When Disappointment Overshadows ki

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Disappointment: unhappiness or sadness from the failure of something hoped for.

Disappointment doesn’t respond to tears. It doesn’t respond to logical arguments or talking about details. It doesn’t respond to the words…this isn’t the end of the world because for someone in this moment it feels like it is.

Disappointment does respond to empathy and encouragement and a silent supportive energy from someone who truly cares. Disappointment responds to time and allowing that space to prepare a place where peace will eventually settle in and that disappointment will lose its grip.

The disappointment will fade and you will find joy through the pain, in spite of it. You will not just go through the pain but you will grow through it and come out on the other side forever changed.

What Hurts The Most

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The feelings that hurt most, the emotions that sting most, are those that are absurd – The longing for impossible things, precisely because they are impossible; nostalgia for what never was; the desire for what could have been; regret over not being someone else; dissatisfaction with the world’s existence. All these half-tones of the soul’s consciousness create in us a painful landscape, an eternal sunset of what we are.Fernando Pessoa

Sad but true? What do you think?

Ever Feel Stuck?

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Sometimes I have some pretty specific plans but life changes them. I am sitting here in my car that won’t start frustrated that I cannot do the things I need to do today. My niece has a birthday on Thursday and I brainlessly sent her gift to Oklahoma instead of Pennsylvania so the first thing on my list was mailing her package. The second was food shopping because I avoided the dreaded task all weekend and now I am left stranded with no dinner plan. I feel like this often…stuck and forced to deal with the situation that has been handed to me. They say you can learn a lot about yourself by the way you react to situations like this and I am not reacting at all. That is one thing about depression that sometimes comes in handy. You don’t really want to do the things you have to do anyway so when you can’t do them it’s almost bittersweet.  Usually my husbands truck is here but that along with his car, is sitting in his parking lot at work so I’ll just sit here for now without the need to ponder what I will do next because there is nothing that I can do. Do you ever feel stuck? What do you do about it? How do you react?

Knowing Your Triggers

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Because I am a control freak, my demeanor often reflects that too. I am not outwardly too much of anything. I am a numbed down version of who I should probably be. I don’t like to surrender myself in any situation. That includes matters of the heart or matters of my own will. We all have triggers I guess and last night schoolwork turned me into a loaded gun. I get to that point where I just snap and I hate myself for it in the minutes that follow. It’s hard for me to shake that side of myself off. I hold myself to a pretty high standard and when I act in a way I don’t approve, I take it pretty hard. Sure, it’s easy to say everyone makes mistakes and it’s important to forgive and do better. There are just some lines that should never be crossed. The first time, we just look at the line and it feels awful. Next time we move a little  closer and maybe touch it with the bottom of our foot. Eventually we have the confidence to step right over it and never come back. I see that pattern in people all the time. It’s like taking that first drink that leads to a lifetime of debilitating drinking. That’s how it starts and knowing my own limits and not going outside of them is something I’ve always practiced and admired in myself. So what is one to do when that imaginary line has been broken? Is it possible to imagine it there again and promise not to do it again or is it important to be honest and say what’s broken will always be broken and remember how this day feels because of one bad choice and don’t ever make it again. It’s not even something that would be that big of a deal for the average person, but a step out of my comfort zone in this direction was surely a step in the wrong direction. So today, I will try and convince myself it’s okay to make an occasional mistake and make that important promise to myself that I will grow from it and next time choose better. You can never go back but you can choose to remain stuck in a moment or to move forward. I’m going to keep on moving. 

Regret 

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Have you ever realized you were doing something awful and continued to do it anyway? Yeah, that happened to me tonight. I know it won’t do me any good to beat myself up about it but I am extremely angry with myself. How come it isn’t easier to stop something we know just isn’t right and is detrimental to ourselves and others? The worst part of the whole situation is I’ve done it over and over again for these last few days. I hope tomorrow brings better choices.

Is there something you do that you know you shouldn’t because it doesn’t leave you or anyone else around you in a positive place? I’d love to hear about it.

Sometimes Being Mom Hurts 

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This is the last unfortunate story I will share about my week. I will start by saying every day is a new day and every week, a new week. What does not completely destroy us will have to make us stronger. Life gives us no other choice.

After getting some difficult news earlier in the week, I pulled myself together to go to Kayleigh’s volleyball game. That’s what parents do, no matter what they are going through on the inside, they stay strong and steady on the outside. The season is practically over and I have seen my daughter play in one game. I could see the pain on her face as she sat on that bench. She was the only girl not subbed in the entire game. Her posture said it all, defeat. She lost so much more than just the game that horrible night. I could see her fighting back the tears as I tried my best to hide my own. I can’t for the life of me figure out why this coach has been so unkind. I am so honest when it comes to my kids strengths and weaknesses and she really is just as good as any other girl on the team. She has given up so many hours of her time, sometimes going to three games a week and forced to sit there while freshman, and varsity play as well. Did I mention staying up until one in the morning to do the work she was not allowed to do at the game? Has it been worth it? Nope. Not to sit on the bench game after game trying her best to high five her teammates and put on a happy face.

She came to us after the game and told us she wanted to quit. I know there are some parents out there that are firm believers, if you start something, you should finish it. I used to feel that way too. As the years have gone by, I realize how important it is to make sure the activities and people around her build her self esteem, not rip it away. There comes a time when you say, this isn’t fair and you do deserve better, your time is important, you’re important. There comes a point when you don’t allow someone to take away what isn’t theirs to take. Shame on anyone who would purposely do this to any child. Sometimes I think people working in any capacity with kids need a thorough mental exam before we entrust them with the most precious thing in our little world. 

Volleyball meant so much to her. She was so excited to get back on the court and I was thrilled to see her follow her heart and do what she really loves. Such a shame. Needless to say, she went to practice the next day and told her coach exactly how she felt and what did her coach say? I understand you not wanting to be on the team anymore, finalizing the decision instead of having a conversation. Once again, she walks away from another sport, another coach who clearly sends the message, I don’t believe in you. You are not enough. What can I say except my heart still hurts. Two difficult lessons in the span of a week and another part of my heart broke watching her in pain. The toughest job in the world is being a mom. I am more than her mom. I am her advocate, her cheering squad, her shoulder to lean on and the one person in the world who will always be here for her, believing in her. I pray loving her will be enough. 

 

Allow Today To Be That Day

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Do you carry yesterday into today? I believe one main reason we have difficult, damaged relationships is because we carry the past into the present. Instead of approaching someone with today, we approach them with our feelings and thoughts from yesterday, last week, last year or another time that doesn’t serve any of us well at all.

Here’s an example. Yesterday, I told Chase to go straight to biology and put his vocabulary words in his backpack so he could study for his test. When I picked him up at the end of the day, he didn’t have the list. I approached him with the angry expectation that he wouldn’t have it and our interaction yesterday fell short of being something positive. Was that fair to him? Was it beneficial for me to drag the morning into the afternoon?

Imagine the relationships we’ve had for years. Can you imagine the damage and failure of relationships if we continue to approach someone as if they are a negative moment of the past? It is so counter-productive and that poor family member or friend doesn’t stand a chance. It’s like declaring a guilty verdict every time without ever allowing a trial.

Today, and everyday, approach everyone with the attitude that this moment is a new day. You are a new person, they are a new person and this a chance to start fresh. Be here, right now and leave your judgements and baggage outside the door. You are destroying your own heart and everyone around you if you try and drag yesterday into every today. Don’t approach anyone today like they are that same anger, disappointment or frustration they were yesterday. That time, that conversation, that interaction is over, it’s time to move on. Just something to think about today.

“Let today be the day you finally release yourself from the imprisonment of past grudges and anger. Simplify your life. Let go of the poisonous past and live the abundantly beautiful present… today.” 

Steve Maraboli

Life Can Turn You Inside Out(My Reaction To The Movie)

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I recently saw the movie Inside Out. I went with the expectation that it was going to be funny but the truth is it left me feeling very depressed. I don’t want to spoil the movie for you but I will share the reasons I found it so painful.

We are born with the purest of hearts. We love unconditionally and we trust in a way that makes us feel safe and secure. Our eyes only see the good in the world and the people around us. They smile at us and we smile back. The world is a place that is exciting and we are exhilarated by the way we see it every new day. If something is wrong, mom and dad are there to fix it. We want something, it is given to us. We learn that whatever we need will be provided to us by someone else. We are told everything will be okay.

Somewhere along the road of growing up, we learn pain. We don’t wake up excited anymore, we wake up trying to convince ourselves to get out of bed. We are told to suck it up buttercup and keep moving on. We learn that the world is not as safe as we once believed and we learn that people are capable of hurting us in the most horrible ways. We learn that we are on our own and there are just some things that will never be fixed. Everything will not always be okay and we have to deal with the disappointment that brings. We start to love conditionally and we shut ourselves off a little more each time someone lets us down. People we loved so easily start to appear a whole new way. We place conditions on them and they place condition on us. We start to judge our lives and others by the unrealistic expectations that end up killing the spirit that used to make us feel so free. We say and do things we are not proud of and we spend a lifetime trying to forgive ourselves. We spend a lifetime searching for happiness instead of finding happiness in every single thing around us. We start to believe that happiness is dependent on this or dependent on that. We put off living today because we are living the past or rushing the future. Our looking forward to a new day is replaced by dreading another mundane day. The happy go lucky child in us takes on responsibility that doesn’t feel as fun as riding our bike down the street we used to live on each night. Bills happen, tragedies happen, people die and despite the grip we have on the wheel, we cannot control the direction of the car we try so hard to steer. We want life to be fun and roses but the truth is we are sad, discouraged and mostly lonely. We pretend we are happy. We pretend we can handle anything and let life’s blows just roll off our back. The reality is every blow hurts. Every blow leaves a scar and taints the innocent view of the world we once so easily had. We stop seeing through the bright eyes of a child that used to be bursting with life and worst of all, we stop making time to play. We don’t even remember how to play anymore. We are serious now. Mature. Responsible. We wish we had a binky to make it all better or a replacement for that stuffed animal that used to be tucked underneath our arm. Remember how it used to make everything better? Our security blanket is ripped away and we are left alone standing fearfully on our own two feet waiting for Superman to fly in and save the world, save us from ourselves maybe. He never comes. We stop expecting anything from anyone and we stop looking into the eyes of people all together because they are much too busy staring into cell phones to look back. We become one with our sadness until it feels comfortable and slowly, one day, we start to heal.

I’m not trying to say life is horrible. It’s wonderful and there is so much good. What I am saying is growing up can be really hard. We realize that what we believed as a child is not the reality we live as an adult. We discover that life is more than being happy. It is about loving and living and disappointment, success, failure, hurt, pain and everything in between. It is a journey of embracing every detail of your life and reinventing the dream of what you thought it would be into the reality of what it is. You love the inner child in you so she feels safe again and you accept her unconditionally so she learns to reopen the parts of her heart that hurt once closed. You learn to let life happen the way it unfolds and you set your car on cruise control. You accept that everything won’t be okay but you will hold it together to get to another day. You learn that each day holds promise, a chance to do better, to live better and to finally make time to play. You accept that Superman is not real and you learn to become your own hero, to save yourself. You learn that the best friend you could ever have is yourself and to live a way that feels right with your soul. You start to love unconditionally again and you find forgiveness for the ones who let you down. You learn that life will be filled with every emotion and that’s okay. You start to look for the good in everyone and you feel a tremendous amount of gratitude for the blessings that are all around you. You accept that life is tragically beautiful and you buckle your seatbelt for the bumps along the way. You live, you love and you do it all again when you wake up the next day. Life can turn you inside out and make you feel upside down. Learn to stand on your head and enjoy the view from wherever you are. 

Dancing With Disappointment

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Have you danced with disappointment? I guess at some point we all have. For some reason or another, I attract people who disappoint. I attract people who make broken promises, who never follow through. I used to think there must be something really wrong with me. Why do people find it so easy to let me down? I am so dependable and it hurts to not have someone who is the same. I think differently now. I believe people are really broken. They let themselves down and their lack of follow through goes far beyond their small interaction with me. It takes a great deal of strength and perseverance to stop taking things personally. People are who they are and they don’t intentionally set out to disappoint the ones around them. I believe there are people who will just never get their act together because they just can’t, no matter how hard they try. So what do we do with these people who continually hurt us or drag us down? We must learn to accept them and love them the way they are. The battles they fight go deeper than what the human eye can see. We must choose to look the other way and admit this is just a part of who they are. It’s okay to dance with disappointment but it’s important to remember we have the power to choose a different partner. Dance with love and forgiveness and acceptance. That is one dance worth staying on the floor a couple minutes longer.

Thoughts On Disappointment

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We have become a population disappointed. We are disappointed in the movie we just went to see and we are disappointed in the meal we just paid to eat. We have become convinced if every second and every bite and every experience isn’t absolutely perfect all the time then it wasn’t worth our time. Imagine if we looked for the good moments instead of pointing out all the bad. Sure, maybe the food wasn’t so great but after all you didn’t have to prepare it or clean it up, so isn’t that worth smiling about?

I think our expectations have become too large and our appreciation of the small things has become too little. I see it when I am around different types of crowds. Some people are miserable. They think everything is awful and they complain about everything and everyone. Nothing seems to make them happy. Nothing seems to be good enough. Maybe what isn’t good enough is not everyone and everything that surrounds them but actually their own attitude itself. Then there are people that smile, find the good in everything and really enjoy themselves no matter who they are around or where they are. They laugh and conversation with them is easy and they are just pleasant to be around. It’s worth taking a look and asking yourself one very important question? If I wasn’t me, would I be a person I would want to hang out with? It’s a tough question but one that deserves an honest answer. Those are my thoughts on disappointment. I’d love to hear what you think.