Wouldn’t you say that it’s quite normal to “expect” things from people in general? It sure feels that way. We are taught to be kind, to love, to be & do this or that – & that we all deserve the same in kind. But we all fail. We all fall short.
And that’s where the sh*t hits the proverbial fan.
I will be transparent briefly here so maybe you’ll lend yourself & someone else some grace & not berate either too badly.
I lived for many, many years swimming around in a huge pond of expectation. And I swam & I swam, & I swam. And I suck at swimming. I can dog-paddle & tread water – float on my back & splash around but that’s about it. OK, I digress.
Anyway – thusly I stayed anxious & tired most of the time. I suffered from headaches- bad ones – constantly & was overweight. I swung high & low in a bi-polarish dance. And I’m not a good dancer either. Now I could pull it together when I needed to, & the core of who God made me to be personality & heart-wise still shone through enough – but I was still a mess, nonetheless. I was on an anti-depressant for about 3 years – it helped (Thank God for it) but eventually it stopped working. That’s when I finally broke down & started seeking counsel on a regular basis. That led me to another multi-year journey of self-discovery & a LOT of mirror-gazing. What I saw was not pretty but it was freeing and the layers of ugly started slowly getting peeled away. Hallelujah. Sorry, I digress again.
So anyway – I had my idea of the perfect child/marriage/relationship-thing all tied up in a pretty little box. And I dared anyone to get near it or try to change it into anything different. Boy was I fighting a losing battle. Had I seen the things coming down the pipe/pike (you choose) that I had no idea were coming -in extreme contrast to those expectations – I might have offed myself right then & there. Seriously. Because eventually all of my expectations got blown to smithereens. What was in my immediate sphere of influence that I held so dear was stripped from me. Through all of it I have never felt so naked & exposed in all my life.
I am so grateful that I believe in the God that I do. He is a restorer, a Savior in every sense of the word, a healer, a repairer of the worst of breaches. He sees far beyond where we can and never, ever wearies in helping us along. Through each new season of growth in our lives – it’s like being tiny again. Holding on to Daddy’s finger & learning to walk. And we take that first step & His voice bellows & He cheers us on to take another. And another. What is so beautiful is that when we fall, He doesn’t scold us or tell us what a failure we are – no. He encourages & lifts & builds us up – teaching us tirelessly until we get it. And those a-ha moments – Oh my God – those are priceless. They scream freedom – finally. The freedom that comes from God peeling the onion of our souls – that place where we hide & where we live from. Layer by painful, shameful, fearful layer. Cleaning it up & almost re-birthing it again. And again. That’s what I believe the phrase “From glory to glory” means.
I say all of that to say:
I have learned through (so) many mistakes & pains, sorrows & grievings like I have never grieved before in my life that I must let people be who they are. I must lay down my own agendas & certainly my gavel. I must accept people for who they are if I ever want to truly exemplify God’s love to them. I must let go of my expectations if I want to continue to build peace in my life & actually enjoy the journey. I must. Period.
I pray & hope with all my heart that this root that has taken up residence in me grows. And grows. And grows.
I realize this topic could have taken up a lot more space on this blog today & in your head as you read. It’s a wide one. And I only grazed the surface. But I do hope that I have left you with something to ponder. Don’t get all caught up in the “Well he should or she should or they shoulds” – just focus on “I should”. Focus on trying to eek out a little letting-go of your own expectations. To try to let people be more who they are – even yourself.
Be authentic – live your truth & don’t masquerade that you are something you are not – just to be what you think someone else expects you to be. Only be that- whatever that thing is – if you know you need to. It has to start with you – or no real change will ever come. Self-acknowledgement is the first step. If you stay in that game of pretending you’ll wind up hating them & yourself. If you are in a marriage of unmet expectations & are ready to walk out – please don’t – not yet. Seek sound counsel. Dig deep & really look inside. Of YOU. Let your partner do their own evaluation – you’ll just botch things up if you try to change them, trust me. I built that factory & burned it to the ground. Love is worth salvage. More than anything else on earth. Anything else.
Here is to letting expectation go – to the freedom that follows & all the glories in between.
Much Big Beautiful Life-Worth-Living y’all,