It’s the season of giving, and a time when expectations, and disappointments can hit an all-time high.
Not so much about the gift giving (though it can disappointing when it really misses the mark), but in all the other ways we give to those we love around the holiday season. The way you invest your time, energy, and intentions, along with the thoughts behind any material gifts – what if those aren’t returned the way you expected?
The simple wisdom goes: give, and don’t expect anything back, then you won’t be disappointed. So, don’t have any expectations?
I needed to examine: where have I felt the most disappointed? Where might I have had a part in creating that experience?
Our deepest disappointments are felt with anyone we’ve carved out a space for in our hearts. On some level – big or small we care how this person thinks about us, how they treat us, and whether there’s a reflection back because we’ve giving whole-heartedly from a genuine part of ourself that cares. It’s healthy to have that come back to mirror who we are.
That other simple wisdom: “don’t care what anyone else thinks” doesn’t apply here. You will care about what the people you love think just as you hope those who love you care about what you think! The secret is letting go of where you don’t have control of what someone else thinks when their ideals don’t resonate with yours : )
Those willing to grow with you will have a mutual desire to be curious, beneficial, and influential in your life – even when you disagree, and vice versa so you can grow, and change together.
The problem is we don’t just hold different values sometimes with those we care about, we operate from different places of self-value. This gap can be so big between you that the way you give, and receive can result in huge disappointments.
Have you ever felt a need to be overly thankful to someone more for them, or to please them – not because of your inherent gratitude or genuine praise? Intuitively, do you notice where someone seems to need your accolades to feel good about themselves? A part of you wants to give this to make them happy. But it’s a warning sign that you are feeding into something self-destructive: their ego.
You are secretly validating someone’s need to fill the void in them by seeking it from you. Nothing outside can make someone feel ‘good enough’ inside. When it comes to those we love, this can be a toxic place when someone depends on you for their self-worth.
Byron Katie, author of “Loving What Is” suggests we stop seeking love, approval, and appreciation from other people. This is where our biggest disappointments get created. You don’t need to seek these when you already hold them within you to share. When you value yourself, you can confidently live by your own values without worrying what anyone thinks.
You attract others who also value themselves, and any disappointments become resolvable because there’s a safe space to share transparently without either of you taking it personally. It’s where you don’t feel valued that disappointments occur.
The more people you have in your life who value themselves the way you do, the less you will be disappointed because your expectations of each other will naturally get met. You’ve surrounded yourself with those whose vibe matches yours. There’s a space to experience true joy, laughter, and connection on levels that keep expanding.
The more you seek love, approval, and appreciation from others, the more expectations you will have, and chances are, the more disappointed you will feel because others are now mirroring your own self-deception – that you are not worthy, otherwise why would you need to seek something from them to make you happy?
When you can give from a place where you value your own self-worth, you have the capacity to give without being attached to the outcome of what they will give back. When all your gifts – your time, energy, or thoughts behind any material things comes from a place where you value yourself – it ALL comes back- if your recipient holds a similar self-value so they can receive you.
Love isn’t something you need to try to give. You already are that – it’s learning how to connect more and more to this part of yourself so you can give, and receive from here that suddenly you find yourself experiencing more joy, and less disappointment because what comes back is exactly what you expected.
It’s where I’m expecting something to feed a place that’s lacking self-worth in me that I feel a disappointment I could have avoided if not for this self-deception. My ego is seeking what my spirit knows I already have.
Do you ever give from a place of needing to please someone? Then you will expect others to please you by giving that same way. It feels more like an obligation than giving, but it’s easy to slip here where your ego can make you feel guilty, and you will feel disappointed by what you feel owed.
Sadly, I see a lot of relationships based on this exchange: “what are you doing for me?”, and it’s not in their awareness that there’s is a toxic energy that flows back and forth. Instead, ask “what are we wanting to give to each other to nurture our highest joy, and capacity to grow together”?
Author Rob Bell says you have a second set of eyes with those you love. When you are disappointed, ask them to show you what you are not seeing with their eyes that you cannot see with your own. Then decide if that makes sense to you, and whether you can trust those eyes!
Every time I bump up against what I wasn’t expecting, I see it as an opportunity to grow more connected to who I really am. Closer to that Divine part within us all. I ask myself:
- Why do I feel this way based on my values?
- What am I not seeing about this person that isn’t what I anticipated?
- Is it consistent with how they treat other people where it has nothing to do with me?
- Do I have all the information to understand the perspective they are coming from?
- Have I communicated what’s really feeling disappointing to me without blame?
- Am I willing to let this person go without any hard feelings?
- Do I need to distant myself to create a healthy boundary?
When you practice honouring your own self-value, your space will open to attract more of what won’t disappoint you because the energy of the ego that believes you’re worthless is no longer blocking you. I guarantee it : ).