I don’t know about you, but for me, disappointment has always been one of the most difficult, uninvited visitors of my emotional rainbow.
That palpable drop in my stomach, that sensation of lead in my veins, my whole body heavy, I go into collapse. Down-hearted, dispirited, despondent.
Disappointment dissolves the joyous heart so swiftly, so aggressively, and lacerates the spirit so unashamedly, so brutally.
Before I’d acquired the emotional languaging for me to label this crushing sensation of the soul as ‘disappointment’ I often erroneously labeled it as ‘depression’. I labeled alot of emotions ‘depression’. Depleted, overwhelmed, exhausted – I was depressed. Uncomfortable, uneasy, unsettled – I was depressed. Lonely, gloomy, grumpy – I was depressed.
With the expansion of emotional vocabulary comes an expansion of insight, tenderness and acceptance. A wash of iridescent pink light in an otherwise airless, windowless room.
In its most insidious delineation, disappointment can trample our dreams and destroy our desires. In our attempts to avoid feeling it, we flee from situations, scenarios and relationships that involve risk and with it, almost guarantee disappointment. We’d rather run away from feeling, than risk our fragile hearts.
But the escape route is only illusory. It’s transient and impregnated with false promises. The thing that keeps us safe, keeps us small. We smother our own life force by holding our breath and hiding from life.
Instead of succumbing to the fear of a feeling, can we disentangle ourselves from that fear? Can we invite ourselves to dance with disappointment? To welcome it in with loving arms and know deep in our hearts that it is a messenger, letting us know that we are alive, and breathing, and exquisite in our uniqueness. That we are profoundly, passionately and whole-heartedly living. That the heaviness and the despondency are merely whispers of our deepest desires, humming softly ‘This is what you really want. You’re on the right path. Keep going my darling’.
Though sometimes devastating in its impact, disappointment really only reveals our deepest longing. We are being shown what matters to us most. We are being shown our nature’s song.
To dance with disappointment is an invitation to open our hearts and eyes and ears, to decipher our dreams and discover what satisfies our soul.