A flower planted. The stem of the brightly colored blossom bends.

The Art of Disappointment: It’s Not You, It’s Me

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It kind of makes me cringe now, but as I mentioned in Easy Pleasie, I was once a person who was hard to appease. Ironically, however, my mentors were all easily gratified. If I had any hope of becoming more like the people I admired, I had to adjust my relationship with disappointment. 

Here’s a recent example…

As our area began to corona-calm a bit, we made a plan to help out two of our extremely-hard-working-teacher-family-members with our tiny, squishy, adorable nephew. As the weekend approached, it turned out that my sisters felt less and less comfortable with the idea. We decided to shift our time together to a visit. This simple exchange brought up, what I’ve come to realize, is so incredibly important to me.

The transition from being disappointed in someone, to simply being disappointed about something. 

Of course we were sad not to be able to snuggle that tiny ball of squeezable magic, but that doesn’t mean we were disappointed in our family members. Through my time dissecting my own perpetual disapproval, I’ve concluded that people are simply doing what’s best for them. It has nothing to do with me. So while the old me might have been frustrated about the change of plan, I only felt pride in my sisters for honoring what their hearts were telling them to do.

My need to shout this from the mountain tops is only being thwarted by the fact that I’m so out of shape right now. It is so vital to me to foster a family culture that empowers its members to honor themselves, their choices, and their families.

As G and I see it, while we want to teach our children reliability, we never want it to be at the cost of listening to their own hearts. We also don’t want them to ignore themselves to please us. If we create a safe space for them to advocate for themselves now, we also create a space for them to build faith in their instincts. My work is making certain my opinions are out of the way so the children can build that muscle of trusting their own inner-voice. 

I’ve allowed the fear of disappointing others to affect my decisions countless times. My hope is that when our children make choices throughout their life, they’ll know that it’s always more important to do what’s best for them over compromising themselves to avoid disappointing others.


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