When Expectations Don’t Happen

LIFE'S ESSENCE - Katherine R. Oyson (The Freeman) - January 22, 2020 - 12:00am

In life we have too many expectations. When these expectations don’t happen it can create a trauma in our inner being which leads to unhappiness, frustration, pain, and even fear to make any commitment, especially in a relationships.

It’s like what happened to the friend of my late husband. On his wedding day, his bride didn’t show up. Upon inquiring, a relative informed him that his bride flew out of the country with another man. His father collapsed upon knowing the truth, which led to his untimely death. His trauma made him decide not to trust and love women again.

But as the old adage goers: “Time heals all wounds.” He has met a woman deserving of his love. They have been happily married even in their sunset years now.

Expectations can be devastating if you ‘put your eggs in one basket’, so to speak. On my end, I have learned that I should not expect too much and have some reservations, and place everything in God’s hand. When things won’t happen as I expect, I always remind myself that everything that happen in this world is controlled by God. And when my plans would not be carried out as I expect it to be, I always remind myself of Jeremiah 29. 11: “‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future’.”

Asley Fernof of elitedaily.com comments, “We all have expectations in our lives, what we want out of life and who we want to become. I believe one of the keys to happiness lies within the management of your expectations of people and circumstances. If you do not have expectations, you can never be disappointed. Often we tend to believe that the way we treat others will be the way we are to be treated in return. But, unfortunately, this does not always happen. You need to make sure you enter into a relationship with someone who has a big heart as you do. If you do not, you may feel as if you are being taken advantage of or are being shortchanged.

There are ways to manage our expectations. Fernof shares the following tips:

• There are two ways to be happy – improve your reality or lower your expectations. Having realistic expectations will allow you to accept the flaws that each person has. We need to learn  how to take responsibility for our own lives and our own decisions before we can expect others to do the same.

• One of the biggest challenges we face in life is learning to accept people for who they truly are. Once you realize that your expectations cannot change people, the better off you will be.

• Give without expectation, accept without reservation, and love without hesitation. Unrealistic expectations will, can and most often do lead to disappointment. Too many people are obsessed with finding the perfect career or the perfect spouse, and as a result become increasingly frustrated when this does not pan out.

An unfortunate pitfall of having high expectations in certain circumstances is that it prevent us from enjoying the experience altogether. If you feel this way in your life, you need to readjust your expectations. Do not expect things out of the situation; just go into them with an open mind. This will allow you to fully immerse yourself without the pressure of living up to preconceived notions.

• Expect the unexpected, believe in the unbelievable, and achieve the unachievable. Disappointments can come from trying to get a person to change; if the person does not change, the anger towards that person causing the disappointment increases. It’s not fair because the fault lies with you for putting such pressure on the person.    

There is a paradoxical issue when it comes to this. If you have high expectations, you can end up disappointed; but if you don’t have expectations, you may not try as hard as you could in order to accomplish a goal.

• Expectation is the root of all heartache.  Expect what you can reach and be aware of the fact that sometimes life throws you a curve ball. Try to remain confident while maintaining positive aspirations. Just remember not to make these aspirations so high that they are impractical or unreachable.

Acceptance is an amazing trait that needs to be actively worked toward. When things do not work out the way we had planned, it’s better to realize that that’s how life works rather than becoming frustrated at the situation. Have hope rather than expectations and you will tend not to be as disappointed.                                  


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