How to Stop Putting the Key to Your Happiness in Someone Else's Pocket!
June 16, 2022
Unhappiness….a direct byproduct of Disappointment.
Come with me as I talk about how to embrace your own path and why you shouldn’t expect other people to walk it with you.
Listen in to my take on having expectations of others and how we can filter our feelings when they inevitably fall short of them….and they will, just like you will fall short of theirs…because….HUMAN.
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Sarah Metzger 0:07
Hey friends, welcome back. Thanks for joining me for another episode of What’s On Your Plate. I’m Sarah, your host.
Today I decided to speak on something that has come up for me a lot over the years and I know it has for you too…. disappointments. There’s all kinds of it right? The barista tells you that your favorite brew is out of stock. Okay, that’s super annoying, but not devastating, right? Your kid isn’t tall enough to go on most of the water slides and now someone pooped in the wave pool and the one thing he could enjoy is now shut down for the entire day. Awesome. True story, by the way.
What about when that friend you are counting on to show up for you bails? Or when you have to call up work because the babysitter can’t watch your kid today? Those types of disappointments are a little more disruptive to your day. Even worse, though, are those potentially life changing disappointments? Like… What if what you thought was going to be your path to achieving your life’s dreams is falling off track? What if who you thought was your forever person, whether it’s in intimate or platonic, isn’t vibing with you anymore? If you really look at the deep truth of it all, it comes down to the fact that most of us, at least initially look around at who we should blame for our unhappiness, which is of course the byproduct of disappointment.
It’s true, isn’t it? When something isn’t going as planned, when someone is not meeting our internal demands, we blame them without first looking inside ourselves to understand why our response is what it is. I’ve come to believe that this ultimately happens because we have put the key to our own happiness in someone else’s pocket.
Have you ever lost an actual key before? Yeah, of course you have, right?.. we all have. And it’s only when you’re running late frantic to leave that you’re searching looking everywhere, even saying out loud. Where the hell is my key? It’s the same with happiness. You weren’t even aware you lost it until all of a sudden it’s missing. And then you’re confused on how to find it again. I’m just as guilty of this as anyone else. Putting too much stock into other people or other things and allowing the ups and downs of an outside entity to control my outlook.
It’s not really hard to understand why we do this. Every human being needs connection. And not just any connection. We need positive, joyful, inspiring connections, warmth and love. Affirmation, quality of time, or whatever your love language is. More on that topic in a future episode. The bottom line is we do need things from other people. And when other people or situations fall short of these needs, we are inevitably and understandably disappointed. It’s a natural normal response. What you feel is real and valid, even if other people don’t understand it, or even attempt to shame you or criticize you for it.
So okay, fine. It’s normal. That’s all well and good. But we still don’t want to feel like junk because of it. So what do we do? Well, in part, I think disappointments are repetitive, rather than random. If that’s the case, you should take a look at the company you’re keeping. Someone wants said “don’t have any expectations and you won’t be disappointed”. Hmm, okay. I’m calling bullshit on that one. I mean, it seems like a nice suggestion, even superficially, some solid advice maybe. But it’s not at all practical. Now don’t get me wrong. It’s true that we will all fall short at times. We are imperfect humans after all. But once you know better, shouldn’t you try to do better? I believe that if you’re making a conscious effort to surround yourself with people who radiate an energy similar to your own, you’ll receive thattype of energy right back. You’ll give what you’re seeking.
And I’ll be honest, I do have a certain degree of expectation of those closest to me. And if you’re being honest, so do you. I have fallen short, hard before. And so have you. People around you, even those you deem closest, don’t have, cannot have the same heart as you. Resist the urge to expect them to care about what matters most to you in the exact same way that you care about it.
You’re on your own journey. And so are they. You may have found comfort and camaraderie in walking next to each other’s paths. But you will never be walking the exact same paths. No doubt, you’ve heard the phrase “I crossed paths with so and so yesterday”, or “I’m so glad our paths crossed”. We’re all here for different reasons and walking different paths is part of that. It is because of that truth that we face feelings of disappointment.
But we can take comfort too, just because something is not going as planned or someone isn’t performing in a way we hoped they would. It doesn’t mean anything is actually wrong. It just might not be what you envisioned. And maybe it’s not really for you. I’ll share a personal example of my own. I once kept a regular company was someone who I thought would be a permanent forever fixture in my life. I have a lot of history with this person, a lot of time invested. So when I was continuously stood up, when they repeatedly and deliberately abused my time and attention, it took me a while to acknowledge it for what it was. I stayed in this low vibration for far too long, in hopes that they would start to step up to my expectations that they would care in a way that I did. I mean, you can probably guess what happened.
It never came about… this person never did what I hoped that they would do. I loved this person very much. I still love this person. But I opted out. I opted out of the energy that just wasn’t for me. Once I took my key back, and stopped relying on someone else to hold it for me, I realized I never needed anyone to hold it for me in the first place. It was kind of like Dorothy and the Wizard of Oz. I always had the power. I just had to learn to use it for myself.
So you see our paths crossed. And while it was purposeful and good for a while, ultimately a fork in the road came and our paths ahead were single track. I went one way, and they went another. And it’s not that people are disposable. It’s that every person every situation is not meant to stay forever. That’s a hard truth. We need connection, love, camaraderie, affection, inspiration and insight from other people. But just don’t leave your key lying around. Once you misplace it, it can take a while to get it back.
I also have an unpopular belief that you’re not going to receive all that you need to feed your happiness from one single person. Yep, I said what I said. But just think about it. When people say “You’re my everything”, or “I want you to be my whole world”…. I actually find that to feel very scary. That’s a lot of pressure. It’s perfectly fine if the person you talk spiritually with to not be the same person you kiss goodnight. And it’s okay if your workout buddy is not the same person you want to talk sci fi with. Everybody doesn’t have to get everything about you and vice versa. You’re meant to experience a lot and it’s more than okay if not all of that is with the same person.
So we know we arehuman. So disappointment cannot be fully avoided. What matters here is how we handle it. For one, if it hasn’t been obvious by now, keep your own damn key! Stop giving it away to other people. Never leave it unattended, expecting someone to just be in charge of it for you… you’re always going to be disappointed.
Also, know what you will do when disappointment does ultimately arrive. Make sure you have a place in your inner mind that you can filter these feelings and look at it from a different lens. If I cannot count on so and so to show up for me, I know I can still count on myself to show up. Learn the art of being comfortable with being alone. Whether it’s in your passions, your interests, or even physically at times. I 100% agree that the joy in life is amplified when it’s shared with other people. But don’t let your happiness be whisked away when it’s up to you to enjoy it solo.
Don’t force connections, you will find your people or more accurately, if you’re putting out the vibes you want to receive, your people are going to find you. In the meantime, find ways to appreciate yourself and get more comfortable spending time with yourself.
Finding ways to become more adaptable, to release our need to control other people in situations. To remind ourselves that relying on other people to fill our cups will always leave us seeing it as only half full.
I’m so thankful for the time you have shared with me today. I hope you take away something that is helpful to you and I hope you take responsibility for your own happiness. If something you heard resonated, please share this episode with a friend. I love being able to be in this space with you every week and you helping me spread the word about it helps me to stay present here with you. And I’d love your suggestions. New this week, I’ve added a feedback form for you to leave me suggestions and thoughts. It’s available on the website and the link for that is in the show notes. If you’re able and inspired to do so you can also rate and review this podcast. I appreciate you so much. I’ll see you next Thursday.
Transcribed by https://otter.ai