They used to come as a tsunami, wreaking havoc on anything that gets in the way. The sheer force bringing destruction and destitution in ways you feel like you can’t come back from. But these days, my disappointments don’t feel as bad as that anymore.
Today it feels more like the turning of a page, or I should say this what I feel to do when disappointment pays a visit. It still hurts but it doesn’t destroy. And that has been my biggest growth spurt for 2018.
Shame and blame are backseat passengers. Sometimes when they ride with me they’re making enough noise to grab my attention but now I quickly check them in my rear view mirror without turning my head fully. I see them and they see me but we’re no longer competing. I’m driving.
You see, expectation and disappointment are two sides of the same coin. They are also the older siblings of shame and blame. These childlike emotions are born from arrested development, an emotional development sequence that is incomplete when parents don’t know their baggage but only how to suppress it and react to it. Sometimes they take it out on you but make no mistake, each parent suffers and harms themselves first.
When unchecked these then become the inner noise mimicked by our voice and before we know it we think of it as our authentic selves. And thus we create expectations that if this is who I am then there must be someone out there to balance me out, who will ‘complete me’. They will gladly take all my stuff and make it their life’s mission to fix it – thus fixing me in the process.
Attaching our expectations to anyone with a pulse only adds to our pain as no other person can do the healing work you must do for yourself.
Disappointment is always ready to show up, that’s when things get gnarly and before you can catch a breath you’re already tearing chunks.
So how exactly can you tame your disappointment?
What unmet expectation is this particular disappointment linked to?
Somewhere long ago you decided that this expectation was important to you. You felt like it was justified and you could argue like the best of them to make your case whenever it was challenged.
What was the shame and blame components?
You felt or was meant to feel shame because you blamed or was blamed for something.
How did you cope with it? What did you do? And more importantly, what did you decide as the outcome?
So, who was there at the time when shame and blame showed up? We often think it’s just our parents but anyone in an authoritative role has just as much impact.
Can you recall the instance these feelings were galvanized in you?
Try, even if you’re not sure if that was really what happened. Just FEEL it. Does it feel real to you? That’s your marker.
Now sit with it, open a fresh new page and tell your story. Write down everything that happened from your perspective. Don’t leave anything out. SPEAK YOUR TRUTH. This is really important. At every interval when you feel regret appear, pause the story and add a short title like ‘lesson #1:’ and for as long as you need to, for that specific regret, write down what you learned right there.
Before you continue on with your story make a specific promise to yourself.
If you ever live to see an incident like this again, what will you do differently?
This exercise proves we suppress what we can’t cope with. We think we can’t cope because somewhere along our timeline we made a decision that this was just too big, would hurt too many, could destroy us, or any number of possible outcomes. And we needed to survive.
So survival mode is what we settled for then, but you are no longer in that situation that birthed shame and blame.
**If you are deep in survival mode and your situation hasn’t passed, seek help. There is someone in your life you can and must share this with. They will help you!**
And if any of this sounds familiar to you then know this my friend, your life is about to change.
Showing up to tell your story to and for yourself liberates all that you held in. When we stand and speak up we unburden ourselves from the balled up tension and effort it took to hold it down all this time. Yes, even that takes effort and it’s EXHAUSTING. It can zap the vitality out of your life and dim even the brightest sparks.
WRITE YOUR CONCLUSION
- When you have finished telling your story
- Taken your regrets as prompts to extract specific lessons
- Made specific promises that given a similar experience you would do it differently….
- Round off this entry with your conclusion about this matter
You see, you are not what happened to you. You are not your expectations and disappointments. You are precious, cherished, loved, and taken care of by The Most High.
You deserve to love yourself and heal from everything that has hurt you. Because your healing is also your strengthening, your refining, and purifying. You are meant for so much more than what you have held down.
So go write yourself a love letter. Congratulate yourself for surviving what you needed to survive and be grateful that you’re not done yet. That you have so much more to explore and give. You are meant for SO MUCH MORE than you ever allowed yourself to believe before.
And as you step into yourself, feel yourself in your heart. Put those beautiful hands of yours over your heart and feel yourself there, every beat a reminder that you are here right now.
To everyone who has ever disappointed me. You are the page flags in my book of life that I was able to turn to and do the detective work needed to visit my shame and blame in a meaningful way. In doing so, I embraced myself and my purpose in profound ways! ALHAMDULILLAH FOR YOU!
And for anyone I have disappointed, made to feel like I was more than I was to you… PEACE. I have nothing but love for you.
I hope you found this post helpful and it has given you some encouragement to take your personal growth to the next level. Liberating ourselves from beliefs that no longer serve a meaningful and real purpose is a life long mission. Though we will meet disappointment along the way, let it be as a heartfelt act of turning the page and an invitation to write your story, face your truths, integrate the lessons and promises, and heal from it.
May Allah SWT bless you and keep you growing in barakah! Aameen!
Lots of love,