Do you practice self-acceptance? Have you accepted who you are? Do others, in the context of this post, does your spouse accept you and celebrate you?
The Gift of Expectations
Ever since I laid eyes on my husband, I have been in love with him. Over time I realized that he had high expectations for things and people; I never thought to attribute those expectations to me. Eventually, I realized that he had high expectations for me; expectations of what a wife should be (not gonna lie, this changes often), expectations of what a mother should be (this often changes also), and expectations of my career choices.
The Gift of Not Meeting Expectations
After ten years of marriage, I subconsciously continue to strive to meet expectations; I recently realized that my actions, my words, most decisions are made with the intent of making my husband proud; for him to be impressed by my actions, I continue to strive for his approval.
Why does his approval matter? Why do I strive so much to meet his expectations but fall short? Because I, like many of you reading this, want people, especially those we love, to approve of us, either as a good wife, a good mother, a good employee, a good daughter, etc. Several things I considered while changing my practice.
The Gift of Self-Acceptance
I have fully accepted the gift of self-approval. Ex. you go shopping for clothes with the intent and hope that your spouse will compliment your wardrobe choices. In the morning you get dressed and there is no compliment, this starts your day off negatively and spirals into self-doubt.
Ex. 2, imagine you wake up in the morning, you get dressed in a beautiful yellow outfit, accessories and all, and you go to your mirror and affirm yourself. You have approved and affirmed yourself and have given your day permission to be great, by starting with self-love.
The gift of God-approval.
God’s approval will help you to shift focus from man to God. Your actions will be based on the need to please God, based on the need to find value in yourself through God. This makes a big difference, and has changed everything for me in the following ways.
(1) I am cautious in my decision making
(2) I plan my actions
(3) My words towards others are more gentle
(4) I am lighter throughout the day
(5) I gained freedom for myself and freedom for my spouse. Freedom for my spouse because I am no longer carrying the weight of meeting his expectations and he is not carrying the weight of waiting for me to meet his expectations.
The greatest gift from my husband has been to appreciate myself as I am, as opposed to waiting on his acceptance of who I am. The gift has also taught me the power of me; it has taught me the power of finding value in God. I love my husband, appreciate his love in so many other ways, I would marry him again any day of the week, but I am most grateful for his lesson on self-love.
What gift can you stop expecting from others and gift yourself?