Because of course it is!
It may sound crazy what I’m about to say.* But not that many decades ago, knowing you had feelings, much less expressing them, was considered taboo. Feelings were a sign of weakness.
It was considered normal if from time to time you felt happy (Pharrell style lite). Or if you cried at a funeral. But other than on these special occasions, feelings were those confusing, icky things that you didn’t talk about and just assumed, like we all learned, didn’t have a real purpose in your body. Sort of like your appendix.
But times have changed. We recognize life is made up of thoughts from our rational minds and emotions from our feeling hearts. We know there are “good” feelings and “bad” that affect every aspect of our health. We’re not aiming to dwell on the bad, but not looking to deny them either. We even speak freely about honoring them.
Except, it seems,for disappointment. Disappointment doesn’t get its due. Which gets me wondering: What if disappointment is the forgotten emotion? And why
Maybe it’s because it’s one we give more logic to than heart. Maybe we don’t know an actual emotion. Perhaps it’s because disappointment hurts just too darned much to feel.
What If the very last time you ever wanted to feel that, was the moment your parent or teacher looked you in the eye and said, “I am so disappointed in you.”
What if it then took years for you to realize they disappointed you, too?
What if every time we’re told to “just look down and plow ahead,” all we’re doing is digging a deeper hole?
What if the only way out of our feelings is through?
What if we peer down that hole long enough to see that it’s not a vacuum. Don’t be afraid.
There’s no shortage of circumstances to look at:
Disappointment with a friend who can’t show up for our party.
The trailer that was better than the movie.
The love that fizzled we thought would last forever.
The project we put our talents and money into that didn’t pan out the way we imagined.
Disappointment with this new nation and a world we know our children must inherit.
And what if, as we hear, you have disappointment because you had expectations? That the simple and smart solution is not to have them.
But what if not having expectations is impossible if not ridiculous?
If giving up on expectations requires giving up on people and risks and your own possibilities, Taking about despair!
That while we learn how to manage loss and disappointment more as time goes by, life is more than just a call to put on your “big girl panties” or suck your dreams up into your Spanx.
It takes true grit to feel your disappointment for only an instant.
Let it in and it will let you be. And pass.
How do we know this? Because all the feelings do. The bad ones and the good!
What if when it comes to allowing yourself to feel disappointment, you’re either heading for a transformation on the flip side of the hole or staying in your personal Ground Hog’s Day forever?
What if you discover you were not wrong or naïve to have had a vision dashed?
That what you get for feeling is a free flowing breath. A new clarity and a forgiveness. A genuine chance for spiritual maturity that is no small blessing.
Because only then can we move ahead in our lives knowing in our heart the words of Martin Luther King Jr. are still spot on:
“We must accept finite disappointment but never lose infinite hope.”
*thank you Pharrell Williams song, “Happy!”