Saturday, January 17, 2009

Expectations, expectations, expectations

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."

19 comments:

Amy said...

Manuela,
Wonderful post, my friend. Indeed, I too have found that expectations (as Wayne so beautifully says, too) are disappointments waiting to happen. For far too long, I lived (and it's an on-going process to let go of them) with expectations, placed upon everything in life, especially relationships.

It's truly Father's work IN my heart that He's helping me to live without them. It's definitely a process, but I am finding so much more joy, life, acceptance and genuine "okay-ness" in areas of m life. It's baby-steps.

Again, great post!

Blessings,
~Amy :)

wanting more said...

Just stopping in to say hello...my husband and kids are at church!!! My daughter is wearing her pajamas under a dress-up outfit from India. She really wanted to go to see her little friend...
I have a crazy eye infection and cannot see very well...and yes. I'm on the computer. Imagine that. Hopefully you can read this!
Anyway, I love Anias Nin...and like your quote below.

Manuela said...

Hey Amy! thanks for sharing and your feedback... It is excellent to feel we can release stuff to Dad because our trust in him is growing...yeah, bit by bit :)

Manuela said...

Kari,
hey! and sorry about your eye! My eyes are fine so I could read your comment :) hehe
I bet your daughter looked adorable...you oughta post a picture of her
...that Anais quote is pretty deep.
well, hope you got some rest, prayers and love

Manuela said...

Kari, sorry about my dumb joke above...!
I really do hope your eyes heal soon!! :)

wanting more said...

I thought it was funny, Manuela! My eye is actually better...guess I won't be sleeping in my contacts any time soon again.

Nicole said...

Manu!

I am so glad you are reading A.R.
That is such a great book! I too am learning how to let go of expectations in relationships! Sometimes I think that when I put an expectation apon myself, I secretly, (without telling) the other people that the same expectation is on them as well. I don't even realize when I do this until something breaks that expectation, then I notice that I wasn't just expecting myself to follow through but the other person as well! It's time for me I know to lay down those expectations and pick up freedom... Its a tough thing to learn, but well worth the journey. Thank you for sharing this post! It did make me think, a lot!

Love you!

Kent said...

Manuela, this post is just bursting with the wastefulness of Papa's grace.

katie said...

Hi Manuela,
thanks for sharing your post, i am also learning this (slowly! :)) and it was so encouraging to read your post. it is so nice to know there are others out there on this journey :)
love Katie

SEM said...

That sounds like a great book. I'm going to look it up. I'm so happy to reconnect with you Manuela!!

lionwoman said...

Manuela, thanks for sharing this link on sheddingreligion. To be free of expectations from others would be a freeing thing indeed. I think I've made maybe 20% progress on this LOL. Thanks also for reminding me, I need to re-read AR. Great post!

Manuela said...

thanks for the feedback and sharing y'all :)

Hey Sarah! you can get the book, Authentic Relationships, by going on the God Journey website (link is on my sidebar...) Wayne Jacobsen has a lot of great books...

Nice to have you by, Katie and lionwoman :)!

Sue said...

I missed this when you posted it ... I think we were chatting at the time :)

This is so great. It's amazing how you can start to see this kind of grace and then wham, the pressures come down and you realise that you're expecting your little heart out again.

Papa, help! :)

Ruth said...

That sounds like a great book. "expectations are resentments waiting to happen". Those are wise words.
It seems most of my resentments from expectations come from what people don't do rather than what they do. I find if I look at their heart rather than actions I don't judge them so harshly. And I hope that people do the same for me.

As the bible says - make allowances for one another. I really have to remember that a lot.

Manuela said...

yup Sue, uh-huh

There is a balance I think, because if we don't hope for good things to happen at all, then we just become morbid and inhuman...?
It think it's bad when it's more an issue of trying to control stuff and becoming demanding about things...

Hey Ruth : ) nice to have ya by...
Yeah, if we know people truly mean well, it does help a lot :)
Plus we all blow it sometimes without even meaning to...

Lisa said...

Oh my goodness, I saved this link 2 months ago, I was actually reading "Authentic Relationships" then, and expecting too much of myself is an idea that was proposed to me last week! This is probably God's timing for me reading this! Wow, so many relatable things. Great post, it has given me things to think and pray about.

Lisa said...

Additionally, two months ago I looked for verses about having expectations of others. Luke 6:34-35 was practically all I found, and it speaks negatively of expecting!

Manuela said...

Lisa, Thanks for the comments and sorry for the delay in posting them.

I never thought of the verses in Luke you shared in relation to expectations... Good ones.
Even though I wrote this post a while back it's good for me to rethink these things. And yeah, Authentic Relationships is a great book. I take it you've probably been to the God journey website, I really like Wayne Jacobsen...

Grace and Peace,
Manuela

Lisa said...

I had not been to their website, thanks for the tip! I check it out more thoroughly when I get a chance. =)