In his lovely book “Consolations” (The Solace and Nourishment and Meaning of Everyday Words), David Whyte explains, with powerful insight, various words which have the power to nurture a soul in conflict.

Whilst on holiday, I studied four of these words and gave myself time to ponder on their meanings to me in my life in the present moment, and in this post I will talk about the effect of the word “Disappointment” on my thinking.

He talks about disappointment being a gateway to transformation, because it is at the point at which we recognise and turn into disappointment, rather than avoid or face away from it, that our capacity to re-appraise our life and move forward in it can occur.

I was drawn tho this word because I have sensed within my life a profound disappointment in respect of my failure to recognise and accept my sexuality.

I can see that I had lived a large part of my life facing away from the truth, and in doing so, I restricted my capacity to learn from these feelings what would improve my chances of a happier life in the future.

As a result of having confronted this issue honestly within self and communicated its reality to my wife, my life has experienced a sense of hope and ease which had previously been unimaginable.

In respect of disappointment which I feel in my life today in respect of my own perception that I failed as a parent, due in part to my inner conflict, I constantly have this feeling that I want to go back to before the problems started and handle everything differently, in a more open, generous, forgiving, approachable and calmer manner.

Of course, I can not do this, but what I was able to contemplate whilst on holiday, are the changes I have subsequently made, in respect of my fuller acceptance of self and also the outward changes I have made to present my inner work to my adult children in a more compassionate, understanding and non controlling manner.

In the rawness of all this disappointment, I can sense within me a huge mass of judgement telling me that I have been a failure, but to leave it there in my thinking would be to fail to recognise the transforming work that I have done in these last few months.

It is a work in progress and a work of progress.

I had a rare moment over lunch, whilst on holiday, to talk to my wife about this word “disappointment” and how it has been affecting me.

David Whyte’s words on “disappointment” helped me to explain, and then discuss with her, these raw feelings which still have the  ability to cause me pain and regret.

In listening and discussing and being re-assured that things were changing I was able to reach to another source, that my inner work is having an outward transforming effect on those whom I love.

My next blog will be: “I Don’t Love You Daddy”

William Defoe


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