Also, the next day one of my morning reflections was titled "Realistic Expectations" and contained many lines which as stuck with me for several days:
"Families can become ghettos of unfulfilled expectations."
Whew...how often do we get caught up in that? The reading went on to say: (In our relationships), "we can expect something that others may not be able to give." (especially if we fail to communicate clearly what it is we expect them to give). My readers had some very insightful comments, so I am bringing a few of them out of the closet...oops...the comment box.
- "I do, and I have been that person. The words speak again to me. Every now and then one needs to be reminded by these very precious reality checks."
- "Yesterday i had some one get offended because my 15 year old walked up to me after working on painting the house for 3 hours and said "Mom, I need some stroking!" and i of course proceeded to OOOO and AHHHH over the great job he had done." (I, lucy, love that this 15 year old feels safe enough to tell his mom just what he needs! No mind reading necessary here! Bravo!!)
- "I don't know where we all got the notion that we could read minds because none of us ever COULD!!! Walking into a situation when one believes they are telling the truth in love might be tested on a mirror or wall prior to presenting one's thoughts that, oh by the way, carry years of pent up anger, regret, and resentment to an unsuspecting scapegoat - a friend, a parent, a sib, a spouse.
Lord, help us to measure our own inner selves, our motives, our real expectations before we unleash what is hard to take back just because our lives have become unmanageable in living with all of our disappointments and/or bad mindreading habits."
- "In my own life (and really, from what other place can I write), I'm most guilty of this with the people closest to me--and that's where it can be so especially damaging. After years of togetherness, it's easy to take for granted that we know, or they know, when in reality, we're all changing every day...this makes me realize that I should be checking in every day--questioning, listening, learning..."
In closing here is the rest of "Realistic Expectations":
"Nouwen warns us against "expecting from a friend what only Christ can give."
A second issue is to look at our motives for service. All too frequently we give in order to get.
Finally, we need to realize that one of the greatest gifts we can give to others is the gift of freedom, where we allow the other person to take the responsibility for his or her own responses, choices and future." from Dare to Journey with Henri Nouwen
I would love to hear more of what you have to say!
Please note: the accompanying cartoon was lovingly sent to me by a dear family member ☺. Click on the image for a closer view.