I was just thinking...it seems like things would go better if we lowered our expectations of people. That's where most of the complications begin. Families, strangers, lovers. We've somehow got the misguided notion that people should have our best interests at heart, and as our hearts sink with disappointment when they let us down, we are probably not too concerned about their interests.
So what happens if you lower your expectations of others, just go ahead and anticipate the pain, dismay, irritation, or stress they are predestined to cause you? I've tried it, and it didn't work. Well, maybe it worked, in a way, but it caused me to walk around with a sort of social malaise. Chronic disgruntlement. Hardly a heartache preventative.
The truth is, I like believing in people. If I don't believe in you, I can't believe in me. We're created for more than settling. I love you just the way you are because you are amazing. Why can't that be okay, to love each other for the good, instead of "in spite of?" Realistically, though, love does happen "in spite of," not just when it is earned. That's partly the point of love, isn't it? Some call it grace.
Perhaps then, it is not an issue of expectation, but of acceptance. Maybe things would go better if we all just walked around with an "I forgive you" button on our lapel, or at least an "I forgive you" smile on our faces. "I forgive you for letting me down." "I forgive you for having a better life than me," "I forgive you for singing better, for cooking better, for having a better career, for knowing more scripture, for this, for that, for the other, for everything." "I forgive you for succeeding,""I forgive you for failing," "I forgive you for living," "I forgive you for dying."
That's the way to deal with expectations. Forgiveness.