For the past week I have been asking myself the following questions: How do you deal with disappointment? How do you handle the hurt experienced when someone or something dashes your hopes? How do you react or respond to those instances when your expectations or needs are not met?
In asking these questions, I’ve realized that I have a tendency to react towards disappointment with an automatic, unconscious shutting down of my heart as I attempt to withdraw, and distance myself, from the present moment and the uncomfortable sensations evoked by the nonfulfillment of a particular desire. There is a part of me that is scared that if I voice my dissatisfaction with a particular person, situation, or event, I will be rejected – some how viewed to be unworthy of acceptance – and so I shut down.
The interesting thing, is that inherent with this behavior of withdraw in the face of disappointment, I invariably end up creating more of the thing that I don’t want. That is, by pulling away, I create more disconnection, more discomfort, not only between myself and the person, myself and the situation, myself and the event, but also from myself and my feelings, as well as myself and the universe as a whole.
In noticing this habit, the real question becomes not how do I deal with disappointment, but instead what parts of myself do I censor? What parts of my experiences as a human being do I judge to be unworthy of full expression? And what are the ultimate costs of this act of distancing myself from my inner feelings?
My offering, my invitation, for you today is to ask the simple question: In what ways do you censor yourself? Where do you suppress the expression of your true self? These unconscious acts could take place within an intimate relationship where you pull back just a little. Maybe it occurs at work where you put your head down and keep your mouth shut instead of voicing a concern. Or maybe you censor yourself by not attempting a particular asana or series of poses that evoke a sense of uncertainty within you. Whatever it is, where ever you attempt to distance yourself and your experiences from the world around you, I would like to encourage you to use today’s session as a mini laboratory by which to become more intimate with yourself and your habits – breath by breath, moment by moment.