Living an expectation-filled life is not only tiring, it’s likely to let us down. However, when we trust that everything happens for divine reasons, we’ll find what is right with our day and marvel at where we are being led.

This lesson had been a hard one for me. I had been drowning in the expectations I’d set for myself. No matter what I did, I’d always fell short. This had fueled my low self-esteem and had made it difficult to find joy in life. That inner negativity had kept growing as I empowered the ideal of my expectations instead of being open to what was best for me.

When I truly embraced living in faith, I could focus on the good in my life and become open to whatever I’m meant to experience.

Be open to taking wild, wandering paths.
I’m not saying we should give up our dreams. Instead, let’s take steps toward achieving them and see where life takes us. When we lessen expectations’ grip on us, we listen with our hearts and open ourselves to a greater potential. We understand that God has something greater for us in mind.

Expectations root us to the future, creating an illusion that we’re in control and that we know what’s best for us. The hitch, though, is that we continually evolve. Who we were 10 years ago is different from who we are today; and we continue to grow daily. We cannot know what we need to experience now to prepare us for our future.

Loosening our grip and opening to possibilities allow us to fully lean into our faith. We begin to realize that God has our back. Once we know this in our hearts, we can rest and accept that we are where we’re supposed to be in life.

What should we expect from others?
Of course, our friends and loved ones need to respect us. But putting additional expectations upon others isn’t fruitful. Say someone expects their mate to be romantic: they hope to receive flowers, love notes and gifts. That person may be so set on this that they may miss the loving, attentive gestures their mate gives them daily, a greater gift in the long term than roses.

Let’s allow others to be true to themselves. We can start by dropping expectations of what we think people should look like, how they dress or style their hair, or who they should fall in love with. Meet everyone where they are, respecting that we have different histories, unique life journeys and individual dreams.

The future is a wonderful mystery when we’re open to what’s to come.
When we drop expectations and embrace all that is good, we will have more than we ever hoped for.