During my marriage, I could be very hard on my husband in relation to my own expectations, standards, and resentments.
If he did not “walk the line” according to my standards… if he did not “follow through” according to my expectations… I would become angry and resentful and often times, never let him live it down.
When I first looked back on my part in the downfall of our marriage, I would get stuck in shame related to how I behaved and wish fervently… that I could take it all back.
But today, I look at it much differently… instead of becoming caught up in regret… I see my past “shadow” behavior as a gift.
I let the film of those moments play out in my mind and when I am tempted to begin expecting things from those I love, or setting them up to fail at my rigid rules and standards or… refusing to forgive them no matter how they may try to make it up to me… I am reminded of how I want to live my life today: without behaving as a punisher, when I don’t get my own way, and without clinging to the illusion of control.
My expectations… my standards… my resentments are exactly that: mine.
I am not the “boss” over any other human being.
They have their own expectations… their own standards… and of course their own resentments.
If I truly love someone, if I truly want them in my life, I have to be willing to be flexible and see the situation and ultimately the world from their perspective as well as my own and come up with a relationship that works for both of us: fluid and flexible instead of rigid and bound by control.
“Dear God, help me to see all sides of a situation. Help me to step away from my own fixed ideas and open my mind to a world view.”