Chapter 2 of Georgia Shaffer’s Taking Out Your Emotional Trash hit a nerve for me.
She points out that if we have a relationship with God and Jesus, who are perfect, then we won’t put ourselves in the impossible position of placing our happiness in other people’s behavior. We won’t have unrealistic expectations of others.
We expect others to return a phone call, clean their room, agree with our opinions, and so on. When they don’t call, clean, agree, we get miffed. That’s when our trash stinks up the place. That’s when we grind our teeth, gossip, give someone the silent treatment, snap at them or worse.
When the phone call is returned, the room cleaned, opinions agreed with, that’s no guarantee that it’ll happen again.
When people do meet our expectations, it doesn’t mean our expectations were correct. It was a coincidence, perhaps. We probably feel a sense of satisfaction. . . or even self-righteousness.
When we give people the power to make us happy, we give them the power to screw up our mood.
Fact is, people can’t meet our expectations because they aren’t perfect. Furthermore, our expectations are probably wrong. (Come to think of it, if everyone met my expectations, the world would be limited to what I can dream up, which is tarnished by my flawed, selfish standards.)
Shaffer uses the quote, “Jesus satisfies,” to encapsulate this idea that we shouldn’t rely on others for satisfaction. Mick Jagger might have been right, after all.
That’s enough for anyone. For me. No one else can satisfy.