The trappings of expectations


Have you ever had someone give you advice and it seemed so simple at the time and then hit you with a wallup much later?

I had such an experience recently and it has changed my outlook to such a degree that I can only assume it was an act of divine intervention table cloth yanking. It was a veil of resentment lifted to free myself. I do believe that when you pray for delivery from damaging thought patterns, it is possible that God comes through and seemingly out of no where you are released…like a group of people on the losing end of tug-a-war…except this time you win. You are washed over with something you never thought would show up.

The advice that I got?

It came from a dear freind who knows me well….knows my struggles with disappointment and frustration with certain folks in my life. At a high school football game where we were using the stands for a chat-fest rather than spectating, she smiled and listened to my mess. After a minute, she cocked her head to the side (wise sage that she is) and said:

“You need to not have any expectations of this person.”

I squinted my eyes, as if someone had put a very complicated calculus problem on the board…huh?

I barely remember much more of the evening. These words drifted in and out of my head for days and then POOF! they settled like sediment in the darkest corners of my heart. There was relief. What’s that old saying? “Having resentment toward someone is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die” ?  Yup. ‘Pretty weary of this experience and I prayed for peace and delivery from it daily. I realized the history of my childhood does not dictate anything about how these present days will go, especially if I continue on the course of trying to provide the most stable home I can. It’s been the quest since my kids were born and I am missing the success we’re having by dwelling on what wasn’t so many years ago.

Never before had the words LET IT GO meant so much. This friend thankfully triggered the wires to intersect–the same wires that were frayed and damaged. It was the strangest thing…I just decided to do something crazy…

Love people for who they are right now.

Yes, there may be consequences with my kids with lack of action on their part, but it isn’t my responsiblity. The only job I have is to love , extend my hands and when it’s needed, ask for what I need. Even if my needs aren’t fulfilled, I will love them anyway and go about my life. I think that’s what we’re asked to do—extend grace toward others because it’s so freely given to us. I will admit with a heavy heart that sometimes those closest to me have not been recipients of this grace. I recognize it and I am willing to do my best to reverse it. YET, I do think it also involves not being a martyr. People need to ask for what they want from others—and not freak out when the needs aren’t met. That is the time to move forward with your own happenings with the door kept open for a change of heart in your loved ones. We’re not just talking about a shoe-in-the-door either, but a wide-open-to-the-wall entrance that may or may not let in a little wind and rain.

I do feel  that this new outlook is a gift because I feel physically lighter. There is so much to be thankful for. So many wonderful experiences to be had. Tonight there was a moment when PH and I teetered on the edge of a complaint sharing hill, but we backed it up and ended up planning a family trip instead. I realized that so much time has been spent wallowing in the disappointments that we allow to take center stage. There is behavior that might never change from people in our lives. We change the dance–we get to decide what feelings pitch a tent in our minds. I’m clearing away the ramshackle dwellings that have made a small village in mine for so much time now. There’s a very busy rebuilding plan that involves the best kind of thoughts and feelings going on for me.

I’m asking them to stay.


Do you have expectations of people in your life that you know will never be fulfilled?

Why not release them and set yourself free in the process?

Happy week, lovelies~




P.S. Winner of the fab Sassy Apron revealed on Wednesday!

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6 Responses to The trappings of expectations

  1. Thank you for the wonderful reminders that I learned in 12 step work. I recently took a step back on the recovery trail and decided to be me and let others be themselves. When I try to be who I think “they” want me to be I get really confused and confuse others because they do not know me. Being who God created me to be is #1 priority on my list and I am taking that one step at a time.

    Thank you for the post and sharing your thoughts and feelings.

  2. Elise says:

    Dear Lara,

    Your beautiful post came this morning to my e-post, with perfect timing.
    Love &Thanks,

  3. Holly says:

    So beautiful, your work Lara. I do feel it is all about loving. As Rumi says, Everything is about loving or not loving. Accepting people where they are is such a wonderful channel of divine grace.

  4. Erin says:

    Thank you so much for this post. I needed to read it!!

  5. Anna says:

    I was just telling this myself over Thanksgiving. I actually had to say to myself, “I release my expectations and what I want in this situation. So freeing, s powerful!

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