My Confused Expectations

A friend of mine got me so upset last week. I had observed certain behaviour in them which I did not like. I found it quite annoying actually and was irritated for a few hours. Later on I realised that my problem was not necessarily their attitude or behaviour but that I had expectations contrary  to what I was receiving and I wanted them to change- to suit me. In times like this you wish you remember things like the Serenity Prayer “Lord grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can and wisdom to know the difference.” Not accepting things we cannot change will cause us to expend energy in projects doomed for failure before it even began. 

After ranting for a while, I stopped to think clearly and then I felt really bad. You see for me the ability to think clearly and act rationally when upset does not come easy. I think its a gift from God given to the selected some lol. For the unselected who are lack the gift, keep working at it. I am too. Anyway, from my musing, my conclusion was simply: “my expectations are not my prerogative.” It’s not my right to have others meet my expectations irrespective of how great or wonderful these expectations may be whether for my good or theirs. We set expectations for ourselves and not for others.

I am sure Jesus had some expectations of His disciples as well however, there was no instance where he demanded these from them. He would have loved Judas to remain faithful to the end but he sold Him for a few silver coins. Before He was arrested, He asked His closest friends to watch and pray with Him but they were unable to stay awake. When He was arrested in the garden of Gethsemane, I am sure he would have been delighted to have His friends stick by Him throughout but they all ran away except John. When Peter was asked if he was one of Jesus’ disciples, he said no – three times! I bet He would have preferred Peter to say “yes, I am one of His. I will die for Him if need be” just like he had boasted and promised earlier.

What causes our emotions to erupt? James simply put it as this- when you do not have your way! He adds also that the problem is that we are asking for the wrong things.  In other words, you are placing your demands for change on the wrong person. Why else do we get so upset when people fail to meet our desires? Perhaps because we think it’s our right. God does not place demands on us. Rather He gives us the right to choose.  Choose life or death and then He helps us by adding let Me help you – life is the wise choice. 

A man told me a story once about a habit his wife had and still has. He said that when they return home from an outing, she would carry on her normal daily activities including cooking in the expensive clothing he had bought her. He had spoken to her a few times asking her to change into “normal clothing” but she was not making the change as expected. He became so frustrated that he decided to pray about it. Yes – “be anxious for nothing…but with prayers… present your request to God.” That’s what the bible teaches right? Anyway, he prayed “Father change my wife, I do not like what she is doing.” God’s response to him was so simple – “you change and leave her alone.” He wanted his wife to change to suit him but the person that really needed to change was him. So his response to her changed. Now he is not bothered by how much her ‘apron’ cost him and he had peace of mind.

Do you know that even God is not required to meet all our expectations or demands? “Come down from the cross if You are the Christ” or “You saved other, save Yourself!” that’s what those who watched Jesus die on the cross told Him to do to prove that He is who He says He is. He chose rather to remain and die on the cross. He had told them earlier (and I paraphrase) you have some expectations of me on how you want me to prove who I am but I will not do it your way. I will do so by dying on the cross and rising again 3 days later. What you do with my way of doing this is up to you. In my words, “My action is My decision, your response to Me is your choice. I am not obliged to meet all your expectations.”

The only ones we need to set or demand our expectations from are ourselves. My expectations of you are not my prerogative. The choice is yours to make decisions about life. The best news is that the same applies to me. When we get this order wrong, we become frustrated and upset with the wrong person. 

Selah xx 

(c) 2010 Arielle Ajibade


What’s In Your Cup?

It’s been nearly 3 weeks since I wrote. Its been very difficult to write for some reasons but I’m glad I’m back now :-). 

Today’s title is a phrase that has been on my mind and heart for a few weeks. During my last visit to the salon, my stylist- Caroline spoke to me again about my persistently dry hair. I defended myself saying that I had been moisturising my hair daily (twice actually) as she had advised. Also I had even changed my hair product to a ‘better’ one. She later asked me about my fluid intake. I told her I go through seasons where I drink a few glasses of water per day however, there are also those times when I hardly drink a glass of water in a day although I may drink tea about 3 times in a day.

Caroline said I need to drink enough water (not tea or juice or some of that diluted junk I feed on) everyday. She concluded that I may be dehydrated. My thought was “moisturising my hair is one thing but I also need to ‘moisturise’ from inside”. I took a one week challenge to drink 2 litres of water daily and for that week, my hair felt healthier and I barely felt that annoying itch on my scalp. The additional benefit obviously included the many trips to the loo – which is great for my legs by the way :-). Basically I felt good from within and my hair was grateful too.

My sister recently moved from an apartment to another and this was her thought regarding her former place: “U know what  learnt from my previous flat? When you see the building you immediately fall in love with it. It looks sooo perfect. But when you get in you realise it isn’t perfect after all. I thank God for the place but I didn’t enjoy my stay there because there was no reception anywhere. So relating that to our everyday lives – not all that glitters is gold and sometimes we need to look beyond the physical and look within.” 

My thought was how easy it is for us to focus so much on what we and others see of us rather than who we are. We want to be happy and we want to look good for the world to see, but how often do we stop to ask “who am I?”. Happiness is great but joy brings  true satisfaction. It is an easy trap to fall into to admire someone because of what they have achieved in life. If only you know the baggage they may be carrying within, you may change your mind. Unless you are willing to sell your soul for temporal things.

This truth applies to many areas of life – relationships, sometimes we make choices based on what we see or want rather than who a person is. In challenges, sometimes we see our problem rather than the power which is at work in us to make changes. I often find people who try to use abs belts to get rid of belly fat funny. You may have seen the adverts with the models standing there with their flat stomach and tight six packs. Please do not fall for these ads. Let me tell you two secrets: Firstly, the models did not get  their abs from using the product. Secondly, strap that belt around your waist 24hours a day, 7 days a week and you will get no abs unless you adopt a balanced and healthy lifestyle which would include some abs exercises. How will a belt strapped to your body make changes when the problem is deep beneath your skin? LoL.

To make this clearer, dress up a donkey, feed it the best of fodder, in fact, brush its fur everyday it will never become a horse.  It will only become a pampered donkey. Still a donkey. Feed a chicken magic corn everyday and it would never become an eagle. An eagle is an eagle and a chicken is chicken. I was applying moisturisers on my hair and scalp, but I was still dehydrated so my hair and scalp remained dry. We should be more concerned about who we are rather than what we are. Not to say that the latter is not important however the former is more significant and lasting. If I gave you a golden chalice filled with poison, would you drink? No. What if the chalice was made of gold from the garden of Eden?  Erm, no. Why not? Because the drink is harmful. All of us are like this golden chalice filled with a drink. The chalice is what people see however what people taste of you is the liquid in it.

Have you ever encountered a person who is so good looking and perfect to look at but when they behave badly they do not appear so good looking anymore? If you have, that’s what I am talking about. Otherwise what I am saying is your character is who you are, what you show to the world is your personality. No matter how great your personality is, a poor character will cause you and others many problems. 

What you make up and put up for people to see will never alter the person you are within. Its time to focus more on the person within. you Many times we try to create the perfect image for the world to see however true beauty lies within. Create a new you from the inside out today.

Look within x

(c) 2010 Arielle Ajibade 2010