Saturday, October 10, 2015

Rumbling With Unmet Expectations and Disappointments

 I am joining Kate Motaung and others who are writing every day in October. My intention is to record my reactions and feelings about Brené Brown's newest book, "Rising Strong". You can find the other posts I have written here.                

   Yesterday as I was writing about the bouncers Anger, Blame, and Avoidance I reached way down into the emotional stories of the past to understand why I was employing these bullies. It was not immediately clear. Having children and starting a family was a goal I desperately wanted to achieve. Why was I often so angry? I went back to chapter seven of "Rising Strong"to review the common rumbles we all have.

"Disappointment is unmet expectations, and the more significant the expectations, the more significant  the disappointment."

   That fit my past and even my present stories. Somehow I started my life away from my parents thinking that certain situations were basic human rights. Yes, I had entitlement issues. Perhaps some of these will sound familiar.
  If you get an education you are entitled to have a really good job.
  If you are obedient to the Lord you will get ahead financially.
  If you have a job you will get to own a house.
  If your husband works hard you won't have to go to work.
  If you teach your children properly they will be obedient.

   In the second decade of raising my five children I adopted the motto, LOWER YOUR EXPECTATIONS. I quoted this often and found my friends resenting that statement as if I was willing to sell out to some lower laws.
   Guess what? Here are some things that transpired in my life that I never in a million years expected.
    I have had, and still have, a business teaching piano to 35 students a week for 27 years. I never planned that.
    I home schooled most of my children for a decade. I didn't see that coming.
    I am an artist and art is a major focus in my life. Totally unexpected.

    Even as I write this I feel the spirit whisper, "My plans for you are so much more than what you expected and thought you deserved."

"Wholeheartedness requires being conscious of the litany of expectations that hum along below the surface so we can reality-check our thinking"


  1. I've been away for a few days so just catching up on your posts. I like the quote at the end- I think we do often have certain expectations or things that we, even subconsciously, believe we're entitled to and that can lead to disappointment. I also love when we can look back and see amazing things we didn't expect or plan- that God has better things for us than we expect or desire for ourselves.

  2. Love the simplicity of the great truth uncovered here (isn't that why we love Brene so much?!)....our expectations are so often responsible for our dissatisfaction/lack of 'happiness'....when we learn to simply accept what *is*, that's when we can scathe off the burden of our self-created negative emotional states (because the negativity does only exist if we give it an environment where it can thrive; by freeing our minds up, shedding the burdens these expectations place on us, we not only nip negativity in the bud but we also create room for mindful experiences and for happiness to be forged/overcome...). Great post. Thank you.


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