Letting go of disappointments
It's coming to that time of year again where a lot of people look at resolutions or intentions for the coming year. I'm not a fan of this... from past experience I know I'm the one who writes a few things down, feels quite positive about the changes I'd like to make, puts the piece of paper in a safe place then never looks at it again. Then at some point in the year I'd find it and realise that I hadn't done any of the things I'd set out to do which made me feel like a failure. So, I took the decision many years again not to write any resolutions or intentions because in doing so I was setting myself up to fail; and that's not good for my self esteem!
In recent years I have noticed a huge drive towards putting intentions out to the universe and waiting for them to materialise. I have read “The Secret” by Rhonda Byrne and also “The Law of Attraction” by Esther and Jerry Hicks but must admit that they were read with some dubiousness. I would love to truly believe the principles contained in those books; ask with high intent and it will come to you (in a nutshell). But, I can't. Just like I had done in the past with my resolutions, I read the books and felt it might be worth giving this a try... it's worked for others so why can't it work for me. And so, I'd make a list of what I wanted to “attract”, set my intention, and wait – but all the while in the back of my mind my critical voice would repeat, “Don't know why you bother, you'll only end up disappointed”. Sadly, it would seem that my critical voice would drown out any voice of hope/belief and my attempts became half hearted and I ended up telling myself, “See I knew it wouldn't work!”.
Thinking back I realise that disappointment seems to be a well known companion of mine. I've heard of depression being described as the 'Black Dog' well I might describe disappointment as a 'Python' that constricts my ability to break out of the critical mindset and have a more open and accepting mind. Growing up I never felt I would amount to much, my parents seemed to look upon me as the joker in the family and I often felt I could never match up to their expectations of me – or is it that I felt they never actually had any expectations of me; I was never encouraged to stay on at school or go to university. There was never much talk of my future other than settling down and getting married. I never felt pushed to achieve (which could be a good thing...) and there was definitely no discussion around any dreams or desires I might have. I guess that could be the catalyst for why I find it quite difficult to set intentions because I'm not practiced in reaching for the stars. Everything I did as a young person was what I might call level headed. I never had a crush on a teacher at school (which quite a few of my friends did!) or a pop star (although I have to admit that David Bowie was, and still is, my hero!) because I knew it was never going to happen. I found it pointless to dream about something that was unobtainable/unachievable. My daydreams were filled with conversations I would have with real people around me, not with movie stars or people I knew for a fact I was never going to meet. I never even played with dolls and all the accessories that come with them; I remember I had a friend who had every Barbie and accompanying horse, house, car etc and who would play with them for ages – it just didn't make any sense to me. Obviously, I had a huge lack of imagination – my life was based in reality because I had to be aware of what was going on around me in order to keep myself, and at times my siblings, safe.
And so, the notion of asking a higher being for anything at all I wanted seemed extremely foreign to me. I read about a person who put a cheque made out to themselves on their fridge for £25,000 with the total expectation that the full amount would come to them. Apparently (my dubiousness!) the money did materialise. So, ok, I thought I'd give it a go but then I questioned how I dare ask for this – it's too materialistic and I have no right to expect this kind of thing. I read about a person asking the angels to provide a parking space for them when they went shopping at a busy supermarket; and a space was available. Now that I could manage – and I do frequently ask for a parking space and I must say, there is always one available. And so I question, why I can ask for a parking space but not the £25,000. Perhaps it comes down to what I think I deserve. Well, I know I don't deserve disappointment all my life, but how do I uncoil myself from the constraints of the 'Python'?
Over the past few months, I've asked the universe for help on many occasions. Most of the time I haven't specified what kind of help I need but I've opened my heart to asking and waiting for something to happen. When I think back I am astounded at the help I have received. Often times this help has come from people I hardly know, and often times the generosity of my family and friends has been more than I would have expected. But help has manifested itself and with each recognition of this, the constraints weaken. I have been moved to tears by the thoughtfulness and support I am getting – sometimes it can be as simple as a quick message like “I'm thinking of you today and sending love”.
I have no doubt that there will still be disappointments to come and part of me welcomes them. In all things, there has to be light and dark – good and bad. Without the disappointments, I won't recognise the joys around me. It's ok for me to feel disappointment but it doesn't have to be my long term companion. I might have experienced my fair share of disappointment in my life but those moments pass and if I were to set any Intention for this coming year it would be this. “I accept the bad but won't be defined by it. I deserve good things, so I'll seek them out. I will embrace whatever comes my way and learn from it.”