How to Tame Disappointment

I’ve been disappointed recently by the size of my butt and belly, no matter how much chocolate I don’t eat they keep growing:

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My preteen and teen kids’ attitudes have been very taxing at times, and I’m upset that summer is coming to an end for another year. Also I was emotionally distrurbed when a Central Park squirrel ate my ice cream sandwich, (this seriously happened).

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I also can’t seem to make time for my writing and planning for a long-term, paid career gig!

So what can we do to make disappointment less damaging?

Beat up a piñata? Eat three tubs of choc. chip ice-cream? Watch five episodes of ‘Glee’? Sadly I’ve tried all these activities and it just made me feel bloated and brain dead with little or no relief.

Fact #1: I can’t change or control anyone except myself – this is a tough reality that I keep burying alongside my dog Biscuit’s half-chewed bones!

If I focus on the negative aspects of a relationship I sense a growing presence of damage, irritation, and deep resentment, as I armor up my boundaries. Sometimes my walls are so high I can’t see the sky for the imaginary bricks.

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I sometimes ask myself what is this person’s behavior telling me about our situation? What stories am I creating in my head about their behavior? Do they respect me, or care about me, or value or see me? What is the very worst thing about their behavior that brings out my fear? Do I feel safe with them physically or emotionally?

Having the intention to let go of toxicity is so important. I can’t change the person who is hurting me. However, if I can forgive the person, I’m giving myself a precious gift of peace. Having gratitude is important too.

Shifting my attention to the positive sides of a relationship may take effort when I’m in pain. So I give myself a time out. Hey, I’m still a joyful kid ok!!!! I eat that chocolate bar hidden under my bed, next to the sexy undies I haven’t dared to wear yet. I run that warm soapy bath, or read that juicy novel, listen to hippy new age music etc. until I have the space and strength to consider forgiving.

Best to keep my mouth firmly shut until I get to this stage. I don’t want to poke the proverbial bear! Up until quite recently I’ve been known to bite them in the ass or threaten to shove stuff into places that I should never consider going anywhere near!!!

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Perhaps while I’m shaving my bits in the bath, I can start to admit to having an active part in the dysfunction. I often act like an ass, and I’m not always RIGHT! I’m human. I grow a little then I regress a lot. Hell, no. I’m right all the time. Yes sir. I’m a good gal!

I own that I often escalate a toxic situation because I ignore the other person’s pain because I  judge quickly and harshly.

I can only change my dysfunction!

So instead of beating myself up, I am beginning to treat my vulnerability and my ability to mess up with Loving Kindness. At the same time, I realize that oth

er peeps aren’t perfect and they deserve understanding when they fail too. 

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Fact #2: I am learning to stop expecting other people to behave the way I think they should behave, as it’s counterproductive, and this limiting belief just causes more hurt.

It yells that I am better than they are and that I’m a smart ass!

So Flush expectations down the toilet NOW! It’s an active choice I have to make over and over again. Being aware of having to take that choice is turning onto the road to recovery.

The truth is everyone comes from a place of #pain one way or another and to really appreciate that helps you empathize with that person. If their behavior has limitations in my perspective, and I can’t get this judgy opinion out of my head, then I try to understand that they are giving all they can give.

FullSizeRender.jpgI either release them or I accept them. Sometimes they need to be released as a gentle nudge to say it’s time to make changes.

People will always come and go. Nothing is permanent.

I can’t expect that anyone will put me first, everyone is human and has needs that rise beyond me.

The only person who is responsible for my needs is ME! I own that! I often don’t action it. But I’m trying!

There’s a fun observation I read in #Oprah Magazine. “Take the spotlight off yourself by learning the 20-40-60 rule…At age 20, you’re sure everyone’s thinking about you. By the time you’re 40, you’re starting to care less that people are thinking about you. And when you hit 60, you realize the truth. No one was ever thinking about you. People are generally too busy being their own worst enemy that they don’t even notice your flaws.” (This folk wisdom isn’t always correct, a very small number of people delight in hurting others sadly, but I’ll leave that for another blog.)

 

Fact#3: Be conscious of being judgmental and try and face the truth! Yikes!

That nasty ol’ judge in me loves to raise her know-it-all-head and smirk at the world. Admitting that my critical mind is real and present is a fabulous first step to taking responsibility for my actions. If I stop dwelling on other people’s failings I lean a little more towards the light and keep my head firmly away from a bucket of dark stinky water.

OWNING THE RESPONSIBILITY FOR MY GROWTH IS TOUGH – BUT WORTHWHILE!

I have a maddening tendency to fling blame around. He did this cos he’s a jerk and she did that cos she sucks etc. Where do I exist in all this projection of my pain? I see my faults mirrored in the recipient’s behavior, now that’s kinda scary.

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Yet it’s okay for me to face the darker side of myself in a loving and accepting fashion. I do it with my therapist, who is a loving kindness expert! I am learning to embrace my shameful side.

Excessive judgments make my heart feel heavy and I’m shameful of my cruelty, leaving me with a very unsettling and negative energy field. It is exhausting to carry the burden of so many judgments of right and wrong.

As soon as I can silence her with a gentle nudge, I lay her down to sleep again; somewhere dark, cosy and far away. I tend to boss her around and scold her, but perhaps by being conscious of my NORMAL negative response, I might be able to slow that down.

It’s humbling being a “work-in-progress” but it’s also a fine state of being.

I still don’t always recognize the moment when my judgmental voice pops out to say her piece, but it’s getting easier to sense her. The moment that I recognize her, I say ”Hi, and bugger off or ‘please leave’ 9for you ladies out there)” before she can rear her nasty, fiery dragon-breathing head anymore. (Yes, I love Game of Thrones.) I might have to run away from her, which is kind of difficult, but there are ways.

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It’s a life process to forgive and the most important person to forgive is YOU!

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Well if I can find that place of tranquility, perhaps I can face the truth of WHO I AM, warts, purple veins, scabs and all?

I deeply regret having hurt others with my anger, neglect, selfishness and my rejection of my strong sense of invisibility. (I could go on a while here but you get the idea).

I DO feel better when I confess my sins in my journal and then write “I forgive myself again” in upper case letters, MASSIVE letters that take up an entire page. Just to underline their importance!!!!!

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I have managed to accept over time that maybe the person I’m disappointed with is doing his/her utmost best shot at whatever it is and I should honor and be thankful for their efforts.

However, when people are rude and don’t listen and talk over me, I have a problem with that. It raises my hackles. But I’m learning to tell them to “Cut it out. It’s rude and I’m not tolerating it.” I say this a little too vehemently sometimes, so I shake myself off, releasing their negativity like a duck shaking his tail feathers in a stormy pond. LITERALLY I SHAKE LIKE A DUCK AND MAKE A BURRING NOISE. This calms me to the extent that I can send the person blessings and love. It might take a few shakes and a few blessings, but it works with patience.

Boy is that judgy mind of mine a hard thing to control. Yikes, so much effort, but it’s so worthwhile for the peace inside my head!

I’m not afraid of good honest, hard work!

And yes I most always get it wrong but I’m beginning to change to old patterns.

 

Fact#4: Pain often brings growth if you are open to receive wisdom.

Embrace the pain, it’s a gift. It sounds like I’m having a love affair with my pain. Learn to self-sooth! What the heck does that mean? Then make a conscious decision to start to do better.

I’m now recognizing the wisdom of my body and how she can support me in my search for the truth. I slowly scan my body from head to toe and notice if there is tension.

If someone is hurting me, I acknowledge the tingle or flutter often near my heart or I sometimes feel a lump in my chest and an inability to breathe freely when I’m stressed.

If something is wrong with a situation and I’m in danger, my body often warns me! Thank you Glorious Wise Body!

However, I don’t always listen. I am a slow processor of information! That’s me! The truth!

Sometimes I totally misread a situation when the other person’s frustration is triggered. There’s a mean spirit in me that enhances the dysfunction of the moment by responding to the other person’s negative behavior with my own naughty behavior. Yip I love to tease. Then both our anger arrives as a defense mechanism = TOXICITY! DO NOT FOLLOW THIS RECIPE FOR DISASTER!

A useful strategy is to run and hide under a bush until I soothe yourself.

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In a quiet place where I won’t be disturbed, (the toilet is sacred to me) I reflect on the other person’s behavior. Perhaps whisper, “I see and feel the pain you caused me and I want to forgive you, to set my heart and spirit free from anger.”

I try and have an intention to forgive. Come on, I can bear down and face that forgiveness Monster! Sometimes this process may take days or weeks.

If I try to feel the pain I caused someone else, (I name them in my mind if I want to) and I internally ask for their forgiveness. This private attempt at compassion might make a teeny, weeny little shift in my own consciousness or awareness.

Could a simple hand gesture help?

Perhaps, if I allow the anger and frustration to surface, and bring it to my emotional center, by gently placing my hand over my heart, this may redirect or change the negative feelings.

By offering love and support to my heart, I honor my love center and all my goodness. Yes, it sounds weird but just try it once or twice. In fact let’s start a Hand-on-Heart-Movement.  I’m enjoying learning to have a closer relationship with my beautiful heart.

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If I need extra support I imagine a loving person that is or was in my life and who could be there to give me a shoulder to lean on.

Even better, I try to find a supportive friend to talk over some of my feelings in a strengthening act of self-love. When I offer a glass of wine, or tea and biscuits, a friend is even more understanding and stays longer. I reached out on Facebook recently and I had a beautiful pocket of support, so I used social media to my advantage.

Remember in a difficult situation where I feel hurt or attacked, I am trying to learn to say “Cut it out. I won’t tolerate that.”

Support your position and stay strong. If their behavior doesn’t change then I need to leave the hostile environment. Fight or flight to self-love my Darlings.

Perhaps take a walk, play a sport, or pick flowers or take a yoga class outside.  (If I can’t plug my own yoga class in my blog when else can I? Sorry self-promotion is so crass!)

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“Spending time in nature synchronizes our natural rhythms to the universal heartbeat. It supports our own natural timing to be in the right place at the right time. It revives our energy level and renews our spirit.” Diane Ingram

To block out traffic noise or other peeps blabbing in your ear, listen to a guided mediation or healing music as you walk.

I love this loving, mediative prayer to my body and mind. It’s long and repetitive as all good mediation songs should be. It soothes my heart. ry it.

“Thank You” by Carrie Grossman https://youtu.be/_TWmaGWY0Eg

We are NOT POWERLESS! Yet coming to a sense of the NOTHINGNESS in meditation has soooooo many health benefits I won’t even start.

Self-care is imperative to me.

By soothing my heart with self-love I am more capable of giving love to others. I want to be ‘full of myself’ as Oprah says.

Remember that the most important person to LOVE is YOU!

Let me know how you deal with disappointment in general. I hope this post makes you feel a little better and NOT SO ALONE.

We ebb and flow through life’s continual changes.

I regress, regrow, relearn, reflect, release and renew!

Love to chat as you know. I hope the end of summer is a safe and happy time.

 

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