I have struggled for the last 2 weeks to commit to this post. Warning , I will be referencing 2 Disney Pixar movies
It's a little confronting, this post which, is why I am writing it. It is something I have to confront.
N. sadness or displeasure caused by the non-fulfilment of one's hopes or expectations.
The key work in there for me is expectations. As in my expectations of how I think others should react.
You will understand more about where I am coming from regarding disappointment when you look at what synonyms there are for the word as well as the only antonym.
Other ways to describe it
Failure, let-down, non-event, anticlimax; misfortune, setback, blow, reversal, stroke of bad luck, body blow, one in the eye; fiasco, disaster,catastrophe, mess, debacle; damp squib; informal flop, dud, washout, non-starter, lead balloon
Oh dear. It paints a horrible picture of poor self esteem.
The opposite of it?
One word - Success
So that is setting the scene..
One of the triggers for a downward spiral for me is disappointment. I understand that everything in life doesn't go our way. It is something we all teach our Kids , to be gracious and accepting when things do go our way. To try and do better, to accept what happens and to move on.
To - Let it go!
Elsa was so right, but I can't just storm off into the snow and freeze everyone and everything in site - as much as I might want to do that.
And by and large I do that for most things, except when I take the crazy tack of looking at everything through the perspective of approval, acknowledgement ,Likability or validation.
So I get it - but.
The big but,
Understanding acceptance is hard when you are coming from a place of thinking you are shit.
I have been really conscious with my children to build them up, to let them know where they stand with me - loved, wanted, good. To build resilience when things go wrong, but to give them the tools to shake it off (sorry not meaning to reference Taylor Swift there!) when stuff doesn't go how they hoped. Essentially to not second guess why people do things, we can't control it and we often don't know why people do what they do. We can only know and understand why we do things.
That's not to say that when I was younger this didn't happen for me, I am sure that in many ways it did. But inside, even now there is a little part of me not quite sure of my place. Not sure if I am really valued, if I am welcome, thinking I am just on the outer, almost in the crowd but not quite. I am not sure when this started or why - but it is there. It is a process to unlearn this.
So consequently, when things go wrong, if my head is not in a good place, my reactions to outcomes that don't go my way are bad. A little like cranky elsa below.
For example, if I try to organise a family event, if not everyone can come, my immediate impulse is that "they don't want to come .... Insert reason here" This happens a lot, it always has. It has been hard for me over the years to resist the urge to bring how I might react into what may be happening for my kids.
Kind of the reverse to living vicariously through them, I can incorrectly bring my reactions into the mix.
Lucky for me - I have 3 quite chill kids - 2 who really understand who they are and one, more like his mother, but hopefully his resilient foundation will stand him in good stead later. That and his father's more balanced outlook.
It affects me in my work, it affects me in my family and with my friends.
That little voice in my head ( well sometimes quite a loud voice) that immediately reacts to disappointing news with - they didn't want, it is your fault, you caused it, etc etc.
It stops me from enjoying life as I often am hesitant to invite people to things or places, as I am worried that they will say no. I can overcompensate with gifts, to shore up my stocks. It doesn't allow me to just accept that often people have their own unique reasons for what they do, that I will never understand - and guess what, I am not meant to!
I can recognise it. I understand it - but right now I can't stop it.
It is the one little voice that creates too much chatter in my head. And if I am having a down day - guess who jumps into the fray. Just like in 'Inside Out' the movie - where all your emotions are meant to sit in balance at the dashboard in our head, sometimes - some of mine take over the controls.
So do I have words of wisdom to round out this post?
No actually I don't. Apart from recognition, I actually don't have an answer for myself.
What I do know is that all part of how I feel and react have some validity. They all have a role in the dashboard of my head.
What I am continually learning is to recognise when the wrong 'emotion' has the controls and just accept that for what it is.
Nothing more, nothing less.
Sometimes sadness is at the controls, but every emotion has a part to play to stay in balance. And in inside out - she was the hero!