Disappointment…Thy Name is…

Since I wrote the last blog I have perseverated about the good, the bad, the wrong and the right to be…disappointed.  It constantly butts into that expectation thing and always leads back to that ugly concept of putting expectations on people, especially those we love.  Doesn’t that just sound smarmy and big bad motherly?  I can’t tolerate that in myself, so I have pursued the question with inordinate intensity.

Yet I’m pretty human (as opposed to buddha-ish).  I have a difficult time living in the present.  I look forward with anticipation to events, to seeing people, to having my perfectly well-devised plans come to fruition.

Last night I set myself up for a big one.  I made a date for dinner thinking that my husband would think it was a good idea.  Even as I made the commitment I thought, “That’s iffy, you don’t really know if he will want to do it, if he’s free.”  Etc. Etc.  To forestall big problems I let him know about it immediately and was relieved when he bought into the idea.  Until…

He got a better offer.  His uncle came to town for a quick trip and of course he agreed to meet with him.

After traveling through the gamut of emotions, the final gloom that settled over me felt a lot like the “D” word.  I nestled down into my dark place and chewed on every feeling.  I couldn’t hang around very long with anger at my husband.  And my irritation at following through with dinner plans alone was pointless.  Why ruin a perfectly good evening?  It was impossible to cancel the commitment and hole up in my personal rain cloud.

This morning I was still munching on the aftermath and I was down to the nitty-gritty.  And came the “Aha” moment: when I eliminate my false expectations, when I stop looking to another person or failed plan to take responsibility for my feelings; I am left with sadness.


And I’m okay with being sad.  I can savor it, holding its sharp tang in my throat as it fills my chest and let it billow around me.  Because like all feelings, it will pass.

It’s different than disappointment.  Disappointment becomes a yardstick for measurement.  It burns like a brand, forever marking a person or activity to be avoided or dismissed as lacking.  I’ll take sadness any day!



  1. Have you ever read any of Byron Katie’s work? She has a way of making it so clear to me that any disappointment or sadness I feel are just lies I’m telling myself that seem true. The scenario with your husband is SO familiar. And I’ve gone off the deep end many times. Recently, I’ve been doing Katie’s Work, and though its hard, it provides me comfort when I find myself in a tizzy about something someone else did that makes me mad. Only I make myself mad. But you know that. 🙂


    • Thanks for that. I’ll get her book. Seems that I’ve heard of *Loving What Is*. I can always use some help with that.


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