Monday, July 15, 2013

Expectations and Disappointment

Quite a balancing act this connection between expectation and disappointment!  Disappointment is linked to expectation in that we feel disappointed when what we experience is not close to what we expected.  When our expectaions don't meet the reality in the experience, we are disappointed.

Feeling disappointed is uncomfortable and is an emotion we would like to avoid. How do we typically manage that?
  • We lower our expectations, or we have no expectation at all. That way we can manage the emotion of disappointment by not giving it a place to land.  Works in the moment perhaps, but by denying expectation, several things happen.  One, we kill the power found in hope and we lose motivation.  Second, the people around us slip into complacency as there is no expectation of them.
  • We deny or do not process the disappointment.  Again, several things can happen.  We become angry at ourselves for having a hope of expectation and internalize a self-destructive emotion or message.  Secondly, that unprocessed feeling of disappointment ultimately feeds into disheartenment and the snowball of depression grows bigger.
What's the answer?  Truthfully, sometimes we need to lower our expectations. An example:  when your past experiences tell you that Sam is not going to listen with an open heart, you might need to protect yourself and adjust your expectation that keeps saying, "if I say it this way..." and not share things of the heart.

Sometimes we need to hold out an expectation and stand strong.  An example: Expecting to be treated with respect is absolutely an appropriate need.  Standing strong in that expectation will produce an atmosphere around you that moves people to respond.  If their behavior does not leave you feeling respected, you will be disappointed, however, your self-respect remains intact.

And so very important and core to this issue:  When disappointed, own it, name it, feel it, work your way through it!  Denying the uncomforable emotion only makes things worse.  Owning the disappointment says, "My hopes, needs, etc., have value."  Learn from the emotion and make an adjustment in either your thinking or behavior as necessary.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Stand Up

Huh - just seeing the title, it appears that this blog post will again have a "fight" flavor to it. Why?  Because at the core of me is a fighting warrior tired of a world that compacently accepts violence and the presence of sex abuse. 

I see hundreds of people turn out for a walk against breast cancer - and yet the numbers of victims of breast cancer are not near the numbers of victims of sex abuse!

I see hundreds of people turn out for a walk to support issues around mental health - and yet many of those issues originate in the trauma of sex abuse.

I see hundreds of people turn out for a walk about autism, cystic fibrosis and now Alzheimer's.

What the heck?!?  We issue a call for people to Stand Up against sex abuse - and we have little response!  I'm sick of the powerless feeling.  I'm sick of the shame keeping us from addressing it.  I'm sick of the passive acceptance of sex abuse as something we have to "prevent"! Let's not tolerate it!

STAND UP!  When we asked 300 people what their first response was when they heard about sex abuse, the word most used was "sick".  I'm calling you to move beyond that first response!  Yes, it is "sick", but let's get angry about it.  Let's take this down.  Let's Stand Up and battle the mindsets that allow sex abuse to exist. 

If you are in the Cincinnati area - join us on August 17th, in Ault Park as we walk and STAND UP OHIO.  This will be unique!  You won't just walk, although showing up alone will make a statement.  But you will have the opportunity to visit 3 action stations where you will help unearth and combat cultural norms and mindsets.  We are attacking at the root!  COME UP TO  A HIGHER PLACE AND BATTLE WITH US!

rsvp:  or

Monday, July 1, 2013

Occupy your land

This journey of restoring authentic identity is a battle!  Think of it this way:  someone has crossed a boundary and has invaded your territory.  This invader has imposed new rules of thinking and behaving and your healthy sense of identity has been submerged under this tyrant.

You have decided to declare war on this invasion and throw out the rules, thoughts and behaviors the invader left behind.  These rules, thoughts and behaviors cripple you and unless defeated, will define your life. 

You are going to stop running from "knowing what you know", turn around, face the reality of what you experienced and "occupy your land."  It is a place of great strength to stand by your core, recognize your innate value and take it back - occupy it!

It is an action.  It is a reclaiming.  Draw your weapons of restoration by taking responsibility to fight the battle, recognizing the impact of the invasion, identifying your power of agreement and internalize the new truth.  Occupy!

It is victory that is possible!