In my 30’s, I was told to let go of expectations from others. I remember feeling confused. Really? How could you be in relationship with someone without having any expectations; be it friend, romantic, family, or business? I pondered this for days. I will say this had me for a loop.
Fast forward to more maturity. I understand. To let go of the expectations from others not only put me in a place to focus on meeting my own needs but also changed my perspective of others. As we age, we should come to understand that life happens. When you are expecting something from another person and it doesn’t happen, it leads to disappointment, frustration, anger, etc.
As I thought about this, anything could have happened to that person before their obligation to you could be met. While the initial conversation seemed like reality, now that particular reality cannot be met by the the other person due to grief, loss, medical issues, mental illness and so on. Anything could have transpired that you know nothing about and caused the other person to be unable to meet those expectations.
What am I saying? The only One to truly meet our expectations is God and that is on His terms, not ours. “My thoughts are not your thoughts and My ways are not your ways.” What I see, and truly my perspective, is that we live in an entitled culture whether the expectations are of God or others. I see a need to evaluate ourselves and look at how feasible those expectations are from others. When I look at the magnitude of disappointment, anger and frustration of many, it lets me know we need to change our perspective.
In any given moment, an unmet expectation can cause extreme emotional stress. Hence, the manifestation of mental and emotional anguish. As well, increased stress that can lead to chronic issues. What are you looking for from others that you cannot give yourself? Love? Attention? Validation? God gives us all of these, freely! When you stop trusting in man to meet the needs many are not equipped to provide, and receive the free gift from God, things will change for you.
Love – John 3:16 – “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life.”
Attention – 1 Samuel 2:30 – “Therefore, the Lord, the God of Israel declares: “I promised that your house and the house of your Father should go in and out before me forever, but now the Lord declares: ‘Far be it from me, for those who honor Me I will honor, and those who despise Me shall be lightly esteemed.”
Validation – Psalm 139:13-14 – 13) “For you formed my inward parts; you knittted me together in my mother’s womb. 14) I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.”
My expectations are in God and He keeps His promises. – Psalm 18:30 – This God-His way is perfect; the word of the Lord proves true; He is a shield for all those who take refuge in Him.”