Learning to chill...
I think sometimes when we expect too much from others, we also then expect too much from ourselves, and vice versa. We are under this heavy yoke because our expectations about a particular thing have become our god. We put too much on others to do for us or perform in such a way, and then we also feel guilty pressure for not doing enough ourselves...It just goes hand in hand. Gosh, I know this so well... Often, we expect from others what we ourselves would do (or think we would do ) and forget entirely that other people are different from us, have different personalities, temperaments, strengths, weaknesses and experiences, not to mention things that they are dealing with... They may be in a totally different season than us or called to something totally different... Can't we respect where they're at...? Isn't that what love is all about.
I'm not saying I've conquered this, but Dad (God) has helped me relax so much in this whole expectation area ( and I still have a ways to go... perfectionism is my long time foe and had me by the throat for so long) Letting go is not that easy. It takes trust-- trust that God has got our back and if things don't go as we'd like, or even as they perhaps "ought to", it's really gonna be okay. And Dad is also patient as we are learning to trust him, he doesn't demand trust.... he earns it in time. He wins us over one bit at a time.
I think we learn to "let go" through disappointment after disappointment and heartache. Then we realize we just can't control people nor the outcome of much... in fact the less we demand our way, the better it will fare for all, I do believe.
This all may sound so strange in a way... I mean are all expectations bad? Shouldn't we have some expectations? What about expectations of our children or our very close friends? I think maybe the issue becomes a problem when what we hope for becomes a demand, and we withhold love from others if they don't meet our demands.... or our whole world comes crumbling down because what we thought should have happened, didn't. I see it now. These expectations are demands and gods, idols-- our very peace and happiness depends on them. They always do fail ( as all idols do) so we end up miserable, and so we learn we've placed all our hope in the wrong place... And that's where freedom begins-- in learning to place all our hope on the One who will not disappoint-- because he is love (and that's what we all really need). And in so doing, we will love better too.
I got to thinking of all this while reading Wayne and Clay Jacobsen's Authentic Relationships, a great book, by the way...
They have a great section on expectations, on page 50... I loved this:
"Expectations are resentments waiting to happen. We sabotage many of our relationships by imposing expectations on others or trying to meet theirs. It can not be done. People who live with expectations will never be satisfied. Of course we can still love those who impose their expectations on us, but we will also have to find peace in knowing that we may never be able to love them in the way they demand it."