Clinging to Unrealistic Expectations

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Unconditional love. It’s what we all want--crave even. 

I’m not talking the “I scratch your back and you scratch mine” kind of love. 

I’m talking that “I’m the reason we can’t get pregnant, but you don't ridicule me” kind of love. Or that “I’m going to love you and call you my dad even though you never helped my mother raise me” kind of love. 

As I sit here, nostalgically looking at old photographs, I come across one that catches me off guard. Like when an uninvited guest rings your doorbell.

There he is. The man who is half the reason I exist. Smiling with his chin resting upon his pale hand.

I’m good.” I think to myself. “I can handle this. I’ve prayed and forgiven him. It’s just a picture.

Or is it just a picture?

Is it just an immortalized moment in time?

I try to look away, but it’s too late. Woman down. I’ve been hit by a train. A train of shame, hurt, confusion, and blame. So many people tried to warn me. They told me stories about him from back in the day. Called him a living, breathing Rolling Stone. 

It didn’t matter to me because I knew I was different. He wouldn’t treat me the same way they said he did all those women--including my mother. He would love me unconditionally because I am a product of him.

I talk too much--like him. I eat fresh fruit in my cereal--like him. I am insecure--like him.

I look back at the photograph wondering what went wrong. 

I mean, what kind of person would reject his own flesh and blood?

Better yet, why did I fool myself into thinking this Rolling Stone would be different than the stories I've heard and actually love me unconditionally? Why did I think he would finally make my heart whole after all those years of brokenness?

His photograph becomes a blur as a stream flows down my cheeks. 

Just as I decide to pull myself together, I hear a voice asking me, “Why look for a mere man to make you feel whole?

My heart almost stopped.

I’m not gonna lie. This question hit me like that left hook Evander Holyfield gave George Foreman in the 1991 heavyweight championship fight. 

It never dawned on me that I have been putting so much responsibility on one man to make me feel whole, loved, and valuable. There’s only one man who can do those things, and that’s the Man Above. 

So, as I put away my photographs, I decide that maybe--just maybe it’s time to put away my unrealistic expectations, too. 

Have you been angry with someone and later realized those feelings weren’t justified because of unrealistic expectations you placed on him or her? Tell us about.

Remember, there’s no need to worry, friend. This is a no stone casting side of the Internet.