Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Unmet expectations birth frustration

This is the season for high expectations, isn't it? Visions of a Rockwellian Christmas. The perfect family having the perfect meal and giving the perfect gifts, everything going smoothly and not an unkind word to be heard. All expectations met. Everyone happy. Right?

But it isn't that way, really. For many, this season is not at all pleasant, as I said in a recent blog. And for others, it may be a wonderful season but still include some (or several) unmet expectations.

I recently heard someone say, "All frustrations are birthed from unmet expectations." Yes, that is true. Try as we might, we can't completely refrain from hoping for things—from having expectations of how things will be, what people will do, what a situation will be like for us and so on. It's human nature. Nor should we. Hope is a good thing.

It's just a good time to remind ourselves that things don't always go as planned. We don't always get everything we want. Not everyone performs up to our expectations. We don't even perform up to our own expectations! It's a good time to inject some realism into our expectations.

And it is a season for grace, forgiveness and a little more of the saying, "It is what it is." I'm saying this to myself, too, as I often am wont to have idealistic and high expectations of how things will be. So let's allow for a few unmet expectations in this season. And have a care for those who are really depressed during this season, too. If you are one of those people, be gentle with yourself and plan things that do make you happy.

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