How do you deal with disappointment that comes in all shapes and sizes for all of us?
We think something should happen or shouldn’t have happened and we hold onto that expectation, ruining relationships and making us physically sick.
Here’s what Marie told us…
She had to repeatedly deal with disappointment around her husband’s lack of attention and awareness of her needs.
Marie felt like she was constantly “doing” for him but never getting anything in return.
Her disappointment had turned to constant anger and resentment so reached out to us.
Here are a few ways to deal with disappointment that we suggested to her and to you as well…
1. Be willing to see your “shoulds” for what they really are
Your whole situation doesn’t mean anything except what you make up that it means. Nothing more. Nothing less.
We’re not trying to minimize the pain or frustration of what’s happened.
We are pointing out that the ONLY thing that’s going on here is that you’re caught up in a loop of thinking that keeps looping around.
You’re having a thought…
“I should have ____________________”
“I shouldn’t have ____________________”
“They don’t care about________________________”
Fill in the blank with all the crazy making thoughts that have popped up for you about this situation…
And you’ve got your emotional state that you continue to relive over and over.
Not a good time. Not very helpful either.
What is helpful is to see that our life as we know it is nothing more or less than our thoughts, made real and brought to life by our consciousness…
Then we turn these thoughts into beliefs and call them real.
Marie could see she had a lot of “shoulds” around the way she wanted her husband to be but she’d either hinted at them or complained when they didn’t happen.
She could see that her past actions to get her needs met hadn’t helped.
She could see that reliving her expectations just increased her anger and kept it alive.
2. It’s not about changing your thoughts
We’re not suggesting that all you need to do is change your thoughts.
That’s total BS.
You can’t change a thought.
You can only notice a thought AFTER that fact that it’s already occurred.
Trying to change a thought would require you to rehash that thought and the situation over and over and over which would NOT be helpful at all.
Marie became aware that when she tried to convince herself that whatever she wanted didn’t matter, the thought became even bigger as she pushed against it.
She saw how futile that was!
3. Freedom comes by way of just noticing
Just simply notice that thoughts are happening.
You don’t have to pour any energy into them.
You don’t resist the thoughts.
You don’t try to change them.
You don’t try to make yourself wrong for having them.
None of that.
It’s just the noticing “Oh, I’m caught up in my thinking.”
You don’t hold on.
You don’t resist.
You don’t re-live the situation over and over.
You just “notice.” That’s it. Notice.
And when you do that, you’ll begin to notice the hurt, the anger, the upset, the frustration starts loosening its grip on you…
Maybe not all at once or maybe all at once.
In the next weeks, Marie became aware that in “noticing” that she was caught up in her thinking, she relaxed.
In the relaxing, she was more open with her husband and he became more open and loving with her.
When the tightness that you’ve held around what should have happened and isn’t begins to loosen…
When you see that maybe there’s something better than what you thought you wanted…
That’s where the freedom is.
As Mick Jagger sang…
“No, you can’t always get what you want
“But if you try sometime you find
“You get what you need”