A peek inside this post: Check out my “Emotionally Healthy Spirituality” Book Review! After reading it, I realized the levels of my own emotionally unhealthy spirituality, and learned some great tips for managing my own expectations.
I had a swift kick in the butt a few months ago when my sister-in-law recommended I read “Emotionally Healthy Spirituality” by Peter Scazzero.
Great. I couldn’t wait to read how emotionally immature I was. Please tell me how I need to get over myself (said no one ever).
Well, I bought it online and started to read immediately. Partly because I knew it was going to be helpful, and partly because I was terrified and wanted to be done with it already. Come on, people. Just make me mature.
Read along, I’ll tell you all about it…
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Me and My Emotionally Unhealthy Spirituality
When I started this book, I had no idea just how spiritually unhealthy I was!
I realized I struggled with my feelings. As if I shouldn’t feel a certain way when something happened. I shouldn’t get frustrated at my kids every three seconds and open my eyes with stress before my feet even hit the floor in the morning.
What helped me gain a better understanding of my emotional spiritual level was the chapter on knowing yourself that you may know God. The author talks about the significance of knowing yourself.
“The vast majority of us go to our graves without knowing who we are. We unconsciously live someone else’s life, or at least someone else’s expectations for us. This does violence to ourselves, our relationship with God, and ultimately to others.”Peter Scazzero, Emotionally Healthy Spirituality
So many times in my 36 years I found myself thinking more about somebody else’s perception of what happened in my day rather than figuring out exactly what I was feeling myself. The joy or stress wasn’t related to my thoughts and my relationship with God but rather how the situation might seem to others.
Our youngest son has special needs, and as we tried to keep our head above water for about four years, we are finally coming up for a big, deep breath. In doing so I have realized every single feeling coming out in a messy, jumbled knot.
I have had to name my feelings and walk through them. I have had to understand that it’s okay to feel them.
Other people aren’t going to feel them exactly like me because they haven’t taken the steps I’ve taken. Just as I have not taken the steps they have taken.
God gave me the ability to have every single feeling and if I am not calling them by name, walking through them, and trusting God with them, then I am definitely missing out on how He made me and what He is doing in my life.
Managing My Own Expectations
I have named this part of my life “Great Expectations.” It’s funny because in revisiting this book to write this post, I have had several, “Well you went back to that way of thinking, didn’t ya, Girl?” moments.
Perfection is impossible. Being consistent is hard and doesn’t always go as planned.
While I was reading this book, I used the words “expectations, expect, expected, expecting” about every other sentence that came out of my mouth. I got several, “Mom, are you really going to say ‘expect’ again?” comments.
Chapter 7, about Growing into an Emotionally Mature Adult, really put me in my place. We have expectations in every single relationship.
The trouble is that more often than not, our expectations are: unconscious, unrealistic, unspoken, and un-agreed upon.Peter Scazzero, Emotionally Healthy Spirituality
For Pete’s sake.
I would get so frustrated because I would expect my kids to not act a certain way in front of people. So maybe we spoke about it, but was it realistic? No. I can do my best to teach them to be kind to each other and model kindness (most of the time) to them, but they aren’t perfect.
Just as I am not.
So what in the world am I getting so huffy about?
When we have expectations that are not realistic, not talked about, and not agreed upon, we have no right to to be overwhelmed when things don’t go as we expected.
Obviously I still struggle with my expectations but I am working on that. I need to work a little harder. My kids would appreciate that. My husband would appreciate that. My friends would appreciate that.
Wrapping Up My Emotionally Healthy Spirituality Book Review
I feel like I could read this book all over again and take just as much from it. If you want a swift kick in the booty, I recommend “Emotionally Healthy Spirituality.” Especially if you are a mama like me trying to manage your own expectations and spiritual well-being.
When staying home and taking care of little people, trying to get all the things done and feed them all, make sure that you give yourself some grace. Feel the feelings you are feeling. Name them and talk to God about them.
And, take a look at your expectations.
In rewiring your expectations, you might find the relationships in your life getting a boost you didn’t know was possible!
Have you found any helpful tips on managing your expectations that you’d like to share with me? I need all the help I can get. Can’t wait to read your suggestions!
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