Not-So-Great Expectations

 Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful. – Luke 6:36

Like most of my friends and family know, I have a lot of ~issues~ (with society and other people), so it’s no great surprise that I have a lot of expectations. Most of the time they serve me well and ensure that my needs are met and motivate me to do my best, but taken too far, they can be really harmful.

This past year, I’ve realized just how hard on myself I am. I expect myself to succeed in my classes, have a decent robotics season, be mentally sound, be spiritually well, have certain types of friendships, I even expect myself to have semi-clear skin. These expectations have mostly served me well in terms of motivation and having standards, but I rarely cut myself the slack I need to achieve these things and ultimately function. Having a “normal”, “perfect” life is so incredibly unreasonable, and I’ve been learning how to afford myself some grace, after all, that’s what God does (see Luke 6:36 above).

Sure, I don’t always get my homework done on time, the robot breaks down just about every week, I still get panic attacks, I doubt God, I don’t have/can’t handle a ton of close friends, and I have very little control over my skin, but I still get by and do well most of the time, and I guess that’s “good enough” for me.

Unfortunately, this idea of cutting myself slack has not exactly translated to other people. I put a lot of expectations on others around me. I get really frustrated when they don’t react a certain way, express love/appreciation when I want them to, change the moment I express hurt, or just generally don’t read my mind. Again, these are all so grossly unreasonable and are rarely met, which leads to a lot of disappointment and bitterness. When any expectation isn’t met, I tend to make assumptions and judgments about the person that almost always boil down to “they don’t care about me,” which, now that I think about it, is very untrue in almost any situation. Nonetheless, I am often let-down, and get easily irritable, frustrated, disappointed, and hurt.

By writing this, I’m not at all asking people to change to meet my gross expectations. I am creating my own problems. I need to afford those around me the grace that God has afforded me. I need to express when I feel hurt, ignored, not cared for, or when my needs are not being met, or else I will forever be a person with lots of ~issues~ (which, I have to admit, is very exhausting).

Since this is New Year’s Resolution-making season, I guess my goal for 2017 is to speak up when my needs are not met. I have a lot of fears (go figure), but the biggest one is that I won’t be taken seriously; however, I can’t make that assumption without giving you all a chance. Here goes nothing!

To a new year of faith, growth, and perseverance!

With love,
Emma

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