Today I am choosing to let go of expectations. Sounds sort of strange, right?
Expectations have ruled my life for a long time and have been the cause of a lot of let downs. It wasn’t until recently that I figured this out. I constantly find myself expecting things to happen and then they don’t and I feel upset and disappointed. It is easy to set expectations for our jobs, our relationships, and the idea of how our life is “supposed to go”. My whole life I’ve been a planner. Type A personality. Always organizing and planning my life out 10 years in advance. Let’s see, married by 25, first baby by 28, my business off the ground by the time I’m 30 and you can probably see what I mean. I’ve learned that things are never going to go the way that we planned, or expected them to. I am learning every day that life is about the joys that come from the unexpected. Think about all the times you weren’t expecting something. The time that your boyfriend surprised you with flowers, or your best friend sent you an encouraging note in the mail. The time that you worked so hard because you just wanted to do a good job, and were surprised with a promotion. The time that the car in front of you paid for your Starbucks, or maybe even the time that someone you thought you had nothing in common with turned out to be one of the greatest friends you’ve ever had. The beauty in our lives is in the unexpected.
For a long time I’ve created expectations around my relationships, the day I get engaged, my career, my schedule, my friendships and oh so much more. Expectations set us up for let downs, and have the potential to steal our joy. For me, my goal for this year (a little late I know) is to release expectations. Do the best I can, be the most loving I can, appreciate things more and trust that God’s already done all the planning. He knows our hearts and our desires. He loves us more than we can ever comprehend, and sustains us even when our expectations fail. Maybe you set an expectation, and now you’re in a period of waiting. Waiting for days, months, years? Do you feel like you’re waiting for something that’s never going to happen? Maybe you’re waiting for that job, that true love, a baby, a life change, a miracle. Let me give you the best advice that I can, let go of any expectations you have for those things. It is true that we create our own heartbreak by setting these. By holding on so tightly to that picture in our mind of how things are “supposed” to be.
It’s a hard thing to try and do, let me tell you. But if we wake up every morning and choose to let go of that control, be present and let joy find us, we have the chance to truly love the unexpected things that life has to offer.
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