Expectation Station~Departures To Disappointment
Waiting At The Expectation Station
Somewhere deep inside we are all waiting for our lives to improve and when it doesn’t go as planned…in an instant, disappointment arrives. The feelings of sadness or displeasure caused by a unmeant hope or expectation can immediately be felt in the body as it contracts against what it doesn’t want.
As disappointment moves through the body; sadness, regret, sorrow, disenchantment and dissatisfaction settle in and cause pain the body. The let down of the disappointment can lead to despondency and depression.
When we find ourself in a situation where what we hoped for is not there, an array of emotions and reactions can come hurdling forth. Resulting in an emotional shut down or rage or being passively aggressive by trying to punish the other by withholding love.
Such an innocent sounding word, expectation actually plays havoc with our lives. Expectations takes us out of the present moment so effectively that you lose your place in the greater flow of the cosmos. Whether an expectation is optimistic or pessimistic, it narrows the field of vision and closes down the limitless potential that exists in each present moment.
People that love each other, don’t plan to or want to disappoint their loved ones. For the most part the other’s failure to meet our expectations, their inability to fulfill the hopes of our heart awaken a deep despair.
At the instance that disappointment arrives and as the feelings wash over and through the body, the mind begins to make up a story of how this should not have happen…but it has. Love has been dashed and we struggle to be loving and caring in the face of disappointment and being disappointed.
We can even be flooded with this chemistry as our own efforts are meant with personal disappointment. It doesn’t always come from another. It comes from your own internal disappointment with yourself. Sometimes things really don’t work out very well. It’s true, isn’t it? Life always presents the “if only” disappointments, looming larger than life.
Disappointment takes energy to cope. We get sad, depressed, worried, irritated, moody, anxious, grumpy, lethargic, or unresponsive, not just occasionally but repeatedly throughout our day, week…sometimes in small ways, sometimes big.
To be detached does not mean to not feel. It is about working with our expectation rather than being a victim of it. As trust builds in the ebb and flow of events in life…even though we cannot immediately see the outcome of a given situation, we know that it is connected to a prior situation and bridges to another situation ahead in the future.
With a detached perspective we can let go of expectations quickly, as life continues along its own course. When the shift happens quickly, the emotional and mental waters don’t begin the torrents of regret or anxiety.
With detachment comes both understanding and healing. With this surrender, acceptance flows. It’s the process of letting go of control over life, physically, mentally and emotionally. The more we can accept the way we are, the more we can accept life as it arrives.
When we are lost in false hope…in disappointment, about the future or the past, we are not fully and authentically present in the moment.
The ancients taught that we experience everything in terms of: gain and loss, praise and blame, pleasure and pain, happiness and unhappiness. We of course want gain, praise, pleasure, and happiness. We can’t be open to praise and not receive blame. We can’t experience pleasure and not feel pain. This is the nature of the reality that we know.
It would be great if life proceeded from one moment of perfect happiness to the next, but for most of us, this is not the case.
We can either live in denial of truth of our experience or obsess on our pains and disappointments. Or we can consciously accept, even embrace life not working out and trust that in doing so we will discover meaning in our life.
When disappointment occurs, the practice is to realise, “Ah, I’m lost in disappointment. I’ve confused myself with a desire and so identified with it that it is causing me to suffer.” It is not that the physical or emotional pain that accompanies disappointment is unreal; of course pain hurts. But pain arises, has a certain duration, and then passes.
Disappointment has a chemical quality because our minds refuse to accept what is; therefore, we relive the disappointment over and over again, never noticing after the initial experience that it is only a memory we are re-experiencing, much like watching old movie reruns.
Three Steps To Noticing You’re Arrived
- Anticipating Disappointment
- Disappointment Arrives
- Living With The After Effects of Lingering Disappointment
Regarding the first one, remember…some of your biggest disappointments never happened. When you start to worry about a possible event in the future, watch how you contract into fear or anxiety.
Fear and anxiety feed on themselves which can become habituated to living in a perpetual state of disappointment just because you have fear of disappointment. Simply meet whatever happens with your best self.
How do you work with major disappointment when it arises? The first thing you can do is consciously notice you are in disappointment. Practice staying present and withstanding the emotional pull of small disappointments. Observe when you get swept away in the emotional waves of a big disappointment and lose perspective.
The next response is to experience the feelings of expanding or contracting in the body. Open to the experience of disappointment so that you can accept it and let it pass through your mind and heart. Then you can go on with your life’s journey and not be frozen in place by your pain. When we cling to what is not lasting, by contracting into our disappointment, we create our own unhappiness.
Lingering disappointment comes about because there is a tendency to transform our loss into a story instead of accepting it as an event. The story making can create the illusion that your loss is a fresh event when it is actually something that has passed. Locking you into a ghostlike state in which there is no freedom.
Boarding Now~Expectation To Celebration
Breakthrough to more acceptance, accept what is-without making others wrong for not meeting your expectations. Move past the disappointing event to the next event, it may be better. Time does not stop at a point, it keeps moving into the next moment. Breathe into it!
Breakthrough to celebration. You can not be half awake! You are either asleep or you are awake. It’s akin to suddenly getting the punch line of a joke. There is nothing to do except celebrate – what else is there left to do?