Upon reflection I realize the biggest lesson I have learned in 2006 is that expectations often lead to let downs…..
Some people will think that is a very bitter or jaded thing to say. Let me elaborate, I am not saying that you shouldn’t have high expectation. By all means reach for the stars and believe in your dreams but don’t condemn others for not living up to your expectations.
I have much experience in lets downs and I have been on both the giving and receiving ends. This year, in my quest to be my authentic self I have felt the sting of judgment from those who don’t agree with or understand my choices. I have struggled with the urge to simply shut out those who cannot accept me. It seems like a logical response right? If they cannot accept you then don’t associate your self with them. If you are only looking at one side of the story it is an accepted response.
When I stopped to think about why others were judging me or were angry with me I discovered that they simply were not getting what they had expected to get from me and they were having trouble accepting that.
Expectations are natural and they can often lead to let downs if you are only willing to settle for what you think you should get. When I first moved away from my family and friends I expected everyone to try and keep in touch. I tried to write letters to friends, I called people but I never felt I was getting the response I wanted in return. Some people reciprocated my efforts to keep in touch but others simply did not. I felt let down and I was disappointed in people for this. My first reaction was to get angry with them and I did this for several months.
When the tables turned I began to feel what I was causing others to feel when they disappointed me. Some friends wanted to be closer than I had time for, some family members were confused by my actions and thoughts and they became angry with me and began to judge me because I wasn’t living up to their expectations. I was appalled and angered by their lack of acceptance. Why couldn’t people understand where I was coming from?
Then I realized that I was getting a taste of my own medicine and I learned that is was not fair to expect others to be who you want them to be. Everyone should be free to be who they are. Those who are true friends (even when they are disappointed or hurt) will try to accept the choices and actions despite their own expectations or opinions.
My best friend helped me learn to be accepting even when I don’t agree and I also got to practice being accepting this Christmas with family.
So to complete my sentence:
The biggest lesson I have learned in 2006 is that expectations often lead to let downs and we should all try to be more accepting of one another regardless of what we expect.
What is the biggest lesson you learned in 2006??