Tag Archives: disappointment

I Should Have Chosen Silence

Standard

You’d think after all this time
I’d have the sanity
to decline
important conversations
after he’s had too much wine.
But my ego was bruised
and I guess my mind confused
which course of action
would lead to resolution
and which to more confusion.
When my fear speaks louder
than the quiet wisdom within
it’s time to shut my mouth
and retreat far away
from the din of those
who know not
that silence is an option.

Back Home: What Lies Ahead

Standard

I’m back in MD
after a long day of travel.
I’ll be honest…
It’s a let down
coming back to the cold
and the chaos of home
after the warmth
and the simplicity
of the desert.
I thought I did so much
work on my retreat,
the work of awakening,
of becoming more aware.
It turns out
the the greatest work
lies ahead.

An Exploration of My Yucky Mood

Standard

Eh. A yucky mood today.  Maybe it’s because I still haven’t caught up on sleep since the move.  Maybe it’s because I haven’t been engaging in all of the positive adult interaction that a caregiver of children needs to feel sane. Maybe I just miss my tiny meditation room that I had at my old house the last three years…my cocoon room, my womb room.  I would close the door, turn on my little space heater, drop a few drops of beautiful essential oils in the diffuser, open up my journal, and write in peace. And warmth.  Now I’m in the thoroughfare of the house, it’s drafty, I feel displaced, and my inner child is having a tantrum.  What, she says, What happened to my room? Why was my room taken away?  This is not fair!  Why did you move me to a place where I can’t have my own space? Not fair, not fair, not fair! Yep. Inner child. Tantrum.

And then when my actual kids have tantrums, it’s like everyone is joining in, even the cat, joining in this fiesta of temper and reactivity. I need a vacation to a quiet place all by myself. And about ten deep tissue massages to smooth away the knots that have stubbornly refused to leave my body since the move.

There is guilt for complaining. Guilt because in comparison to many, my tale of woe is a joke. I have food, shelter, a family that loves me. There is no threat of bombs keeping me cowering indoors with my children, hoping that we’ll survive another day.  I have a job that I absolutely love.  I have a computer and fingers that type words. I have no right to complain.  And yet…

And yet, these feeling of disappointment, of unrest, of grief are real.  They are as real as my journal holding the words I managed to find to describe them.  Guilt is just another reason to stay stuck in this place of sorrow.  I think I need to let myself feel what I’m feeling, and maybe at some point I can move on.

Taking a breath now.  Hoping to write a poem that will help me make sense of all of this.

The Power of Attachment

Standard

I set myself up for it.
I thought for sure it would be mine.
I projected into the future
and created many moments of enjoyment
imagining what I would say and do
and how it would all feel…
and then,
and then
I was told it was given to someone else.
Misery.
Disappointment.
Wanting to know why I wasn’t the chosen one.
And herein lies the power of attachment
to bring one to one’s knees in pain
with weapons that do not exist,
mourning the loss of something that never was.

An Exploration of Relationship Dynamics (Can I get a witness?)

Standard

After having yet another disagreement
about the time I spend alone in meditation,
alone writing, alone reading–
I can really get why many marriages fail.

It cuts to the heart of what is important for me,
and his disagreement is heartbreaking…
it feels like an attack.  It feels like he is being stubborn,
closeminded, childish.
And what words would he use to describe me now?
Probably selfish, ridiculous, out of touch.
if I weren’t committed to working this out,
a part of me would be content to say,
“Ahh, clearly I need to be married to a man who meditates.”
A part of me would be content to throw in the towel
and blame him for our problems.

Hogwash. Relationships don’t work that way.
I want to tend to mine with love and caring,
to develop loyalty and the strength
so that I may support him in his creative pursuits,
so that I may experience true companionship.

This all makes so much sense, yes,
but what about when marriage
becomes like war in the trenches?
When does my willingness to concede
become a sacrifice of ME, the self I like in me?

If one of you has a magic wand,
please rub it over our heads.
Maybe our eyes and hearts will open
just a little bit more
and we’ll enjoy the being in the other.

Back to the Drawing Board

Standard

Upon further research I discovered
that the business school I mentioned last night
is not what I thought it was.
There is some disappointment,
but mostly relief,
that I won’t be enrolling in the training,
Won’t become a member of
“a large community of entrepreneurs”
who would purportedly support me in my creative endeavors
and provide suggestions for building my business.

But when the entrepreneurs end up being
affiliate marketers who get paid $1000
every time they refer someone who joins,

I can recognize that this is not the kind
of entrepreneurial spirit that my soul craves.

It also helps to have a very logical,
hardworking, down to earth husband
who can smell a MLM scheme
from a mile away.

It’s not like I would’ve plunked down
$2000 without first discussing it with the hubby,
but the marketing was brilliant,
and I thought I was going to learn
how to construct an in-home business,
be a better mom, wife
be more patient, enthusiastic about life,
feel freer, more artistically alive.

Wouldn’t YOU join if you thought
the training would deliver such happiness?

I was getting close to signing up,
and my husband smelled something fishy.
Together we researched the school online,
and rediscovered that things aren’t always what they seem.
Together we took a stand.
No get rich quick plans
No too good to be true claims
No beautifully filmed testimonials
designed to get me wanting something I don’t have.

All of the power is within, and all the love–
no need to search for it outside.

I think I dodged a bullet this time.
Back to the drawing board, my friends.

Keeping It Real

Standard

It has been nice focusing on positive things to write about in my recent posts.  I have been thinking, “Yeah, I’m taking a new direction with Yoga Mom–I don’t have to dwell on all of the gory details of my mood, and I can provide inspiration. Yeah, I’m so happy now, and I can focus on being happy!”

And then real life came and basically bitch-slapped me a few times, and I remembered that I’m not here to convince anyone that I’m happier than I really am to save them from being depressed if they read about my heavier stuff.  I am here for myself. I am here to make sense of my experiences using the medium of the written word.  I am here to explore my life.  If someone is inspired, that is certainly a bonus, but handing out generous portions of inspiration is not my mission. I’d be lying to myself and to you if I said that it was.  My mission is to write something every day, and just like the thunderclouds that sometimes roll over head, there might be some pounding and thumping and flashing and crashing and banging and clanging every once in a while–until it all clears and the sun shines again.

So tonight, I keep it real.  I keep it real by sharing that there have been daily disagreements arising between me and my husband, and I’m feeling lonely, believing the old thought that there is no one I can talk to who can just listen and offer me empathy. That is a painful thing to believe.  I’m hurting right now.

Today’s gripe with my husband unfolded in the following manner:

We were originally planning on spending a good part of tomorrow with one of his old friends, his wife, and his three year old son.  My husband’s friend texted him this afternoon and let him know that his son was sick, so the little guy was going to stay home with his wife.  But, the friend wrote to my husband, I am planning on a round of golf early tomorrow morning, and do you golf?  Does he ever!  My husband loves to golf.  I grew very excited at the prospect of joining them, because although I hadn’t attempted golf since high school, I have been enjoying thinking about it and have been wanting to give it a go for some time now.  Normally I stay home with the kids when my husband plays a round, because it’s expensive to pay a babysitter for the several hour window needed to play all the holes. But we are in Utah now, at our in-laws’ place, which makes everything different.  I knew that our kids could be watched by their grandparents, and that I’d be free to get out of the house for some fun with the guys.  When I mentioned how excited I was to finally accompany my husband on a round of golf,  he replied, “Well, I actually wanted to spend some time with my buddy.”

Okay, granted, perhaps 99% of the population would go, “Of course he does!  And you should just let him spend time with his buddy!” But in that moment, I felt devastated, so I shut down.  He sensed my shutting down as I rapidly raced inside my head to check off all the items on my list that confirmed my husband doesn’t care about me.  He tried to engage me in a conversation and I asked him to give me a moment.  He said, “Come on honey, I’ve never played golf with him.”

“And you’ve played golf so many times with me, so it’s okay,” I said sarcastically.  Then I asked him again to just give me a moment.  When he brought it up again five minutes later, and mind you there were eight of us in the vehicle we were driving down a canyon after a long hike, he seemed to be saying that I should be okay with him going by himself, I shouldn’t feel at all annoyed, in fact, I should be happy to see him spending time alone with an old friend.  My two kids, my nephew, my mother in law, and one of my brothers in law were in the car with us, presumable hearing everything we were saying, and I didn’t want to make a scene, so I asked him to lay it to rest for a moment.

Well, crap!

It might not seem like that big of a deal, but damn.  All of the most negative thoughts were coursing around my head, and I felt overwhelmed by them.  Later on, I was running errands with my mother in law and another one of my brothers in law, and my mother in law said to me cheerfully, “Well, what fun thing are we going to do tomorrow?”

“Well, obviously I won’t be golfing, because Cliff wants to spend time with his friend.”

“Who is he going with?”  my brother in law asked.  I told him who it was.

“Well, that’s just healthy, isn’t it?” my mother in law said, “It’s healthy to have time with friends.  And we’ll be able to do something fun.”

“Well, it’s not like I can ask you to be impartial or anything as I tell you this, because he’s your son, but I’m annoyed with the way he handled it,” I said.

“Well, he will probably do something extra nice for you, because he’ll be feeling guilty,” she said.

“I don’t want him to feel guilty,” I said, “it just could’ve been handled better.”  And it was left at that.

What I was wanting was someone to listen and say, “I hear you.  You must be feeling left out, disappointed, hurt.”  That’s all.  Someone to understand.  It seems like my husband has been missing the mark the last few days, making absolutely no attempt to mask his annoyance with my wanting to take time to write instead of watching a movie or playing cards in the evening;  scolding me for asking for help when I was capable of doing a simple thing on my own, blah blah blah…I have a nice list of gripes because I have written about them in my journal the last few nights.

Why are relationships so complicated?  The second I think we’ve hit our stride, then come along some bumps in the road and I’m back to believing that someone else would be so much more understanding, someone else would be so much easier to get along with…

So there you go, keeping it real.  There’s a lot of crap up in my head, and hopefully a good night of sleep will help me to work it out.  I can’t wait to see my therapist again!  Someone who can listen with compassion in their eyes would be the greatest of gifts right now.

I’d apologize about the unedited nature of this post, but to whom would I be apologizing?  To myself for not being perfect?  Screw that. I’m imperfect, and sometimes my writing can suck, and it really doesn’t matter.

-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-

The anger, the frustration, leap up in my mind
And then they take over my body,
taking residence deep in the pit of my stomach.
And behind the anger, disappointment reveals itself,
and behind the disappointment, deep sadness.

This being human can be so complicated.
All of these feelings with no handles
to grip and steer my way out of them.
I have to sit with them until they tell me what they mean,
and it’s fine when I feel happy and light,
but absolutely miserable when they are dark and heavy
and I feel lonely and misunderstood.

So I ask for strength.
Strength to show more understanding than he has shown me,
strength to pick up the hurting one inside me
and cradle her and soothe her
and tell her that she is loved.

And maybe she will feel sufficiently reassured
that she won’t suffer quite as much
as she waits and waits
until the light of clarity dawns,
and all of this makes sense.

Working with Disappointment, Seeking Self-Forgiveness

Standard

Okay.  As a yoga teacher I truly believe that I carry a tremendous responsibility to live in alignment with the ideals I discuss in my classes, a responsibility to be authentic, to embody a present moment integrity.  And why is it important to live in such alignment? For one, the practice of these ideals can only help me to become the aware person I dream of being.  Two, I do not want to be a hypocrite.  I don’t want to tell people to do this, act in this certain way, and then turn around and not be able to draw upon my own teachings in moments of challenge.

In my classes I regularly try to highlight qualities like peacefulness, self-awareness, discernment, self-restraint, concentration, breath awareness, mindfulness–and this by no means is an exhaustive list.   In any given class I work hard to introduce these lofty goals and then give my students reasons why it is important to move toward mindfully demonstrating those qualities in their own lives.  The idea is that by applying what they have learned in yoga class to real situations in their every day lives, my students will begin to resonate on a deeper level with the qualities they practiced, and thus they will feel naturally inclined to search for the source of these ideals inside of themselves, to reach for the highest expression of these ideals, and eventually to awaken to their own true nature, the changeless self within.

And really, this is the only game in town as far as yoga is concerned–to realize that every small decision has far reaching effects, and to understand the importance of moment to moment choices in the overall experience of being alive.  To become so exquisitely conscious, so awake, that all thoughts, words, and deeds reflect the earnest desire to live from the true self.

As I see it, my role as a teacher of yoga is to continuously guide my students back to this moment, to remind them that there is no past or future, life happens NOW.  To be authentic as a teacher, I need to practice present moment awareness myself, or else it’s just all talk, no substance.  Meditation, writing, my personal yoga practice are all avenues for me to explore my inner landscape and practice embodying yogic qualities on a deeper level; often I do quite well at grasping their importance and holding them in my awareness.  But get me back into my everyday life, and whoa buddy…My perception is that despite my efforts, I fall painfully short of the mark more often than not.

Today, for example, my anxiety was through the roof because I had a ton of errands to run and little time in which to accomplish them.  I needed business cards so that I could pass them out at the private lesson I had at 3PM.  My kids were being themselves, doing totally normal kid things, and I saw myself snapping at them.  I could feel the anxiety manifesting in my body as discomfort in my belly, anger, a sense of impatience, and on the heels of those uncomfortable feelings was the regret that I wasn’t able to act more skillfully.

But now to be honest with you I’m totally falling asleep even as my fingers move on the keyboard.  I will have to finish this later.  Suffice it to say I’ll be discussing the role of self-forgiveness in this whole complex emotional jumble as soon as I’m in a better place, better meaning more rested, more lucid.

At some point I’ll be able to let go of the disappointment and just enjoy myself and my many moods.  I’ll certainly not want to continue beating myself up every time I do something human.

Thanks for reading, friends.

Do you have any advice on how to successfully forgive oneself for mistakes that were made?  I would love to hear what you have to say.

-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-

I have a childlike dream that one day
I’ll wake up loving myself authentically,
but I know better than that.

There is no fast food restaurant where
I can order an enlightenment sandwich.
It takes time and patience and great awareness
to walk that steep and narrow path toward
union with the divine self.

I can remind myself though that this is a practice
And I can be patient with this process.

Let me be patient.
Please let me be patient.

 

Meditation Conflict…Conditioned Response…Disappointment

Standard

Last night my family and I watched the movie Frozen.  My two year old son was tired and so boisterous that we couldn’t hear the dialogue, so we put him to bed only a little way into the movie; then my husband, daughter, and I watched the rest of it together in peace.  We started it late, around  8pm, and factoring in pausing the movie to get my son to bed, and then stopping another time so that my daughter could run to the bathroom…it was nearly ten before it was over.

Once my daughter was in bed, I attended to my blog; I had already meditated that afternoon and was relieved that I wouldn’t have to fight fatigue for thirty minutes while I attempted to remember who I am beyond my body, mind, and the world around me.

My mind is slow by ten o’clock at night; it takes me longer to find the right words to express the thoughts in my head.  I managed to write a little, and revise a little, and it was nearly midnight before I lay my head on the pillow.

For the last few weeks I’ve been able to awaken early enough to complete my meditation before anyone else is stirring…but this morning I felt so tired I decided to sleep in ’til 7 or beyond if I could.  At precisely 7, my husband’s alarm went off, and despite my request to just reset his alarm for quarter of 8, he kept hitting the snooze.  So I got up.  I took a shower.  I put some laundry in the washer.  I was planning on meditating then, but I heard my son awaken, and my husband was just getting himself up.

I asked him if he wouldn’t mind taking care of the morning routine with the kids while I meditated for thirty minutes.  I told him that if I went up to my meditation room right then, I’d be done by 8:15–thirty minutes before he would need to start getting ready for his day.  At first he said, “Ok.”  Then he started to say, “I would never do that to you.  I…”

I felt a flare of temper, and behind it, the disappointment, resentment, and the deep-seated fiery rage that can explode at any moment with only a little fuel.  The same rage that I’ve been trying to come to terms with for a while, the rage that I’m trying to manage with therapy and medicine.  I managed to swallow my disappointment and keep my anger at bay, and I said to him, “Ok. I won’t go then.”

He wanted to engage with me.  He wanted to tell me what he has told me before–that it isn’t right to go off by myself and leave him with the kids while I meditate, cloistering myself from everyone…

I told him that it was settled, and we won’t talk about it again. I wouldn’t go up, and that was that.  But he still wanted to engage with me, and this was all I needed to feel even angrier.

Needless to say, it didn’t end so well, although I suppose it went better than it could’ve gone.  Instead of making a complete scene, I reiterated how important my practice is to me, and how I can’t believe that after nearly three years he doesn’t get it.  I reminded him that I haven’t inconvenienced him with my meditation practice for at least three weeks, because I’ve been getting up way earlier than everyone else and fitting it in while they were sleeping–so he hasn’t had to take care of the children all by himself during my meditations in all that time. I told him I was dumb to think that he would support me willingly in this morning’s practice, and that I won’t be asking again.

Instead of responding with his own thoughts and feelings, he pointed out what in my behavior wasn’t appropriate to him, from the volume of my voice, to my facial expressions and hand gestures.  This only made me feel more defensive and annoyed. I wish that he would just tell me what was really on his mind, instead of fixating on how my delivery could’ve been better.

I ended up walking off the fetch my son, and he followed me up to his room. We greeted my son like nothing had happened.  Back downstairs I got my daughter up, changed her sheets, helped her to get dressed.  We sat around the breakfast table and ate scrambled eggs. I was seething inside.

My daughter asked to see Frozen again, so I turned the movie back on and sat there with my son and daughter while my husband showered and got ready for work, about 20 minutes earlier than he normally does.  He came out and sat with us watching the movie for a while.  When it was almost time for him to leave for work, I asked if he could put the boy up in his room with some toys as he was getting ready to walk out the door.  I told him that the girl would be fine watching the movie on her own.

He said yes, then looked at me and said, “Isn’t now a better time?”  He meant, wasn’t that moment a better moment for me to go meditate than the one I had originally chosen…I half shrugged and said, “Yes,” with plenty of bite in my tone and derision in my face.  Inside I wanted to say, “Screw you buddy, and your ideas of better time.”

I’ve been feeling the ricochets of our conversation throughout the day, and sitting with some really painful disappointment, feeling discouraged.

Marriage is so hard.  At some point we need to work this out.  I need to acknowledge that I was unskillful in my response and I need to be honest about how disappointed I feel, observing how he was unwilling to watch the kids for thirty minutes to help me out with something that is deeply important to me.

Turning this over…hopefully relinquishing control will help.

They Don’t Want Me

Standard

The Friday before last, one of my yoga teacher colleagues came to my restorative yoga class. I’ve known her for a number of years, and I was really happy to see her there. She is a mom too, and I congratulated her for making it out of the house and giving herself time to practice. In that open, relaxed, trusting mental  space that always happens post yoga class, I told her I needed to be more proactive about finding friends and connecting with people, that I can’t just expect a friend to show up at my doorstep saying, “Here I am, I’ll be your friend!” I shared with her how isolated I’ve been feeling, and how difficult is has been for me to connect with new friends.

She suggested that I join her and a small group of yoga teachers who meet weekly on Monday afternoons.  They convene at somebody’s house, and they chat, usually for an hour or two.  She named the members of the group–all of whom I know, all of whom are really great people with whom I’d love to spend some time–and she added, “It’s so nice to have some adult interaction for a while!”  I couldn’t agree more. I was drawn to accept her invitation with a great, enthusiastic “YES!”, but then I suddenly felt hesitant.  I asked my colleague if she needed to get permission from the group before inviting me along, and she shook her head saying, “No, it’s fine.”

Boy, was I excited! Finally, a group of friends, yoga teacher friends–who meet regularly–was going to be mine. I could count on seeing them every week. Even if I didn’t have any other friends, I could count on seeing this group of friends, every week. A week isn’t too long to wait to see friends, so no matter how many challenges I could have in a week, I could look forward to meeting with this group of yoga teacher friends, and pour my heart out to them every Monday. I pictured all the fun I was going to have getting out of the house and having adult interaction with some regularity.

Monday rolled around, and I felt even more excited! Yay! Today is the day I will become a part of a group of consciously evolving women! Today I will be welcomed into a circle of caring, compassionate soul seekers. Today, I will have some friends.

After teaching my morning class, I texted my colleague, “Hey there! Can you tell me where the group is meeting today, and at what time?”  I waited a moment. No answer. I called my husband to let him know I was on my way home, and found out that he had scheduled an oil change for that afternoon. “Oh, but I’m going to meet up with the yoga teacher group this afternoon. Can you shift the time of the oil change?”

“That’s fine,” he told me, “But I need to know now so that I can reschedule the appointment.” I got it,  he needed to know right now.  He didn’t want to wait in limbo. He wanted to plan the rest of the day.

But I still hadn’t received a text response from my colleague, so I got a little more persistent. I called her, and left a voicemail message. No answer. This is curious. Finally, a text came back–not telling me the time or the place, but letting me know that she hates to do this, but because the girls are sharing a lot of personal stuff, she feels a need to ask permission before bringing anyone else into the group, so could we wait a week?

Disappointment. But I understand. I told her that it’s fine, just please let me know.

I waited all that day for an answer, wondering, hoping that she had told the group about me and that they had enthusiastically agreed to welcome me into their ranks. Because I’m a nice person. And they all know me. And I know them.

The next morning, I could wait no longer, so I once again texted my colleague, “Hey there, I was just wondering if you had spoken with the group and what the response was. I feel like a kid trying out for a team and really trying hard to make it on.”

Nothing. No response. Not that day, or the next day, or the next. Four days later, she texted me apologizing for taking forever, but letting me know that one of the members of the group is really opposed to opening it to new members, because she is going through some major life changes. So the two of us could meet, or we could start another group.

Heart sinking. More disappointment. I’m not going to give up so easily.

I responded saying,

Thanks for getting back to me. Oh darn. I wonder if she could be reassured that I keep everything in confidence and completely respect the privacy of the group? That I am going through major life changes myself and am wanting communion? The day and time work for me in my extremely busy schedule with two kids, husband, and seven yoga classes.  I don’t want you to feel caught in the middle, but maybe she could be encouraged to give me a chance? Especially if the other members of the group are willing to have me along. I have felt so isolated and have had much difficulty in finding female companionship. Maybe she could be assured that I will respect her privacy, and could even be of support through these changes. I appreciate your letting me know. I can only imagine that this has put you in a sticky spot. I would love to be given a chance. Could you let her know that I don’t take confidences lightly and am yearning for connection with other consciously evolving souls? Thank you again for being in touch.

And she texted back with, I will do my best! 

That was Friday.

Tonight is Sunday. They’ll meet again tomorrow. I’ve pretty much given up hope that come tomorrow, the member of the group who is opposed to letting me in, will be convinced that I’m someone she wants around. I wish I didn’t know who the group members are, because I’ve been driving myself nuts trying to figure out who it is exactly that doesn’t want me included. And the hurt from being excluded…so heavy, and painful…the disappointment at thinking that I was going to have a reliable source of friendship, and then having the invitation to join retracted as suddenly as it was offered.

The pain at trying to prove that I’m worthy of being given a chance.

The sadness at realizing that I really do have to work hard to find a friend.

And again, the loneliness. I know I’m a good, decent, kind person. I know I am worthy of friendship. I am worthy of having people close to me who care, who want me around, who call me and want to spend time with me. So why isn’t it happening? Why don’t I have friends?

Because, the inner critic says, They don’t want you.

Maybe it’s true. Maybe they don’t want me. And maybe that doesn’t have anything to do with me. But it doesn’t lessen the painful jolts of disappointment I feel every time I think of how close I got to sitting in a circle of women, just being myself…and then not being made welcome after all.