Topics related to AA Meetings - and alcohol addiction recovery
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Postby sunlight » Sun Apr 05, 2009 8:25 pm

My sponsor and I were talking about how we used to hear the topic of "Expectations" in meetings a lot and now we don't anymore.

Please share your experience on this.

Are expectations unrealistic? Am I just setting myself up for disappointment & resentment?
Or are they a natural human tendency, especially in the area of promises & commitments?

Thanks for letting me expect! :lol:

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Postby ROBERT » Mon Apr 06, 2009 12:37 am

great topic....my experience has been the only promises and or commitments that are important are the ones i make..or break---in the family area i had a difficult time,until a dear friend,and fellow A.A.pointed out i had unreasonalble demands that i expected from them,so i was dissapointed alot -until i let go of the "OLD IDEAS"--quit making demands on the family and others,i had very little peace of mind...the process was difficult--but with the awareness of the problem (step 1) a desire to get well (step 2) and the commitment to get there (step 3) i took the action, prayed alot--one day i realized God was doing for me---again. Today i have very little,almost no expectations-when i catch my wonderfully imaginative mind going there,i intuitivlely know it's happening,and the discipline from working the program restores my sanity!So they aren't as much unrealistic,because they happen-but for me they have the power to rob me of my peace of mind,if i'm not reasonable,what i expect will become my reality..........great topic sunlight..thanks-----ROBERT
Last edited by ROBERT on Mon Apr 06, 2009 7:46 am, edited 3 times in total.

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Postby Dallas » Mon Apr 06, 2009 3:19 am

I'm not sure if I should post on this one or not. My ideas may be a little strange to some AA's.

There is a difference in Expectations and Demands.

And, there are realistic and unrealistic expectations.

If I think I can jump off the top of a tall building... and grow wings on the way down... Well, that's probably unrealistic... Unless... I'm dreaming or meditating. So, that means... semantics are important.

Fxpectation is much like Faith.

Expectation is a power. It's required for anything that we decide to do.

Example: We wouldn't get up and turn on a water faucet if we didn't expect that water would come out. We wouldn't turn the handle... if we didn't have faith... to get up out of the chair and walk to the kitchen, and believe that water would come out... if we turned the handle.

I didn't believe nor did I expect that AA would work for me. For me... as far as I was concerned (and probably in agreement with many who knew me)... the expectation of staying sober... was unrealistic. And, it was an unrealistic expectation (so, I thought)... that AA would work for me.

However, I decided to do it anyway. The work. Even though I didn't believe it or expect it. What else was I going to do?

Faith comes as a result of taking actions... and we "come to believe"... as a result of our experience.... and, suddenly... we have faith.

I read somewhere... that Faith is the substance of things hoped for... the evidence of things not seen.

I hoped AA would work for me... but, to me, it was unrealistic to believe that it would.

Guess what? I'm still sober since November 14th, 1986... and AA worked and is still working for me.

I now have the faith in AA. I even have some faith in myself... because it was me that decided to do the work... and I did it.

I know what to EXPECT. If I do the work... I'll get what the work produces... and if I stop doing the work... I'll pick up a drink automatically. That's alcoholism. The inability to leave alcohol alone. So, I have to keep taking actions... and those actions keep me sober.

Expectation is a good thing... provided... that the expectation does not violate the laws of God or the rights of individuals.

Faith is the same way.... it's a good thing... provided that it does not violate the laws of God or the rights of other people.

Faith is a power... Like a higher power. A force.

Expectation is a power... Like a higher power. A force.

Electricity is a power... Like a higher power. A force.

I can use the electricity to fry my bacon... or I can use or miss-use it and fry my butt!

The bottom line? Expecation, like faith, and electricity... is only safe to use... when a reasonable degree of sanity is included by the user. :lol: :lol: :lol:


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Postby ROBERT » Mon Apr 06, 2009 7:33 am

Can a DEMAND happen internally??? THINK-THINK-THINK. LUV YA'S..........ROBERT

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Postby sunlight » Mon Apr 06, 2009 10:10 am


I love it! :lol:

And I expected spell check to take away all the giggles!! :wink:

Thanks for making my day. And for expanding our minds about expectations.

There's a lesson here, but I'm laughing too hard to think of it. :lol:
Last edited by sunlight on Mon Apr 06, 2009 11:18 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Postby Tim » Mon Apr 06, 2009 12:17 pm

Here are some examples of expectation and expect used in sentences. Some expectations are reasonable, some unreasonable, some are errors in perception. ( "You see, Watson, but you do not perceive." Sherlock Holmes) In some quotes, like the Chesterton's aphorism, it can be implied that he is speaking of false expectations.

"Expect a miracle!" (TV evangelist)

"Blessed is the man with no expectations, for everything shall make him happy" (G K Chesterton)

"I except you to be in by midnight" (Parent to daughter going out on Friday night)

"I expected when we got married that you would be different than you are" (Wife to husband in marriage counseling session)

"I expect a 10% annual return on my investment." (Statement to financial advisor). "I can promise you that" (Financial advisor who is running a Ponzi scheme)

"Countless alcoholics before you have worked the 12 Steps and achieved contented sobriety. You can expect the same based on their experience." (Sponsor to sponsee).

"I expect that it will not snow this summer in Tucson" (Arizona resident to friend, who is puzzled at her friend for stating the obvious)

"I expect that if I attend class and study diligently I will get a good grade in math" (College student)

"Expectations are pre-meditated resentments"

"If I expect little of myself, I will achieve little."

"I did not expect that God would love me unconditionally. Now I know that He does."

"I thought my job would last until I retired. Never did I expect that I would lose my job when the bank went bankrupt. " (Worker who has just lost her job)

"And in your prayer do not make use of the same words again and again, as the Gentiles ... for they expect to be listened to because of their multitude of words." (Matthew 6:7).

"A thing long expected takes the form of the unexpected when at last it comes." Mark Twain

"Expecting the world to treat you fairly
because you are a good person
is a little like expecting the bull not to attack you
because you are a vegetarian." Dennis Wholey

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Postby GeoffS » Mon Apr 06, 2009 6:15 pm

Unhappiness is best defined as the difference between our talents and our expectations. ---Edward De Bono

I guess it means if we put in the actions we can we will get what those actions will lead to. If we don't put in yet expect the results, we end up unhappy.

When I was drinking my actions fell way short of my expectations from life and from others.

I guess back then happiness was too much to expect...

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Postby Dallas » Tue Apr 07, 2009 1:53 pm


Did I write that??? :lol: :lol:

I guess you can tell that the super duper browser with spell check isn't working out real well for me. :lol: :lol:

Gee. And, I went back and corrected some errors that I noticed... just to miss the biggest one! :lol:

That happens though. I put things where I'll remember where they are and easy for me to find when I need them... Guess what? I put them in places that are so easy to remember... that I forget where it was!!! :lol: :lol:

Well. What can I say. "They say"... that losing your memory is the second of the greatest losses in life that we guys experience! :lol: :lol:

And, I'll Fx to that!!!


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Postby sunlight » Tue Apr 07, 2009 6:10 pm

Fxpectations is so right!

You really hit it this time. It's kind of spooky.

Yesterday I was informed that my position at work was being "eliminated". :( The reasoning behind it did not make sense, & I questioned it, but the response was vague.

Did I expect it? No. But then, I am optimistic to where it becomes wishful thinking.
Did I suspect it? Yep.

I knew my new boss had it in for me the likes of which I've never seen before. It crossed way over into insanity. I had done much step work on it & I've posted elsewhere the inventories I've done to root out my defects that may have been causing her to hate me. :twisted: I had changed my thinking & actions & did my best to be at peace. And I was, but she never let up. And I was even ok with that, accepting that she wasn't going to change, but that didn't mean I had to be miserable.

It made it worse. She seem so threatened by me. I couldn't understand it because I never wanted her job. But she must have wanted mine.

The surprising thing to me was, when I was being told that my position was eliminated, how serene I felt. And my first thought was, "This is God."

The first thing I did when I left, was call my sponsor. The next thing was to go to a women's meeting with her. Gratitude for sobriety filled me to overflowing!

My sponsor & I talked for hours. She said the problem with the boss was that there was no solution. And I remember very well how it was living with no solution for my alcoholism. Hell. AA gave me a solution that restored my sanity.

It's rare for me to quit a job (dang! is that another defect?) & I probably would have hung on trying to blot out the intolerable situation as best I could. I think God did for me what I couldn't do for myself - find a solution that would restore me to sanity.

Hi Robert!
Yes, I think demands can happen internally. But, they manifest themselves eventually, usually in passive-aggressive ways. That's my cue to get busy on the housecleaning! Unless my house is clean on the inside - all those hidden crannies - it's going to show up on the outside.

Yep, I still can't find some of the things that I put in a "safe place"! But it's always a nice surprise when I do. :D

Thanks for letting me FX!!! :lol:

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Postby Dallas » Thu Apr 09, 2009 10:17 am

Here is one of my positive expectations:
"Within every problem -- there is the seed of an equivalent or greater benefit or opportunity."

I believe in that expectation because of my experience with it. I've learned through my experiences that in every problem or hardship that I've experienced... if I look closely, I can find the seed of the equivalent or greater opportunity or benefit.

You might want to check it out.

Make a quick little inventory of past problems. Don't dwell on morbid stuff. But, look to see... if there wasn't something in it... that led you to something better or greater than you had before.

It's not always easy to see until you become an experienced explorer! But, if you look... you'll find it.


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