A Balanced Approach to Wellness

Posts tagged ‘expectations’

Overcoming Disappointment

disappointment-clipart-frowney-face-md

“Deserving” one thing and receiving something else brings on a bout of disappointment.

“Deserving” is an interesting word. We want many things, and the wanting can cause a sense of entitlement. When the feeling of deserving overshadows reality, the feeling of disappointment is close by.

Wanting something can also lead to disappointment if the fulfillment of the wants depends on someone else’s actions. Wanting carries expectations, and expectations have within them the seeds of disappointment.

Wanting someone else to do something for us or wanting someone else to say wonderful things to us or wanting someone else to give us just the right thing or wanting someone else to recognize our needs or wanting someone else to … (and so the list goes).

The expectation of certain actions or words or gifts or responses or outcomes brings disappointment whenever the expectation causes sadness. Sadness is the root of disappointment.

We learn to be disappointed; it is not a natural feeling. We learn it from promises unkept, from advertisements that create impossible results, from friendships betrayed, and from hopes thwarted. When we learn disappointment at an early age, it can sabotage future relationships and endeavors. Events outside ourselves influence our living, and when these events bring sadness, they deafen our resistance to feelings of self-pity. The sadness can become disappointment by self-pity becoming self-righteousness.  Believing that we deserved something or needed it very much builds the disappointment so that it overshadows outcomes that are fine. The fine aspects of life get forgotten and the disappointments come more easily.

What can we do to overcome disappointments?

Our perceptions influence our feelings of satisfaction or disappointment. Our experiences influence them as well. Accepting that perceptions and experiences have enabled disappointment to affect our viewpoints is the first step.

Here are other steps that can lessen the grasp of disappointment:

  • Smile at regular intervals. For example, smile when you arise and when you get out of bed, when you get dressed and when you put on your shoes, when you start eating your first meal of the day and when you have finished it, and while doing obligatory beginning-of-the-day routines, movements, or chores.
  • Practice surprise! Young children live surprise day in, day out. They gawk at animals, flowers, and brightly colored boxes. They experience wonder when they experience daily living. Surprise is their constant companion. As children age, societal pressures to conform destroy the surprise feelings. To bring back feelings of surprise, purposely look at things around your home that you really like and notice how you feel when you look at them. To encourage feelings of surprise, marvel at the mundane things in your life (like curtains, kitchen utensils, and dirt in the garden).
  • Don’t let feelings of disappointment fester. When you notice these feelings, push your stomach in and out several times and then consider why you are feeling this way. If your disappointment is at yourself, acknowledge your part in bringing about your current situation. If your disappointment is at someone else, let yourself be distracted by other things. If your disappointment is at an event that wasn’t to your expectation, force yourself to move on.
  • Find a volunteer cause that you can help and give time to the cause. Donating money is not giving time. Actually spend time helping the cause.

We can unlearn being disappointed. It’s worth the time and effort to banish disappointment from our lives!

Letting go of things that hold me back, a poem

Shout

When I received this poem two years ago, I saw it as a universal poem with meaning for everyone, and partially for me. I received the words, agreed with their message, published the book, and forgot the poem. Recently I’ve been rereading Unfolding—A Collection of Wisdom Poetry, and this poem jumps out at me as the one that has the most relevance to me at this time.

poem-letting-go

I’m about to publish a book about aging well, and one of the most important goals is to be focused on the aspects of living that bring satisfaction and growth. But to do this requires letting go of the things that hold hostage.

I am held hostage by my expectations of others and of myself, by old memories that criticize, by wasted time spent on unimportant pursuits, by holding myself back from flying with Energy Guidance, and by procrastinating. The simple message “Do it!” tells me to not only let go, but to move ahead and do the things that will bring me growth and satisfaction.

I’m going to photocopy this poem and paste it on my wall 🙂

Unfolding—A Collection of Wisdom Poetry can be purchased through amazon.com stores: http://amzn.com/1508828229

Unfolding book cover

The Ebbs of Life

Post 60-finding ones way

“War, displacement, societal upheaval, familial upheaval, accidents that result in maiming or impaired mental functioning, and natural disasters—these events drastically affect health.  Some people survive these events with perception and sense of self intact; most people do not. The normal responses to difficult events are grief, blame, withdrawal, or incapacitation. To survive unscathed is unusual; to be weak, unpredictable, suspicious, fearful, hurt, sad, cautious, blameful, indecisive, or angry is expected. Minor changes to reality can be unsettling and can cause many of the same reactions. Few people are unaffected by the ebbs of life.” – from Pond a Connected Existence

Expectations of no problems in life are expectations incorrect. Life presents struggles and challenges because that is the nature of life.

Expectations of ease and fun are expectations misleading. Ease and fun can be part of life, but they are not to be expected, rather to be cherished.

Approaching the ebbs of life with creativity and courage brings growth and understanding. Taking the storms and seeing beyond them brings appreciation and satisfaction.

Living life with gratitude

ExpectationLiving life with expectation is positive when the expectation is shared. The word “shared” is tricky. It means that the expectation is natural and widespread. A shared expectation is that the sun will provide sunlight and the sunlight will provide daytime lighting.

Security

Living life with security is necessary for full development.  Security refers to feelings of protection and continued protection. Shelter from cold and heat and other environmental harshness, from bugs that sting and bite and from other types of bites and scares that come from animals, and from stings and hurts delivered by people through physical actions or harmful words.

Personal expression

Living life with personal expression is basic human desire. Pastels, bold colors, allegro, adagio, moving in lines, moving gracefully, loud, large, miniature, soft, C sharp, B flat, broad strokes, measured slow movements, wordy, concise, structured, improvisation, group dynamics, individual efforts, inspired.

Each person has desire for making a mark and the more the personal expression is allowed to flourish, the more the person is fulfilled.

Gratitude

Living life with gratitude can happen when expectations are reasonable, security is available, and personal expression occurs. Wanting to be grateful is a good first step towards feeling grateful; naturally occurring gratitude appears when living is satisfying.  Each person has a gratitude capability for seeing his or her life for its fulfillment of the need to be expressive, satisfied, and secure.

The way towards feeling gratitude is to see life with unexpectant and present eyes.

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