Friday, October 23, 2015


On one level, it's been a challenging week. On three different days, plans to meet with friends from far away (and have reunions with local folks I have not seen in years) had to be cancelled- the spirit was willing but the old body was seared with a pain that would brook no opposition. I was disappointed. And, lying in bed, I had lots of time to think about my disappointment- to watch it, feel it shift and change- get lighter and then heavier.

We all know the old maxim about avoiding disappointment by not having ANY expectations. As a human being, I don't find this particularly helpful. If we don't make a plan to meet there will be no disappointment when it does not happen- but then again, we will not get together.

The "trick" seem to be holding our expectations lightly. I was doing well with that at the first cancellation I had to make- these things happen, it's not in my control, deep breaths of releasing. . . .

The second cancellation was harder, in part because it was something I was going to do for someone- and I really really really wanted to do it. (I am sure you can hear my attachment in that "really, really really.")

Having to cancel a third plan. . . .well, let's just say I was beyond disappointment and into gloom and doom. You know, the stories of this will never change, my world is shrinking, I will have no friends left at this rate. . . . . .

Not good. Not helpful. Not necessarily true.

So, my question was- why is my mind so eager to go here? Assuming I am not masochistic (I am not) why would my mind want to race to worse case scenarios?

And I got it- to avoid disappointment. If I expect to be too ill to ever go out and meet friends, I will never be disappointed.

And I suspect this malformed strategy has to do with my dislike of the feeling of disappointment. Why? Disappointment isn't death. It's just disappointment. What if I focus on holding expectations lightly. . . . and holding disappointment with a little tenderness when it arises? This too- like all else- will pass. And if we let it, if we don't get caught in the mind's stories we cannot know are true, disappointment can remind us of what we love and prompt us to fully enjoy the taste of these things when we are able.

And today? Today I am meeting a friend for late lunch!

~Oriah House (c) 2015


  1. With gratitude and love to you for your ever-open and ever-nourishing sharing of how to savour our moments, howsoever they BE, dear Oriah.

  2. I find this blog posting very insightful and helpful to me. It gives me some encouragement over things I've experienced that have been disappointing. I hope to enjoy my day as well and hope your day is enjoyable, also.

    1. Thank you Laura- and I had a lovely lunch- so good to feel the sun on my face :-)

  3. Oh boy, yeah it sucks when plans need to be cancelled. I used to feel bloody guilty and sometimes I still do. Now I only make plans to meet with someone just once a week. This takes a lot of stress out of my body and feel sort of more "tolerable". Of course I'm still a bit worried that I might not make it, if I start feeling overwhelmed all of a sudden. I guess it depends all on how stressful the week has been at work with all those draining energies. Sometimes I wish I weren't so sensitive to every damn thing and have a thicker skin aka a body who tolerates more "shit". But I guess then I wouldn't be who I am. And you couldn't be wonderful compassionate loving giving awesome Oriah, if you weren't who you are and who your body is *big hugs* Maybe we should simply stop beating ourselves up so much. I guess we are sometimes "simply" the most disappointed with ourselves and are our own worst critic. xox Sabine

    1. I similarly generally plan one social connection a week- this was different because all three events involved people from out of town visiting for short times. And so it is :-)

  4. This view of disappointment resonated with me, too. I've always stressed myself out over this kind of thing and yet, once examined, disappointment is just...disappointment. Thank you, dear Oriah, for this reminder today. Blessings to you.