Expect nothing and the whole world is open to you.
Many years ago I found this quote and put it where I could see it every day. I knew that as long as I held on to my expectation that I would not get any weaker, I was keeping myself from accepting what was to be and maybe even setting myself up for disappointment.
I stopped saying the words should, would, and could, which all make assumptions that life might in some way be different. Think about the context in which you say those words and how useless it is to say them. For example, “I should have stayed calm and not gotten angry’” – well, guess what? Too late now – better to take note it so you can remember to take a deep breath next time. Or “I would hike the Appalachian Trail if I could walk” – what good does it do you to wish for something you can’t have? Better to spend your time being grateful for what you can do than bemoaning the fact that you can’t go hiking.
When I stopped working and applied for disability, it was the end of my life as I knew it, but it was far from being the bad situation I had envisioned. In some ways it was a blessing – I stopped pushing myself too hard and I had a lot of time to pursue my hobbies. More important, though, it put me on a more spiritual path because I had time to read, think, and meditate. This in turn, fueled my creativity so that I began designing crochet patterns. Fun!