Love, Expectations and Letting go
Dr. Sonia Selwin
Andrews University, Michigan
I am sharing with you my reflections on life. This is a short thought for the soul. As a little girl, like every girl, I was living in a fairytale of “Happily ever after” until I got married and realized that married life is not always a bed of roses, but it has several thorns which might make us bleed if careless but is the most adored if handled with care.
Indeed, we all make mistakes, that’s how we learn to rise and walk again!
We assume that work would be a peaceful place with no dramas. Then, we assume that “friends are forever” and we understand our friends perfectly well, that there can be absolutely no misunderstandings whatsoever. However, there may be instances where just one silly word brought the whole relationship crumbling down! Remember the nursery rhyme “all falling down”?
I found the last stanza of the poem interesting which I just saw recently and could relate to it.
The wedding bells ring, later we all fall down!
Do you remember as kids all of us together would laugh and fall down, and soon after, we would giggle as we got up again and then continued playing?
That innocent laughter of my childhood days keeps ringing in my ears!
Count our blessings
That’s exactly what we should do in life when we fall down. Although life is not that easy, we can apply the principles from this childhood rhyme to our current relationships: laugh about things that happen, brush our wounds away, and continue moving on in life. Surely, life is not as bad as it may seem. In fact, we are blessed in many ways and need to “count our blessings” and be grateful for everything we enjoy! Afterall, if life was without any pain or problems, this would not be earth, but heaven!
Although the principles I am sharing can apply to any relationship whether at work or with friends, in this article, I will be focusing on the primary relationship.
One beautiful cold day, it was all snowing outside and I was excited to go out to play in the snow. With glittering eyes, my heart fluttering with childish enthusiasm, I go to my husband to ask him to take me and our sons out in the snow. But, to my disappointment, he was deeply immersed in his mobile.
Immediately the following thoughts rushed into my mind:
- My husband does not care for me
- He doesn’t love me or understand me
- He does not want to spend time with me.
- I felt completed insulted and insecure because of my expectations
- My husband shouldn’t look at the phone when I talk to him
- My husband should give me importance
- He should spend time with me, share his love and care
- He should keep our family first
- The list goes on and on…
- Fighting with him saying, “you always do this, you never care about my feelings”
- I feel that he insulted and disrespected me.
What was my husband doing on his phone?
- He was ordering a gift for my birthday!
These misunderstandings happen among family, friends, acquaintances, colleagues and others. You feel that they have hurt you or insulted you.
What aggravates us?
- Their very look
- Words piercing like knives
- Actions that hurts us
We have to understand that every person has their own problems and can’t plan on hurting or disrespecting us. If at all unpleasant things have happened, it is the situation they are in. They may be going through some problems in life which they are unable to handle coming out as irritation or anger towards you. Some things just happen. Moreover, sometimes, our mind assumes that the behavior of others towards us is so negative and we interpret it in ways which they wouldn’t have meant to behave.
Let me bring another scenario which many women might have experienced just like me.
On a very happy occasion – my son’s birthday, my husband and I planned to cook several dishes for the birthday party. Unexpectedly, my husband was called for work and I had to do the cooking all by myself. I cooked several dishes and everything came out so well except one dish – Rasam (Indian soup with tamarind), which didn’t have enough salt in it. My husband came once I finished cooking and commented “Ah there is no salt in the rasam”.
I spent so much time in the kitchen to cook without anyone’s help
He doesn’t care for me
He didn’t appreciate me about other dishes but only finds fault
I think about this…over and over again for days
Tell my friends and relatives that he was unappreciative…
When I allow the drama to dwell in my mind, the suffering increases and I am pain. When I tell others who are least concerned about my welfare what’s happening in the family, a gap is created in my family. Besides, when we tell them about a fight we had with a friend or a relative, they could pour oil on the burning fire and it could devour the entire relationship.
A fool uttereth all his mind: but a wise man keepeth it in till afterwards. Proverbs 29:11
How to handle these situations? Let go!
People will hurt, backbite, lie or insult us. What can we do in these situations? Let go of everything that troubles you and cast your cares on the Lord.
Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you. I Peter 5:7
We cannot control what’s beyond our reach. As much as possible, we need to solve disharmonies as soon as possible. The Bible says, we should not let the sun set before we solve the misunderstanding. But, there will be times when the other party is willing to reconcile, in which case, we need to make our minds free of anger or ill-thoughts about the other person. We need to be free of all negativity which will only take away our peace. We can control only our mind, our heart, and how we react to situations. Just let go and re-focus on better things in life.
In your anger do not sin” : Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry. Ephesians 4:26
Now, in this particular situation, I was able to reframe the incident and told myself that my husband was tired from work and wont have meant to hurt me. Another thing I tell myself is that every person is different and some people are not used to appreciating or vocalizing their appreciation because their upbringing is different. He is so loving and expresses his care in different ways…maybe not in the ways I expect.
Therefore, instead of getting upset about it, I decided to calmly tell him how I felt without blaming him so that he might react better the next time. If again he doesn’t appreciate me, I need to ignore it and stop expecting him to appreciate me. This way, there is no hurt involved. Although at times, it’s difficult to ignore when people wrong us, that is the best thing to do for our own good. Obviously, anger only leads us to frustration and depression and we don’t want to go there.
A soft answer turneth away wrath: but grievous words stir up anger. Proverbs 15:1
When you face such a situation, how will you react? How can you handle it?
Tips to face difficult situations
- Think positively
- Calm down
- Let go and move on
- Accept things happening
- Forgive and appreciate the person for who they are
- Empathize and understand that the person is doing their best.
- Learn to have no expectations in the future
Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland. Isaiah 43:18-19
Therefore, let’s submit to God and allow Him to make a new way as we relate to each other.
More from the same author http://questmeraki.com/biblical-calendar-july-september/