This Is Why You Are Disappointed

Let me tell you a story about disappointment.

In my mind, I had always dreamt of a birthday where all of my closest friends are gathered:

We are laughing and sipping cocktails in a dimly lit space with crushed velvet curtains, treasuring each other’s company. 

The atmosphere is crisp, but relaxed and everyone is enjoying themselves fully. We’re taking photos and being silly.

And there’s a view of the city. Yes, a skyline view.

Someone surprises me with a cake and gifts and everyone starts sharing all the things they love about me!

We dance, and laugh some more and I leave feeling full, loved and appreciated.

(This is tough to admit publicly, but true.)

The trouble is, the picture I had in my head held the bar so high that if everything didn’t go as I wanted it to, I would end up disappointed, left feeling unloved and under-appreciated by my friends.

{Being female is T O U G H, thanks hormones and emotions.. thanks for nothing!}

It also put my friends and family between a rock and a hard place. They wanted to do things for me because they love me, but my standards made it really difficult for them to know what to do or how to do it, dancing around my unrealistic expectations.

I was continually let down because of unmet expectations.

The funny thing is, no one knew what these expectations were except for me. 

I decided it was time to change my outlook. I wanted to appreciate the present without any expectation.

So, this year for my birthday I had made up my mind. If it was simply Sean and I going out to a lovely dinner, having some wine and enjoying only each other, then that would be perfect.

I lifted myself and those around me from expectations that I had created in my mind but had never communicated. 

And that is when the tables turned…

Because I wasn’t holding an imaginary bar at some unrealistic standard, Sean threw me a birthday party this year  that will go down as my most favorite birthday  e v e r. Like, ever.

I wasn’t concerned that *everysingleperson* didn’t show up. (So many people showed up!!)

I wasn’t hurt that a few of my friends only dropped by and had other things going on. (They made the effort to come anyway! So sweet!)

I gave myself the freedom to feel loved, however they wanted to show me that. (And I felt it.)

See, it makes things sticky when we create visions in our minds of how we want something to go down, what we want it to look like or how we expect others to act.

We wind up  robbing ourselves of what is real, and substituting it for something less.

Don’t rob yourself!

The authentic responses from others are worth so much more than them scrambling to meet a “quota” that you’ve expressed in order to feel loved. When I released Sean of the pressure to perform to my standards, he made the night something unique and memorable and incredible.

Just a few photos from the night, we were too busy having a blast to take any more:

{I got my dimly lit ambiance. Hence the grainy photos :)}

Have you ever struggled with being disappointed by unmet expectations? That crap can really hurt. Trust me, I know. What are some ways you’ve been disappointed by unmet expectations? What did you do to work through that? Post your thoughts below or email me!

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