Unrealistic Expectations>Disillusionment> Bitterness> Hate

We all have wounds. It is a feeling of loneliness that lurks behind our successes, a feeling of uselessness that hides under the praise we receive ……that makes us grab onto people and expect from them an affection and love they cannot give. If we want people to give us what only God can give, we become a heavy burden. Quote from Henri Nouwen’s “A Spirituality of Living.”
This has hit me where I live today. I have two daughter-in-laws and a daughter that have always seemed to be Super Women to me. When one daughter-in-law, who has spent most of the last 18 years being an awesome advocate and mother for her children with disabilities and a House Beautiful wife, recently reached the end of her endurance with her marriage, I found myself filled with raging anger at her. An anger that felt like hate. I didn’t understand where it was coming from. I have admired her and had complete faith that if anyone could find a way to make her children’s lives happy and productive, she could. Since divorce means she must work full time, it seemed like betrayal of her children and even of those that love them like we do. And when I found myself unable to help in any significant way because of health issues of aging, I hated myself also.
I know from study and many life experiences that unrealistic expectations of other people embitter those having them and destroy relationships.
None of us is God. We are not miracle workers. And we are not able to love unconditionally as long as we expect ourselves or others to walk on water. It’s an imperfect world filled with imperfect people.
To expect otherwise is to become both embittered and a burden to people already carrying as much as they can.
My most destructive trait is a blind idealism unfettered by reality that leads to disillusionment and hate. God knows our limits. Some are built in and others beaten into us. I must learn to live within human limits, my own and others’. And trust that God can and will accomplish His plans, not mine.

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About Eileen

Mother of five, grandmother of eleven, great-grandmother of seven, 1955 -1959 Rice University in Houston, TX. Taught primary grades; Was Associate Post Director of Religious Education at Ft. Campbell, KY; Consultant on the Myers/Briggs Type Indicator; Presently part time Administrative Assistant/Bookkeeper for Architect husband of fifty-seven years. Blog: Laughter: Carbonated Grace

Posted on December 4, 2016, in B4Peace, disillusionment, Failure, Forgiveness, Judging, marriage, Mental Health, Necessary Losses, Parenting, relationships, spirituality, Suffering, Teaching/Learning Experiences and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 10 Comments.

  1. The hate and anger which come upon us can be surprising. For me, it’s probably a gentle reminder that I am not as loving and forgiving as I imagine myself to me. 😦

    • These reminders aren’t so gentle. Decades ago I had a neighbor who didn’t like me and I walked up behind her and another neighbor in time to here Cynthia really saying critical things about me. She finally move away. And after about two years I had a conversion experience and while reading the scripture one morning I thought about Cynthia and decided God was calling me to forgive her. So, I asked God to help me forgive her. I hadn’t put my bible down, when the doorbell rang and there stood Cynthia with two of her younger children. Before I could say hello, she said in her abrupt way, “I need you to keep my children for and hour or so.” I liked the kids, so I said, “OK.” An hour later she picked up the kids, without thanking me or explaining anything. I never saw her again. I had to laugh, because I realized I was going to have to work harder to forgive Cynthia! God called my bluff! Don’t tell me God doesn’t have a sense of humor! But reflecting and praying brought me to understand our differences and claim my part in them and let go.
      I struggle with being judgmental, but in 79 years don’t remember experiencing storms of such wretched hate as I am now. I was actually closer to this daughter-in-law than my own daughter who lives three hours away and works, so has a very busy life. Part of it is self hate because I’m becoming too feeble to try to take up the slack for the children that both their parents working is already causing. It’s an hour drive on busy interstates to their house. I think I’m angry at being old. I am struggling with this and working on it and the Scriptural devotionals I read and reflect on and prayer are helping. But it’s like playing whack a mole….I think I’ve gotten rid of it and it pops back up faster than I can deal with it. Thanks for listening and responding. You are right, I had no idea that at this point in my life, I could feel like this, particularly toward someone I was so fond of and admired greatly.

  2. I’m sorry to read this. I can imagine the disappointment that must come with losing the image of a strong daughter in law, some kind of heroine in the face of adversity, and I do hope you all get through this period gracefully. Prayer is important as always

    • lizzylizabeth, you have a beautiful old soul. I am probably battling with the reality that I no longer am physically able to
      help the children through this. I pray almost unceasingly. Was up most of the night reading Scripture and praying and
      reflecting. I have made some progress, but still listening to find the root, so I can let it go. I need to trust that God will be
      with the children and that is more important than me being able to be with them. Getting some insight from responding to you. Thank you so much for reaching across the world to help a little old lady.

  3. I can understand this at some level. This reminds me of what Zac Poonen would say : even if I am bound to my bed and can do nothing but think about Jesus, I will be the happiest man. I think he says this often because he has made Jesus his treasure, so he would rather be focused on that that the restrictions of life. I know this doesn’t diminish anything really, but it helps to keep thinking this way. And I have been reading through the book of Job and have noticed so many examples of Job’s exasperation at God, at life, his health and finally his aggravating friends. Sometimes these things happen. Sometimes we are broken to what feels to be beyond our limits, but it also says in a Job, that though God slays us, we will praise. It will surely be fine eventually and your emotions will align themselves with God’s help

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