I came across a meme today at a moment when I was feeling overwhelmed and needed some clarity. “Have you ever been so disappointed in someone that you forgive them and don’t say anything, but in your head you detach yourself from them completely?” Have you? The first thing I noted was an ah-ha moment because I realized I have done this. Sometimes we detach to protect ourselves and we become numb to how we feel about them. The second thing I noted was this says you detach in your head. It takes longer for the heart to detach.
Disappointment. This is an emotion I struggle with the most. If I don’t allow myself to feel excited or feel the anticipation of something, then I begin to detach and not feel the moment. That’s not fun and it’s not living in those moments that make life worth breathing for. And yet when I’m feeling disappointment it is one of the worst feelings in the world. When something doesn’t go my way, I can come to grips with that much easier than when I feel someone has let me down. I reason that people don’t try to let me down and sometimes things are out of our control. I also reason that people do not always make the best choices or that the best choice for them may not be the best choice for me. When I’m feeling disappointed, I freeze up and can’t think, can’t feel. I become overwhelmed but numb, sad but unable to cry, mad but unable to express it, overthinking but unable to think about any one thing. Blanche, from the Golden Girls, calls this overwhelming combobulation of feelings “Magenta”.
I wrangle with the aftermath of disappointment. Is there something I could have done different? Did I make a bad choice in trusting my friend? Should I have taken time for myself instead of putting myself out there to help someone else? Why did I let myself get so excited with an opportunity that hadn’t come to fruition? Should I trust people so willingly? Should I give people so many chances that others would not have given? Is my choice to live a giving, empathetic, and compassionate life the right choice for me? Are people who care about me right that I give too much?
I struggle with all of these things when I feel disappointment. You might be overwhelmed by just reading this. I know I am from writing it. But it helps me to write. It helps me to take some time to breathe away from the thoughts and feelings that overpower me. It helps to take a walk. It helps to talk to someone. It helps to understand the basic reason I feel the disappointment and to say it out loud. It helps, when it’s a person who has disappointed me, to let them know how I was affected by their choice. It helps me to be true to myself and speak or write to them with honesty and compassion.
Forgiveness. Choose to let go of negative feeling you are holding. Choose to move and give yourself peace. It’s not about the other person. It’s about you, your health.
Detachment. The meme talked about forgiving and detaching. I can forgive and move forward. But detaching is a struggle. Did I give it my all? The thought of walking away or cutting people out of my life is hard for me. In my mind, there is always a way to mend a fence. But it takes two. Is it a reasonable expectation? Mending a fence may not be necessary or an available option. I have said it many times and I believe. We are here for a blip and we should embrace and love one another. So it’s not a matter of questioning if someone is worthy of another chance. It’s a matter of using your head over your heart and asking yourself if that person has good intentions or understands the pain they have caused. Sometimes it is best to close a chapter in your life and walk away. Sometimes the harder choice is to leave the door open, be vulnerable with someone who has hurt you.
Feelings. The meme said you detach in your head. I don’t like this feeling either because I feel numb for awhile while my heart is on hold trying to get through to the call center to the head.
Once the heart gets a chance to talk it sounds a lot like this “I’ve been on hold for awhile and I’m trying to find some answers. What are my options? Do I have to make a decision? Can I speak to an expert about controlling overwhelming feelings? Please don’t put me on hold again. I want to breathe and not feel numb.” Because I know disappointment is the feeling that I have a hard time coping with, my automated response is to say “it’s okay” when it’s simply not. I’m learning slowly. I try to remember to not take things personally, though they affect me personally. I look at the big picture of how this will affect me. Did I have unreasonable expectations? Is it really okay? How do I continue to trust people and let them in? I believe there is good in everyone and we don’t mean to hurt one another. I trust my instincts and I lead with love. This is how I am true to myself. I put myself out there and take the good with the bad. That’s life. That’s love.
What emotions do you struggle with the most? What do you do when deeply feeling the power of that emotion? What do you do to get through that moment? How often do you reflect on changing either what you do or how you react to help alleviate the feelings that can overpower you?
~I’m here to help
Chopra Addiction & Wellness Center. 2019. Forgiveness and Healing: Why You Can’t Have One Without the Other. Chopra Addiction & Wellness Center. Retrieved from: http://www.chopratreatmentcenter.com/blog/2018/08/05/forgiveness-healing/
Henshaw, Sophie. July 8, 2018. How to Cope with Disappointment. PsychCentral. Retrieved from: https://psychcentral.com/blog/how-to-cope-with-disappointment/
Raeeka. 2011. 4 Steps to Deal with Disappointment. tiny buddha. Retrieved from: https://tinybuddha.com/blog/4-steps-to-deal-with-disappointment/
Golden Girls episode “Take Him, He’s Mine” aired October 1986.