Disappointed frowning face drawn on a white plate with a knife and fork resting on top

Destined to be disappointed?

Disappointed? Me? You betcha. Repeatedly in fact. Honestly, there have been times in my life when I really felt that being disappointed was my destiny.

Whether you are aware of them or not, we all have underlying emotions that drive our behavior. When you dig deep enough you can get to the root emotion that blocks you from experiencing satisfaction, true love and connection, with ourselves and others.

Unbeknownst to us, these emotions are often behind the scenes running the show. Meaning these underlying emotions are the ones driving our behaviors, creating our experience and keeping us dissatisfied, unfulfilled, frustrated and you guessed it, disappointed.

The hardest part is we may not realize what’s happening. It might not occur to us that what we are feeling is a leftover lingering emotion that’s gotten itself locked into place in our body and being. That can mean that no matter how our circumstances, environment or the people that surround us change, we end up experiencing the same negative emotions, such as being disappointed, over and over again. Excavating these underlying emotions begins where you might expect – in the Heart.

In Divine Navigation, we like to say “it all starts in the West.” That’s because in your Divine Coordinates (whether you’ve had them identified yet or not) the West is the direction that “activates” first. The West is also the direction that governs our feelings and emotions. More specifically, the West Divine Coordinate is how you specifically express and experience unconditional love. It’s how you show love and it’s how you feel love.

That feeling piece is the important part. Because, without the energy of your West Divine Coordinate present, it doesn’t matter how much attention, energy or devotion someone showers on you, you will not actually feel loved. We ourselves are the one responsible for our ability (or inability as it were) to receive the love that is being offered.

You are the one responsible for your ability (or inability) to receive the love that is being offered.

When you feel disappointment

When you experience the same emotion over and over, such as when you feel disappointment repeatedly, it can eventually become such a habit that you end up seeing it even when it’s not actually there. I became aware of the assumption that I had unconsciously been operating under an “I will be disappointed” mentality. And realized it was time to understand how to deal with disappointment – real or imagined.

The experience of being disappointed goes back as far as I can recall. And the worst part is, I don’t think that it even started out as my belief. Yes, we can and do pick up emotional and mental patterns from those that surround us. Parents; partners; siblings; and strangers alike.

I don’t know that he ever said it out loud but, for me, I am pretty certain this underlying emotional energy came from my dad. Along with the message of “don’t dream and you won’t be disappointed.” That’s a pretty tough message for anyone to receive but especially rough on someone with my Divine Coordinates to live with.

There have been plenty of times when that message was winning. When I accepted less than the love that I deserve or wasn’t able to receive all the love that was actually there. Times when I was setting my sights lower than what I really wanted or wasn’t willing to admit what my heart truly desired – even to myself.

After a “lifetime of letdowns,” and the new awareness that I had also crafted (or unintentionally created) many opportunities to be disappointed, I for one am ready to live fully and set my heart free. What I know is that until we release these old emotions that are holding our heart hostage we aren’t free to feel the love already present within us and in our lives. Because that’s the secret… the feeling of love never actually comes from another. It comes from within us even when it’s in relation to another.

That is true for any – and every – emotion. They can only be felt within you. They can’t be felt “out there.” So when you feel disappointment, where do we look? You got it. Within ourselves. You see, circumstances are only circumstances. They don’t inherently create the feeling of being satisfied or disappointed all on their own. We do that.

How to deal with disappointment

In Divine Navigation Mastery, we have a special series that takes you through focusing on each of the four directional Divine Coordinates one at a time. And you guessed it…we start in the West. During the series, each participant works on identifying their core wound and has an opportunity to receive support from me on clearing that emotion – including me!

I’ve often said “I am the first student of Divine Navigation” so I am always in there right along with you doing my own personal and spiritual development – and healing. In this case, the experience that led me to a deeper awareness of my own wound associated with my West Divine Coordinate around being disappointed showed up the week after I first led the training for the group.

It was a regular weekday evening. I was looking forward to enjoying the evening with my guy when a simple change of plans was requested. One that really should not have been a big deal except that I very much wanted to see him. By the way, my body responded you would have thought it was life and death. This warranted some deeper exploration about disappointment, to say the least.

As I stayed with the experience and explored what was underneath the sensation to the source emotion, I was able to identify the emotion as disappointment (or disappointed). Not the “Oh, that’s too bad. Oh well….” kind of disappointment but the “See, why bother? I never get what I want. I’ll never get what I want” kind of disappointed.

This led me to reflect on this theme of being disappointed and being “let down” in my life. Everything from people not keeping their word on small things to large betrayals that shattered my vision of someone (not to mention my heart). From not going for something I really wanted in order to avoid disappointment; to laying everything on the line and it not working out. Turns out, this is an emotion I know all too well. And the truth about enlightenment is not what we know, but in fact, what we can forget.

When it comes to how to deal with disappointment, here are a few simple steps you can take right away to release the burden of dissatisfaction you are carrying.

  1. When the outer world doesn’t match the pictures in our head, disappointment seems inevitable. So the first step in dealing with disappointment is to not resist or deny what is. The longer we look through the lens of dissatisfaction the longer we’ll continue being disappointed. And let’s face it, we are generally the ones who are primarily suffering in the scenario, right?

  2. Next, drop the expectations that are causing your disappointment. Likely you had a specific vision of “what should be” and right now reality isn’t matching that. The longer we insist that things should be different, the longer we remain disappointed. Again, we are the one suffering. And if we are courageous enough to admit it we know we are the one creating that suffering for ourselves.

  3. Once you drop your conscious (and unconscious) demands and expectations of what is, you can look for and begin to see what might actually be good about how things actually are in this moment. As long as we are busy being disappointed, we can only see what’s “wrong” with the situation. I can all but guarantee there’s gold there when you look through a different lens.

  4. Now, identify the emotion you would like to be experiencing instead of disappointment. Here’s where it can get tricky (more accurately where we can trick ourselves and stay trapped in the same downward spiral of being disappointed) because if we haven’t truly stopped resisting what is (#1), dropped the expectations (#2) and found some good in the situation (#3), we are likely to simply reinforce our position of why we have every right to feel disappointed. But when you do steps one through three, you will find that you have access to a wider array of emotional experiences.

  5. Feel that newly identified feeling. I don’t mean to make it sound simplistic. Believe me, I get that it’s not. But becoming the generator of our own positive emotional experience is the first step toward emotional maturity and emotional mastery. Two essential factors in leading a soul-filled and soul-fulfilling life

So, how does that happen? With an unburdened heart full to overflowing with its own energy. Energy that you can command at will. In discovering what underlying emotion is running through your heart and where the scars on your heart reside, you have the opportunity to experience an entirely new level of satisfaction (and success) in all areas of your life.

Liberate yourself from that emotion. Easier said than done? Not if you’re committed to fully discovering and living who you’re meant to be. Allow the full energy of your Heart to become the authority. And it will bring you everything you’ve always been looking for…. including the freedom from disappointment.