Saturday, June 30, 2012

Disappointed and dejected....

I thought maybe I was old enough....perfected enough....not to be surprised by people any more. As in disappointed and dejected by the things they do or don't do.

I was wrong. 

Oh, I can proclaim, "NOTHING that people do any more surprises me" but that is simple conversational grousing around a table with a glass of wine on a Friday night with friends.

Over the past few years, I have taken on a new and improved positive attitude about life in general, including how I relate to the people around me. It's true that I am more cautious about many things. Such as no matter how many new experiences I want in my life, I still know better than to jump out of airplanes. Tempting fate in such a harrowing way stretches the limits of good sense. Mine, anyway.

But I had consciously decided to give people around me the benefit of the doubt in nearly all situations, mainly because I have come to understand that everyone is struggling with unseen burdens. Call me naive. Call me a Pollyanna. Call me whatever you like, but I can sleep at night knowing that I wasn't the one who added any boulders to someone's already overloaded backpack that day. 

I expect the best for them and from them, without looking for slights or hidden agendas around every corner, waiting to jump out and bit me in the....well, you know where. I'm a straight forward person and I hope that others can be the same with me. I practice kindness and thoroughly enjoy it in return. I do kind of expect all of those things. And I must say that I usually get them. You know what they say about creating the world you want to live in. That's the one for me.

So, when someone disappoints me, it does surprise me. And, I must admit, it hurts. If I were that callous, uncaring woman who had her guard up all the time, it wouldn't matter, would it? 

By living vulnerably, we leave ourselves open to the injury that someone who we trusted can lay at our feet. 

The obvious question, then, is now what? Do I change the frame through which I view the world and the people around me? Do I throw up the barriers, in an attempt to never be hurt again?

I'm not even sure it's possible to insulate ourselves in that way. And I don't think that is an option for me, even today in the midst of my disappointment. 

I accept that people often don't act in their own best interests, and their flailing around means I might get smacked in the face if I stand too close. But I want to experience life running full bore on the field of play, even if it means I get hit once in a while by someone throwing those rocks they find in their backpack. 

In this case, I just expected better.

 We must accept finite disappointment, but never lose infinite hope.

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