I know you’ve experienced the feeling of disappointment in others- We all have. Times when we’re appalled at someone’s minimizing remark, at their lack of sensitivity, when we feel unappreciated and misunderstood. Times when we hoped someone would sincerely apologize, but they don’t-or they don’t do it in a way where we buy it— Disappointment deepens, a feeling of mistrust emerges and only gets further fattened by avoidance.
Each time the story replays in our head, our mood gets darker because we just can’t understand why this person that we think should know us, should understand us and should be better than whatever it is that they did or didn’t do-We think: “Why can’t they just own it?” –So we can stop feeling consumed by disappointment!
Well, another word for disappointment is disillusionment and buried in that word is at the heart of the issue. “Illusion” is what makes us believe that our soft spots are as visible as the text on a billboard-and that others are supposed to not only be awake to our sensitivities but also to always understand how to navigate around them so we can feel heard, loved and valued.
Our perceptions of current situations are usually seen through habitual, murky lenses that keep historic wounds alive. So, today’s incident isn’t usually only about today. Our reactions/conclusions are often an internal “I told you so” by a part of us that sits waiting to pounce on our self-esteem, on our worth, on our lovability. Oddly, although we cast the distraction of blame outward, the feeling of distress festers on the inside, because we’re not being truthful about what we’re asking for, which is: “Why can’t/won’t that person, this job, that scene finally validate who I want to be?!!”
The Truth: Our soft spots are not supposed to be fixed by the behavior of others. Regardless of how the world treats us, our job is to love ourselves anyway! It’s why we get to experience disappointment-first, in order to be presented with our current level of powerlessness-and then to move through that in a way where we’ve pushed beyond the usual response. It’s the only way to feel the weight of, and then share a better, stronger and, ultimately, happier version of ourselves.
The Point: If we choose to shift out of old perceptions and, instead, see the initial pain as the way to true-gain, we can view the person or event that triggers our discontent as the actual catalyst for positive change! Instead of creating a “story” that takes us to a place of anger, resentment and mistrust in someone else, we can choose to use a disappointing event as an opportunity to shine a light on our own fragility and, ultimately, on the work we need to do to grow.