Looking at her youth and beauty it's hard for me to imagine her having any unmet or unrealistic expectations .
Yet at her age I did. And I still do.
It's amazing how much time and energy I've spent on unrealistic expectations of myself and others - and some of these never seem to change.
Like expecting friends, family, or a boy friend or husband to always understand me - without my having to give explanations, of course.
"You love me, don't you? Then why can't you just - understand what I need?" I cry at my poor innocent husband.
"But - you didn't explain it to me!" is his invariable response. And of course I hadn't told him. My only defense is that, many years after I first said that to him, I say it less often because now I try to take the time to explain my woman's way of thinking to him, which will always remain a mystery to males.
I also am trying to let go of unrealistic expectations of myself. All my life I've tortured myself with the "shoulds" - you should do this more often and you should do that less often.
Today I try to look at my whole self, body, mind, emotions, and soul, and realistically decide what, given the current circumstances, I can do. Or not do. "Should" means I'm not looking at who I really am or what my circumstances really are. Instead I'm looking at who I think I should be. Sometimes I'm even thinking about what I "should " do to be holy.
But, I need to live as the person God made me to be. My house will never be as neat as I think it should be, for example. But I like my level of comfortable clutter. That's who I am. And holiness is not some big, generic attribute. Holiness for me depends on who I am and what my life is.
I also have to let go of others' unrealistic expectations of who I am or what I should be doing. Other people somehow make a whole list of "shoulds" for me, for what I should be doing as a daughter, sister, wife, mother, working woman, community member, in my case as a Deacon's wife and professional Church "ecclesiastical minister."
Sometimes people think I should be "larger than life" - I believe in God, right? As if believing in God magically eliminates sin, frailty, exhaustion, the need for personal space, or personal family space, or even grief from my life. I have others to care for, many others, but I won't care for them well if I don't first take care of myself. It takes courage to choose to not live up to people's constant unrealistic expectations, and gently tell them why. But an honest "yes" means nothing if I don't occasionally also honestly say "no."
But, in letting go of unmet and unrealistic expectations that I have for myself, or that others have for me, I'm freer to meet the person I really am, the person God loves because it's who God created me to be.