Painting by Belynda Wilson Thomas

The greatest unhappiness a person can feel in life is unmet expectations. Leo Guhrke

Unmet expectations ruin much of our lives at any time but at Christmas, unmet expectations pile up. Often we expect more from ourselves and others than we or they can possibly deliver. Christmas movies abound with that exact message. We need to accept and love ourselves how we are.

If we want the whole family to get together but some members don’t talk to each other it won’t likely happen, and if they do show up the breach will not likely be healed. There are breaches in families that are hard to explain. The situation that created the breach doesn’t seem big enough. It doesn’t take much to create a breach, but once it is there, the chasm between can get bigger and bigger. Can we be the one who forgives and doesn’t hold a grudge? But, we can’t just let people treat us like that. Holding a grudge doesn’t change the other person it ruins our peace, lives, and relationships with others.

Really, all frustration is birthed out of unmet expectations, and so is nearly every conflict. Matt Chandler

They say, the more we are willing to forgive, the more we are forgiven. The more we put into life the more we get out of it. The magic of Christmas is the magic we put into it. Whether we look at Christmas as religious or secular or somewhere in between there is a lot of work that goes into creating the celebrations we enjoy. Someone had to string the lights on the houses we drive by. Someone baked the cookies; someone planted and harvested the Christmas trees we bring into our homes. Someone planned the events we attend, and practiced the songs, plays, and productions.

We might think we can get Christmas in a box, but the less we put into it, the less we get out of it. Relationships are the same. My husband showed me a TikTok video yesterday. A man is talking about friends who get together regularly for sports events, but then realizes they don’t have deep friendships because they don’t talk about important things. He invites them to get together and share what is going on in their lives and their relationships deepen.

Putting on a happy face and pretending everything is wonderful isn’t a good way to live. Dealing with reality, being grateful for what we have, and that things aren’t worse, but acknowledging what is, is a good way to live. If our heart is breaking why do we pretend it isn’t? Let someone be there for us, and we can be there for them. Isn’t that a real friendship? False positivity is not positive, nor is only looking at the negative, but dealing with what is, even when it is hard is part of life.

Somewhere a couple is dealing with a child in intensive care. Somewhere someone is missing from the family circle. Homes have been burned down; catastrophe has struck in many ways. Pretending life is better than it is, isn’t the answer. Dealing with what is, helping other people, and letting them help us through the ups and downs of life is how we feel genuinely connected. Is there a better time to reach out to someone than at Christmas, to heal a breach, to get together, or to reconnect? By managing our expectations do we manage our life?

Unmet expectations are tough when it’s your wife or your husband, but it’s really tough when it’s God. And yet, it can be a time of growth and a time of faith, a time of understanding who God is. Mike Lucado

Unmet expectations, feelings of betrayal, clouded understanding, seeds of resentment, germinating organically, under societal pressures. Trust takes a back seat, bias ascends the throne, prejudice pervades and a little more colour is vacuumed out of life. Amit Jotwani

Evaluation eliminates frustration. We should also evaluate unrealistic expectations. Unrealistic expectations become unmet expectations. And unmet expectations are like kindling wood – it only takes but a spark of frustration to set them ablaze and burn those involved. Lysa Terkeurst

Thank you for reading this post. I hope you enjoyed it. I hope you will come back and read some more. Have a blessed day filled with gratitude, joy, and love.

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