Disappointment is a Clingy Little Bitch
I read recently there is a place off the coast of New Zealand called “Disappointment.” This little island has endured so many shipwrecks that the government has actually set up depots with provisions for castaways to survive the wreck while they await help.
That is amazing. If only life came with the same thing right? Well, in many ways it can.
One of the most common sources of disappointment comes from not getting what we desire. Sometimes that’s a job, a proposal, a gift and sometimes it’s more personal like an invite to a party or reciprocation from a friend. In the past few years, 2018 in particular I was punched in the face several times with disappointment on a personal level. Many people I considered close friends, people I would walk through fire for proved that they would not do the same for me. That hurt. Hurt A LOT.
I had a choice, I could sever those friendships or I could learn from the experience and create my own depot of provisions for the next time life knocks me down. I chose the latter.
The next time the wind gets knocked from you by disappointment I challenge you to bring your disappointment with you. Usually when we are disappointment, frustrated, hurt or upset we want to leave it somewhere it can’t bother us all the time. Maybe that means leaving it on the dance floor, or at the bottom of a bottle of red. Maybe its leaving it in a warm bubble bath or in some vague facebook status update. Only problem with these modes of coping is that disappointment will follow you home when the music turns off, it will claw its way out of the bottle, it will swirl the drain and latch on to the stubble you’ve been too lazy to shave. in other words, you can temporarily leave it behind but until you deal with it, it will always find its way back to you. Disappointment is a clingy little bitch.
Bring your disappointment with you
If you have only a few minutes, breathe through your disappointment. Sometimes allowing your breathe to change your frequency will work wonders to calm those icky feelings.
If you have an hour spend that time mediating. If meditation isn’t your jam, take it for a walk or a bike ride. Don’t aim to leave it on the trail but instead work through it and lessen its power by breaking it up with clear communication. Why is this upsetting me? Does it trigger something? Is this touching an old wound? What can I do to feel better?
if you have a whole day SIT WITH IT. You would be surprised at how quickly your mind and soul will get BORED of hearing about this disappointment and resolve it.
When things are bad, try saying this to yourself: This is a moment of suffering. Suffering can be a part of life. This is not an attack on me. May I be kind to myself today and give myself the compassion I deserve.
This is the biggie. I think often our expectation are others will treat us the way we treat them. Thats the golden rule right? That’s how its suppose to be. Sadly, it doesn’t always work this way.
Learning to work with your expectations is a vital provision for coping with disappointment.
Try this brief quiet activity next time you feel disappointed.
Ask yourself when you have thoughts about the past does this effect your expectations for the future? For example: If you had an awkward interaction at a party do you expect every interaction to be awkward at party’s?
What are you expecting for the future? Whether that means today, tomorrow or ten years from now. Will you be disappointed if these aren’t met? Why? What can you do today to alter these expectation to fit your needs?
Observe. How do your expectations effect how you are feeling day to day? Are you sabotaging experiences expecting them to be be awful or expecting them to be too grand? Observe how you perceive the world around you.
Disappointment is not something that can be avoided in life. However there is no need for it to be crippling. Taking chances, taking risks, loving others is what makes you strong, unique and in the end, happier. When it enters your life, honor it and learn from it.