No, I'm not more enlightened than this.
I find expressing disappointment a bit of a challenge. If I don’t do it, I know it’s going to build up, fester, gnaw at me. If I do it, I run the risk of meeting with resistance, disappointment, the end of a relationship. Plus, I may have to deal with realizing shit I haven’t dealt with yet - the shit I think I’ve already dealt with before expressing my disappointment. Then there's the inner critic of course, always quick to judge. And god forbid, if I really go ahead, the other person and I could learn something about ourselves and each other, understand, grow, end up with an even deeper connection.
Today, I got an email from one of my best friends. He was disappointed. And he wasn’t hiding any of it behind careful words. It hurt, especially because I immediately understood. I’d been aloof, even showed indifference towards him. And it hurt again, because my inner judge of course said “How can you be such a blind insensitive dumbass? After all he’s done for you!”
But most of all I was grateful. As far as messages go, disappointment’s just about the most vulnerable one you can post. Our inner judge is very quick to say “I thought you were more enlightened than this. I thought you were above these petty disappointments. Sheesh, was I wrong about you!” So we tend to leave it.
But leaving it means running into it some other time, one way or another. And I’m learning more and more that accepting our disappointment, taking responsibity for it as our own feeling, embracing it without judgment, and then sharing it, however big or small is a gift, to ourselves and to the people we’re sharing it with. A gift that requires balls to give. So really, it’s one of the most enlightened things we can do.
So why not try it? Every time I do, I end up feeling alive, clean, connected, grateful.
Photo: Angry Buddha, by bekkchen on Flickr.