March 23rd: Expectations

March 23rd-Expectations

Lately I have been struggling with expectations and basically, setting myself up for disappointment.

I don’t like the person that I become when I suddenly catch myself acting as if I am entitled to someone’s time or being judgmental towards their actions.

I wouldn’t want to be around someone who made me feel that I “owed them” my time or my friendship or that I had to have a relationship with them based on “their” rules.

However… I do want to be able to count on a friend and to ask for what I want in our relationship if my request is a reasonable one.

What do I believe are reasonable expectations in a relationship?

Setting a specific time to be together… and calling or contacting in a timely manner if our plan needs to be changed…

Creating a bond of trust within our friendship… a loyalty that binds us…

Speaking to each other with respect and kindness.

These, to me, are all reasonable expectations in a relationship I choose to pursue and if I have met someone who is unwilling to work with me towards this common goal, then maybe our relationship is not meant to be.

But… I must remember… expectations should not be used as a way to control others: If I use my expectations to control, it will only push the people I love away and set the relationship up to be full of resentments.

Today, I must be clear in my needs but reasonable in my requests.

“Dear God, help me to have clear and fair expectations with those I love. Help me to accept people as they are and accept the differences between us.”

March 22nd: Responsibility

March 22nd-Responsibility

I used to always love to be considered the responsible one but today… I sometimes find myself shying away from the title. In the past, being responsible meant that I was the one to take on all of the commitments… I was the one that people would come to because they knew I would get the job done! I loved the way I felt when I was praised for being responsible. My ego was stroked, my people-pleasing character flaw was activated, and I relished in my roll of “super woman.” Today, I try my best to step away from ego and wait 24-hours before committing to being the “responsible” one in a situation that isn’t life-threatening. Being the responsible one in the past left me weary and worn from overtaxing myself to make sure that everyone “loved me” for doing “right” by them. I know now, that I must choose my commitments wisely, and wait for my people-pleasing flaw to disarm before deciding if I want to move forward as the responsible party.

“Dear God, help me to think before I take on a commitment. Help me to allow others to step up to a task instead of letting my people-pleasing rob them of the opportunity to grow.”

March 21st: Boundaries

March 21st-Boundaries

Sometimes, I am so concerned with boundaries, that I refuse to give someone the benefit of the doubt.

In the past, I so often let people I loved, basically get away with treating me in a way that was totally unacceptable that today, when I even think that someone might be about to behave inappropriately, or “try to get away with something” I strike so fast to stop them that they aren’t even sure what they have done wrong.

It is good that today I have boundaries.

They help me to make conscience choices about the people I choose to involve in my day-to-day life but…

This does not mean that I should be rash in my judgements, react on past wrongs instead of present deeds.

When I believe someone I love is about to cross a boundary, and cause me emotional pain… maybe it is best to have a calm heart-to-heart before reacting without just cause.

_

“Dear God, help me to be calm when emotion over takes me. Help me to make logical decisions regarding what is and isn’t acceptable to me in my relationships with others.”

March 20th: Consequences

March 20th-Consequences

Today I spent the day waiting on someone.

It was my choice to do so.

I believed that some time during the course of the day we would be spending time together based on what my friend had told me.

Yet… the hours wore on and though I texted several times… I never heard from them.

After waiting nearly seven hours I received a text message saying that their cell phone had not been working.

That was it.

No apology.

No concern.

Just a statement.

They then wrote that they were free tomorrow if I’d like to get together then.

I had to fight the urge not to send some angry words my friend’s way.

But instead of sending back a nasty response, I simply said, “I’m not available tomorrow. I will touch base with you on Monday.”

And that was that.

I spent the remainder of my evening looking at the consequences of the situation:

I had lost valuable time by waiting but…

I learned that the next time I decide to make plans with this particular friend… I will set a specific time to get together and spend the rest of my day… working on my own tasks.

I also realized that my friend looked at time and commitments differently than I did.

Therefore, I must accept that we may never see eye-to-eye on this particular point in our relationship, and there might come a time, when I would have to decide if this was something I could live with in our friendship or, admit to myself that a close friendship with this person may not work for me.

Consequences are not always pleasant.

But, I value the lessons that they bring: lessons that help me to learn what I find acceptable and unacceptable on my own life path.

_

“Dear God, help me to learn from consequences. Help me to accept them and remove anger and frustration from my reaction to these life lessons.”

March 19th: Perfectionism

March 19th-Perfectionism

When I was married, I often asked my husband to help out but when he did… I would sometimes criticize his work and end up completing the task on my own.

I see now that this was damaging to our relationship for several reasons:

I let my husband know that I did not value his contribution.

I made him believe that he was incapable of doing any task as well as I could.

And… I set myself up to never ask for or receive help because no one could live up to my standard of work.

My perfectionism was not only hurting the person I loved, it was also helping to keep me overwhelmed, weary, worn, because I refused to share the burden of my load with others who were willing and wanting to help.

Today I know that my perfectionism is a character asset and a flaw.

My perfectionism ensures that I will give a job my “all” my best work.

But… my perfectionism also gets in the way of my own spiritual growth and it keeps those around me from feeling needed and valued.

It is in my best interest, to let go and let others participate in my life.

I must accept help and I must accept that they are completing the task as best they can and praise them for their work.

_

“Dear God, help me to let others in. Help me to step aside and allow others to share my heavy load.”

March 18th: Fear

March 18th-Fear

Sometimes I find myself so overwhelmed with day-to-day life that my mind becomes engulfed by fear.

Fear of things I have no control over.

It always seems funny to me… how struggling with commitments can turn into struggling with fear.

But… it always makes sense when I break it down to one simple fact: loss of control.

Whenever I am feeling out of control in day-to-day life, that is when fear sets in.

It is at this time that I know I must quiet my mind and focus on small tasks to return to a calm sense of balance:

Folding one pile of clothes.

Mailing off a bill.

Making the bed.

Sweeping the porch.

Each chore may seem insignificant in the grand scheme of things but order in my daily life releases my mind from chaos, clutter, and fear and allows me to focus on what truly matters:

Progressing on my spiritual path instead of wasting my precious time lost in a state of panic.

_

“Dear God, help me to let go of fear and calm my mind. Help me to complete each small task so that I am able to move forward towards bigger accomplishments.”

March 17th: Celebrations

March 17th- Celebrations Today I look forward to celebrating with my family and friends. Joyous events remind me of how lucky I am that I am surrounded by so many loving people in my day-to-day life. To turn off the cell phones… To step away from technology… To share good food and good conversation… laughter and good will… soothes my soul and calms me in a way that nothing else can. It is important to set time aside to celebrate with the people I love. These celebrations are significant markers… wonderful memories of my life. Today, I am reminded it is not about money… or education… or work… or chores… It is about embracing my family… and holding them close during these lovely shared moments. _ “Dear God, thank you for the gift of joy. Remind me to always set time aside to celebrate with those I love.”