I was so excited to have a get together at my home. My besties were all coming over to have fun, munch on great food (if I say so myself) and watch the Super Bowl. This game has always been a pinnacle of entertaining for me. When I was married, we had a party each year that started at about 3pm. By the time kick off occurred most of our guests were pretty fired up and tipsy, and we were usually running a beer run before the liquor stores closed. I used to take that next day off and thought it should have been a holiday! We would have, on average, 30 people at our home during these parties. Over the years, I continued a lot of that with a scaled down version and of course as we have all gotten older, there is no beer run before the party and no need to take the day off for a hangover.
As this is my party now, I have included opportunities for people to win scratch off lottery tickets with boxes for the game to make it a bit interesting. The crowd is much smaller, but it is my circle, my closest friends. This year I was even more excited as someone who has become one of my closest friends was going to come and it would have been her first year and an opportunity for her to get to know my posse better, as she had become an important part of it.
The party would start around 5pm with kick off at 6:20pm. I had chairs set up, beer on ice, wine and vodka chilling, and food cooking. I had made the boxes and had the scratch off tickets all ready to give out. My phone beeped that I had a text message. As I read it I found myself becoming upset. My shoulders slumped, my eyes welled up with tear. My new very close friend was not going to make it to my house, as usual something came up. This friend has a lot going on in life and I do understand that I can not always be a priority. I don’t expect that. I know that life gets in our way, I live that life at times. I also know that I wanted to feel like more of a priority to this person as I had made them somewhat a priority for me. I wrote back that I was disappointed.
My phone rang quite quickly. My friend was almost in tears as she shared how hard it was to read that I was disappointed in her. I tried to explain that I was disappointed in the fact that she wasn’t going to make it not in her, she disagreed. As we talked she explained how awful that word makes her feel, that it is a word that conjures up feelings of being let down. I had never thought about it that way. She sees that word as an indictment of who she is and really hurtful. This friend is someone who has already taught me a lot and made me reflect on many aspects of my life, really someone who God placed in my life to help me become a better version of me. This conversation was something to reflect on.
Over the year, I have reflected on it often. In fact I find that every time I think to use that word, I stop myself and think about how that will make someone feel. I think a lot about how the word has made me feel and have dug deeper to another level of learning and healing with this word.
During 2016 there have been moments of such deep disappointment, where I was so hurt by someone’s actions or inactions, words or lack thereof. With each moment I have sat back and tried during my healing to better understand what has hurt me so deeply and why. The full understanding of this came to me during the last few weeks.
I realize now that I never saw this word as so hurtful because of my deep disappointment in myself over the years. I used that word deliberately over time about me because, at some level, I wanted to hurt me. My lack of loving myself allowed me to be disappointed in, in fact it dictated that I be disappointed in me. I was a failure in many cases, to me. During 2016, that fear of failure was triggered and as I have dealt with that I have realized that my numbness to the feeling that the word disappointed conjures up is because I needed to be disappointed in me in order to continue the feeling of unworthiness and not being good enough. I was perpetuating that cycle. I have allowed people to make me feel small and not worthy because I believed that. Now that I don’t believe that, that word is hurtful. You never want to disappoint someone, or disappoint yourself. Looking at things that way just keeps that cycle alive.
My friend was placed in my life to teach me many lessons and continue to grow and learn. I no longer use that word to describe how someone has made me feel as I now understand just how hurtful that word is. I also work to keep from feeling disappointment. I work hard at focusing on the fact that disappointment comes from having an expectation and that is really the issue for me. I start to have expectations of people that aren’t fair. My mother told me a long time ago that I couldn’t and shouldn’t expect people to always give me what I am willing to give. That I should not expect but be grateful for what I do receive. That is a lesson I continue to learn.