Friday, December 9, 2016

Expectations: The Theives of Joy

     Expectations; we all have them. We have them about pretty much everything. And that is not a bad thing... necessarily. Expectations can cause us to strive to go above and beyond. They can be exceeded in ways that impress us. However, expectations can steal our joy if not used properly. Think about it. We have expectations about how our day is going to go and if it doesn't go right we get upset. We have expectations about how people will behave and when they don't behave accordingly we get angry or hurt.
     This is something I struggle with alot. Where it manifested itself in a way that caused me to stop and take stock of how my expectations were killing my joy, was in friendships. I had/have expectations of how my friendships should be. If I care this much then shouldn't they care at least that much? If I ask them how they are doing shouldn't they honestly answer and tell me what's going on? Can't we both be comfortable with sharing what is on our hearts and minds? The list goes on. When I feel like the friendship isn't living up to my expectations I am really bent out of shape about it. I second guess myself and them. I feel like somehow our friendship is second best. Here is the deal though, what am I measuring the friendship up against?? The answer is simply my own made up expectations. So it is literally my own fault that I am unhappy.
      When we let go of our expectations for our friendships, days, etc. then we can't be disappointed. We can fully appreciate what we have and take it for what it is. We can't get bent out of shape when our day doesn't go as planned because we had no expectations that it would. People can't disappoint us with what they do when we didn't have a previous expectation for what they were going to do. We can be truly happy in our friendships if we aren't constantly comparing them to the expectation in our mind.
      Now I am not saying, have no expectations for anything anytime. I am merely saying that we need to reevaluate our expectations. Are they reasonable? Are we placing expectations on the right things? Or are we placing them on things that really shouldn't have expectations placed on them?
Don't let unnecessary or misplaced expectations steal the joy from your life. I saw a quote somewhere once that said "Expect less. Love more." and that is how I want to live.

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