Getting on the soap box this morning.
Recently I've heard a lot about lowering expectations and not being disappointed. Really? Life is full of disappointments. Experiencing them is how we progress and grow as individuals. Emotional pain and physical pain are part of life. Of course, we all experience these pains in different levels at different times, but our reaction and responses determine the outcome. Our attitude makes or breaks us in those critical times. I've had my own struggles but I've observed others in worse situations and am in absolute awe over the differences in response. I have one friend who has been at death's door physically many times and is currently in the hospital in more pain than I think I could bear, but she remains positive - - - not in denial of her condition, but faithful that 'win or lose' she wins! She has never lowered her expectations of herself and even when frequently hospitalized continues to push forward. Some may call that 'putting on a happy face for those around' but I call it an attitude of gratitude.
In my humble opinion, lowering your expectations is akin to lowering your standards to a certain extent. Lowering your expectations of yourself will likely maintain the status quo, if that's where you want to remain. I totally understand the 'expectations vs. reality' thing. This is my world. I know what it takes to get out of bed everyday. To struggle with pain. To struggle with financial obligations. To struggle with attitudes. I was always taught that to reach for the stars you've sometimes gotta reach through the clouds. If my husband and I had lowered our expectations of ourselves or our daughters where might we/they be today? Tomorrow?
Lowering expectations for ourselves, our children, our friends, our neighbors, our government may bring us fewer disappointments in the short run .... but I'm in for the long haul. And in my experience, expecting more from others instills a sense of hope, an "I can do this" attitude ... though sometimes the rebellion may come first. I've heard "I don't need to live up to your expectations and don't expect you to live up to mine" and that's okay with me. I don't expect anyone to live up to my expectations. I struggle enough with myself. But if I'm paying you to do a task, I expect. If I'm responsible for your well being, I expect. If you've made a commitment, I expect. I expect what I've always expected. I expect you to do your best. We all fall short from time to time. But lowering your expectations because of bad experiences or the sheer exhaustion of 'dealing with it' .... well, I hope it's temporary. Tomorrow will still come.
Setting and reaching goals is a good way to raise your personal expectations! I'm sure God expects more from us, why should we expect less?