Transcending expectations in the Way of Love

“I am for you, you are for whoever you choose; I accept whatever you want without any expectations whatsoever.”

The Sufi path is Love. It is through Love we experience God. Our journey back to Allah is through learning how to love.

We show love through being grateful. In gratitude we keep a positive state, and in gratitude we display kindness. The action of kindness is a natural and humble experience. It is through the conscious effort of observing the ego that we can make offerings in humility.

To be humble means to offer without expectation of return. To offer in humility means to offer without any need of attention from others. When we draw attention to our acts of kindness we risk falling into pride. Pride takes away the sincerity of the action, creating expectations.

When we thus attach conditions of expectation to our kindnesses, they become acts of ego, as opposed to acts for God’s sake. It becomes about “me” as opposed to being selfless and unconditional. Expectations are ego-based, with the potential to create much suffering. Through self-awareness and true humility, (simply being honest with oneself), we can assess our actions and judge if they are extensions of ego; or expansions from the soul.

When we understand the motives behind our actions, we can give in God-consciousness; which is to give without expectation. To give without wanting a thank you, or any other form of validation or affirmation. True giving is done with the least amount of attention to the act, but with a simple desire to freely give. When engaged in such an offering, we do not want to arouse any “dependence” or “expactancy” from others

In giving, our desire is merely to empower the other. We want them to “self-soothe,” finding their solace and comfort within themselves. We want to offer what ignites others to reach deep into their own souls, where God alone can be found. To reach to God without depending on, or expecting love or sympathy from another human being. As hard as we may try, inevitably humans will always fail to fulfill one another’s expectations.

This is why we must learn to walk this path with a great amount of detachment, even towards our own kind acts. We want to strengthen the recipients connection to God through our giving. Yet we must also be cautious not to feed their ego by giving rise to unrealistic expectations of us. We give without their awareness, in humility, and in small doses. Naturally, then their souls are nourished, bit by bit.

We do not want to overdose them on unrealistic expectations of our own goodness, and then leave them abandoned and disappointed. So, when we begin to offer, let us persist with regularity and consistency, doing so in all humility.

Only through such “conscious-giving” will we learn how to love. It is through this love that we ourselves will gradually learn how to properly receive. The giving is the receiving. When we learn to receive like a beggar, only then will we understand gratitude. In gratitude we will cultivate the light and the path back home, back to Allah.

 

— Shanti

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