean that I will no longer set goals for myself and try to achieve them. Or that I am lowering my standards on how I should be treated, by myself or others. What I intend to do is let go of what I think my life should be, accept it for what it is and do my best to change the things that are not working for me. What this context has provided me is a new lease on life where I can move forward without the resentment I have for myself in the face of unfulfilled expectations. I believe I can go much further towards creating deeper fulfillment in my life without old ideas holding me back.

What image of yourself is holding you back? We invite you to write your comments in the box below.