Disappointment has been the ugly side of marriage that I was not prepared for.
It’s come from all over, and at a variety of points in my life. Disappointment in myself, disappointment in my husband, disappointment in my family. For years I confused it with anger, hate, and annoyance, allowing it to manifest into depression, weight gain, social retreat and anxiety.
In the early days of our relationship, when the manStar acted in a certain way, I acted a certain - almost always in some form of power move. I could lash out in full Leo glory, knowing I had the wherewithal to go it on my own if that was to be the end result. Sure communication is key, but whilst in my youth, there was an entire world outside my door based on MY method of communication.
Having the miniStarlite was/is the greatest joy of our lives, and it changed everything. Period.
In the early years of baby May, it became very apparent that life was going to be lived in a way to ensure that she wanted for nothing. Not a terrible goal for new parents, especially considering it was the one thing we both agreed on, absolutely. There's a certain type of need that comes from small children, it’s constant and it’s necessary. She needed to be fed, she needed to be dressed, she needed to learn, play, know when her bedtime was. The path of her life was dictated by what we did, and with both of us working full time, every spare anything we had in the tank went directly into managing our little girl.
"Disappointment often signals transition toward change or a
stagnation into nothingness." Unknown
I'm beginning to accept that I am transitioning from the role of parenting a young child to parenting a young adult. I didn’t always require the manStar's friendship and attention because we were both good with giving all we had to ‘the baby’. As I’m letting go, I’m starting to look more at him as it relates to us.
So how has this little beasty called disappointment snuck into our marriage? Outside of our daughter, we haven’t planned our future with purpose. As a couple, decisions need to be made with an outcome in mind, and that outcome needs to include purpose for both partners.
As an example, when the manStar and I were considering his career path and what that looked like for him, and where that would take us, at no point did we take a look at my path and what his taking this job would mean for me. We got so lost in the excitement of his opportunity, a move across the country, the reward for his efforts in school and a childhood dream job, we forgot to sit down and assign a purpose to my future in light of his opportunity. I’ve spent my years focused on the only role I’ve really understood up until now, and that’s raising my daughter. The instinct of motherhood covered up the feeling of self-abandonment when I said yes to my husband’s future.
The point of changing storylines when recognizing disappointment
is to determine a way to share the responsibility of change.
What does disappointment look like? Like everything else, it’s different for everyone. Generally, it shows up as mini acts of rebellion, health issues (from mental to physical), anger, and/or addiction. For me, disappointment has manifested in a lifelong cycle of searching. After a lot of self work, I’ve finally realized that I’m on the constant hunt for validation and am using the excuse of not truly committing to anything because ‘we’re just going to have to move for my husband again anyways, so what’s the point?'.
The point is, when you drift through life without planning for purpose, you eventually ‘wake up’ and realize you can’t make up for lost time. Planning for purpose is the key ingredient to manifesting self-worth. Here’s what I did - let’s move across the country, I’ll make sure we have a place and get the baby settled and then figure it out. We got there, I had no plan and therefore no purpose. Needless to say, things didn’t turn out for me personally. I walked away giving my everything to my daughter and husband, asking for nothing in return. When you don’t ask or plan for anything, you get nothing, and I walked out of that experience, bitter and angry with both of them. I walked out of that feeling used, alone, and not even in the realm of personal or professional success that I had envisioned for myself.
Recognizing strong, negative and destructive emotions is the first step in being able to seperate disappointment from anger. Transitioning full bodied feelings into the context of disappointment is going to help you move these emotions forward into smaller life chunks. In the Arcana of Cups, and the element of water, think of it as transforming the waves of a hurricane into a ripple on still water:
Change the storyline
I am so angry that I gave up my career for you and I have nothing to show for it.
I’m disappointed that I didn’t take more time to plan my career.
I’m not mad at you, I’m disappointed in my current situation.
All I ever do is give my time to you and the baby, you’re both so needy and never consider my needs.
I’m disappointed in the fact that I haven’t been able to find a way to value my time.
I love you and the baby, but I’m important too.
Go back and take big moments of anger and retaliation in your marriage, those moments that have left an imprint of bitterness and resentment and see if you can change the storyline. Take those moments, those feelings and change them from angst to understanding, from baggage to acceptance, from loss to gratitude.
2. Make an actionable next step
I’m disappointed in my current career situation.
I can’t change the last 10 years, but I can plan for the next 10. What is my goal for the future of my career? What is our goal for the future? How will we make this work?
I’m important too.
What do I need to feel like my time is valued? How can we build this into our current routine?
Once you’ve taken the time to pinpoint those ‘belly full of water’ moments and change the storyline into something less charged with emotion, turn it into family based “WE” action items. “WE” being key!! When you determine a moment of disappointment that is not solely yours in ownership, you cannot revert back to trying to change it on your own; you’re going to end up in an endless cycle of self-loathing. The point of changing storylines when recognizing disappointment is to determine a way to share the responsibility of change.
As with everything, small simple steps are key. You can’t change a decade full of angry moments and change them in one sitting. In fact, as you work through changing the content of negative emotions, you’re going to find a few ‘pick and choose your battle moments’. Not everything deserves or requires the resurfacing of energy and connection. Some stuff is better left in the past, but only you can determine which cords need to be cut, and which ones need to be realigned.
If you’re struggling with restructuring the elements of anger into disappointment, Tarot can help. Let’s book session and navigate our way through to changing your storyline.