Disappointment by Any Other Name

I resist the concept of disappointment.   It brings back all of those black clouds of being “talked to” as a child and doesn’t feel at all zen-like.

I especially dislike the concept of being disappointed in a person.  It feels controlling and somehow usurps that person’s identity.  What right do I have to be so vested in who they are, how they act or what they express that I would be DISAPPOINTED.  Really!

My aversion doesn’t always eliminate the feeling, however.  And so,  I must rename it, rationalize it into something else, jolly myself out of it or just deny it altogether.  Any or all of these seem to work fairly well because I rarely think of myself as disappointed.

It’s hard to avoid the whole “build-up for a letdown” thing, though.  Often those things I most look forward to just don’t live up.  Excitement building to a crescendo probably carries some intrinsic core of deflation.  Whether it’s idolizing a person or dying to go to a party, it doesn’t usually work out so well.  But it’s hard not to fast-forward into images of bliss.

It all comes down to expectations and hope, doesn’t it? Neither of those are high on the list of a Buddhist philosophy and I can see the reason.  If I place expectations on a person or event, I am setting myself up for the dreaded feeling.  If I hope to elicit a response or if I manipulate events toward my own goals, then I’m certainly not detached from outcome.

Oh, Pshaw!

I find that I am not superhuman nor highly enlightened.  I like things to go my way.  So when life go sideways, I’ll just have to think of another word for it.  In spite of lessons I learn along the way, sometime things just suck!

I’ll meditate on that one…






  1. Hmm today I have been wondering whether and how to express my disappointment with someone without giving the sense that I had the right to expect something of them… so let me know whether you managed to come up with an apt renaming.


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