I listened to someone featured in a documentary speak on her family table being the first place she felt as if she belonged—then expecting the same experience (and not finding it) in the world.
What did you learn as you grew up that laid the foundation for what you expected to find in the world?
Sometimes it’s something positive, and we’re disappointed with the real world. Other times, it’s negative, and we’re surprised by what we later encounter. We can walk through most of our lives with expectations that will never completely be met, demanding something we think we are owed or rejecting what we don’t believe we deserve.
Our childhood experiences build a foundation—sometimes good and sometimes not—but they don’t determine our life. We need to be aware of the expectations we carry away from our early experiences (or even later experiences).
Then we need to take an honest look at those expectations and decide what is reasonable and truthful.
Then we need to be willing to correct and change in order to grow.
We need lots of patience.
It’s not a one-time reflection and assessment. It’s a pursuit into growth and maturity. It’s a surrender to humility and honesty.
Expectations and experiences might not match, but with some intentionality, they can weave together and create a life of gratitude.