No Expectations

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We’ve all had those days, I’m sure of it. The days where you go to work or walk to your classes and feel completely invisible. You don’t see anyone you know, or the people you do know don’t see you. You start the day with a feeling of loneliness that is hard to shake. And then you get frustrated. Or maybe that was just me last week. I wonder, “Gosh, if I didn’t go out of my way to say hi to people or initiate coffee dates I probably would never see anyone.”

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From experience, I’m just going to tell you that that is a dangerous path to go down and completely petty. It really is. Looking at some of my vices I realize how petty they are and I think, “I thought I was doing a good job on this whole ‘path to sainthood’ thing and I get caught in the same silly rut and make the same mistake over and over again.” This can spiral very quickly into self-pity and discouragement. I’ve definitely been there. And I’ve realized that it is easier for me to believe that God has forgiven my sins than in not being angry at myself for falling prey to the same temptations.

I think sometimes, as a young, single women, loneliness can be a big struggle. And it’s easy to fall into the habit of wishing for some person to have an intimate connection with, someone completely devoted to you. I went to a talk at my college given by Leah Darrow, a former contestant for America’s Next Top Model who had a sudden conversion experience. She told us a story of her first date with her now husband where she asked him what he wanted. {Leah told us what he said, but at first no one I was sitting by could hear her, so we were all asking each other. We thought he had said either, “I don’t completely know” or “I feel completely numb”}

It turns out he had said, “I want to be completely known.” That really struck me, because I think it’s something that everyone desires, and it is exactly what I want. Someone understanding, someone who cares about me and is always inquisitive about my life, someone who sees something special in me, and someone whom I feel completely secure with. I was thinking about this in prayer the other day, and I realized that I already have that. Christ fulfills all of these hopes of mine better than any person ever could. But sometimes, even when I recognize it, I have a hard time believing it. Because society tells us that all of those things will be filled and can only be filled by a romantic relationship. However I refuse to believe the lies that the world tells us and I’m positive that there are moments, sometimes many moments, in dating relationships and marriages in which one person feels lonely. We can’t expect our spouse or future spouse to fulfill our every hope and desire because they are human too, and inevitably he will fail, and I will fail. I’m not saying marriage isn’t without its immense joy, but it’s important to not take the other person for granted. 

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Right now and always, I have Christ. He doesn’t simply satisfy me, but He fills me to overflowing. I will go out of my way to love people, without expecting anything in return. I will do it by being the first one to say “hello” and the first one to reach out and ask someone to hang out. And I know other people are just as unsure as I am. But I am confident that the best way to receive love is to give love. And I am confident and secure in the fact that God made me and He knows me to the depths of my soul and wants to spend every single moment with me. And that is all that I need.

“Love is desiring the greatest good for the beloved”

~St. Thomas Aquinas

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