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  • Writer's pictureEmma Norton

Bred on Disappointment

How much of your life is defined by your choice to settle? In particular, correlating to the ways that others have let you down?

As we examine our external need for validation, we see the seed planted for disappointment. Only you are responsible for your contentment, and you have to navigate the muddy waters of what you truly want out of life versus what others give you, good or bad.

Disappointment is a driving force. How many lost dreams are impressed upon us as children or decisions made for us to fit into the mold our caregivers or others have created? Moving forward, we fall into jobs, friendships, relationships all to satisfy the perceived ways that we will not disappoint whomever in society. 

Ultimately it comes down to your marital, professional, and any other externally valuable statuses. THIS is what will make you happy, they say. THIS is going to be your way to inner peace. But, what if it's not? I have had continual disappointments personally and professionally. Often they came with apparent losses, but on a deeper level, it has been the lack of integrity others have shown. The disappointment I realized is the difference in my adaptability and care for others, but at the same time, I have been spared often from farther moments of disparity that would go against the grain for my soul.

It is hard to maintain idealistic views of people, places, and things to come close to them and feel the lack oozing out of the experience. I stayed in different circumstances because I felt like I had to because I could see beyond the exterior, only to suffer from missed payments, poor behavior, and lack of forwarding momentum for myself. The ultimate disappointment is believing in the good and receiving the opposite. Surely not every experience could be a repetition of this. But in my moments of feeling incredibly happy and successful, it almost felt like it was too good to be true. We tend to become disheartened and lose belief in the goodness we deserve, thus continuing this cycle of settling and accepting disappointments instead of understanding what we lack within ourselves to stop them from transpiring or being so impactful upon our lives.

When I stopped hiding from myself and acknowledged these patterns surrounding disappointment, giving space for the skeletons in my closet, I felt like I conquered this little war raging within. If I am happy, here and now, I can better assimilate to different experiences, and if I can see through the egoic shields of others, I can be more compassionate. So I have nothing to be disappointed about.

I don't look at the societal standards that once crippled me because I never fit into them, or wanted to really. I see all I have accomplished thus far that were massive goals, and though they might not have been as fulfilling as I imagined, or maybe I didn't appreciate them as much at the time, I know now. I never settled. I always went for it, and I did it with kindness and respect 99% of the time. If I fail at disappointing myself, I'm okay with that.

I haven't settled. I have tried. I have made big dreams happen for myself, and I suppose the balance to that has been the disappointments. But now, I take time to lick my wounds for better adaptivity, and the more I work through those kinks, the better I feel with consistency. Life isn't meant to be this high octane existence to avoid yourself. Nor to be lived for you to fit into the ideals of others. Life is to be lived with a level of integrity that you can uphold and following your heart. Not your ego. What a trap that is to fall into, am I right?

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