Handling Disappointment

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by Jami Keller
Co-Founder, Passion Provokers

Life tends to grind into a place where we can feel disconnected and hurt by the disappointment we have in most relationships.

This question came up the other day: Is there anyone important to you who has not disappointed you?

It’s a simple task, to name those in our lives who may have disappointed us in some way. It should follow that it would be just as easy to think of someone who has not. And yet, the only answer we received back was: the one person they felt had never let them down was their own parent.

When it comes to disappointment (the reality is) the only thing worse than an abusive parent is having a ‘perfect parent,’ because it is impossible to live up to such a standard.

Q: So then, what is the difference between those that we get along with and those we carry hurt from?

A: An ability to forgive and get past that disappointment.


This is easier for some than others. It is nearly impossible when we are hanging onto a bunch of disappointments, because with our fists clenched in pain (hurt, anger, frustration, hostility, confusion and shame) there is little of value we are able to hold.

At Passion Provokers, “We not only help you find your strengths (worthiness, empowerment, healthy pride, trust, confidence) – we lead you to your giftedness.”

It takes a considerable amount of discipline to make the shift necessary to live free, and in relief from the pain. And yes, you have what it takes if you are given the right path.

I know, from some long and hard-fought bad experiences, that trying to do this by yourself does not work. We are literally designed to work in community. Without mentors and support we find ourselves in this rut of disappointment, hurt and frustration.

We call this the ‘merry-go-round’ where we swirl around the same old feelings which are attached to our failing patterns. Usually the pattern of disappointment is caused by hanging on too long, to things in the past.

The following is a brutal (yet illustrative) scene from the TV show Mad Men. It’s about interpersonal relationships and conflict. The junior employee is upset and finally says he feels sad for his superior. Don’s response is “I don’t think about you at all.”


While I would never suggest Don Draper as an example of someone who has good relationships, the comment gives us a clue about attachment and giving our power away. We don’t have to give our power away, and choosing what to focus on is vital. So, finding our giftedness is vital because it is so easy to get distracted into feeling bad about things that don’t really matter.

“When we live in our giftedness we learn to ask for what we truly want, in powerfully sincere and congruent ways – which in turn leads to life fulfillment.” And asking for help is truly your first step.

Getting off the merry-go-round takes a bit of work, but in the end, you will be charge of your own journey! Passion Provokers is here to help you find your place of power, peace and joy.  Give us a call now at 208.853.8888, or e-mail and let us know when you are ready to talk in person or over Skype/Facetime.

Release the Outcome

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by Jami Keller

So often we place expectations on others and on ourselves, and when those expectations are not met we feel disappointed, discouraged, and even irritated. And, I have learned the hard way that it’s always best to release expectations.

You are responsible for your side of the street. You cannot expect others to be what you want them to be, without taking away their autonomy.

Forcing my agenda on other people in my life had only come back to bite me in the butt. Let me tell you a story that really brought this lesson home for me, in a very scary and personal way.

I had chosen to go against my wife Marla’s advice while we were in a raft, heading towards a very large wave in the distance. She was feeling anxious, and suggested we skirt the wave to the far right, and I decided we would simply “skim the edge” of the wave to increase the thrill (Marla would say that it was already way too thrilling). And that’s what we did.

As we crested the peak of the “wave” we discovered it was actually an immense rock covered with water, and on the other side was a huge hole! These so-called ‘holes’ are made up of foamy, aerated water that provides less buoyancy, and they can feel like an actual hole in the river surface – most often creating fearful results for those caught in its grasp.

As we became engulfed in the hole’s massive pull, I was tossed into the raging, swollen river and didn’t emerge for another 30 yards (which seemed eternal as I wondered if my wife, mother-in-law, and my father-in-law had made it out of the suction power of the swirling waters).

I popped out of the water, searching frantically for signs of life. All I saw was the raft bobbing on top of the hole, seemingly stuck there forever. I panicked. Had I lost my loved ones to the depths of the miry river? In my panic, I was turned by the force of the water to face downstream and, much to my great relief, I spotted my family (safe and dragging their exhausted bodies onto the river’s bank).

What a lesson I learned that day. I can’t say I never ignored Marla’s sage advice again, but I certainly began to give it more stock than I ever had before. So, I now choose to remember the phrase, “Would I rather be right or in relationship?”

Sometimes you have to release your agenda to maintain relationships. This does not mean you shift your own moral or ethical stance. Just don’t make others fall into your little box so that you can be happy.

Can you think of a time when you chose to be right rather than keep your relationship healthy?





Sometimes ‘No’ is an Act of Love

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by Guest Author Aubrey Lyn Jeppson

Most of us spend at least a little bit of time worrying about the thoughts and feelings of others – especially those who are important in our lives. I remember a time from my childhood, when my friend and her brother were fighting. I did my best to help them work out the conflict and, when all was said and done, their mother smiled at me and called me a “peace keeper.” That might have been the first time I was described that way, but it certainly wouldn’t be the last.  

As the years went by, I continued to try to keep the peace. I didn’t always raise my voice when someone was hurting me. I said “yes” to more than I could handle when friends asked me to take on obligations. I let people push past my boundaries and I didn’t try to stop them.

This was all because I held a deeply ingrained fear of upsetting the peace. I wanted to avoid hurting someone’s feelings or preventing them from doing something they wanted to do. The comfort of those around me became my main priority and because it did, I started to suffer and so did my relationships, at times.

The problem is, when you don’t say “No” or you don’t set clear boundaries, things tend to get more muddled and less clear. Eventually, this can lead to bigger conflicts than the ones you were initially trying to avoid, due to feelings of resentment.

If we let someone cross one of our boundaries time and time again, when we finally ask them to stop they may feel confused and unsure. It was fine to cross the boundary before, what changed?  The true way to avoid conflict in this instance is to be clear, open and honest about our where we draw our lines, rather than shrinking away from what we need to feel safe in a friendship or a relationship.

The Huffington Post covered a study by Georgia Regents University based upon 30 years of research, which actually found that we were more likely to be aggressive with those closest to us. It also found that relationships with friends tend to have more non-direct aggression (passive aggression). It’s another reason why clear and direct boundaries are important, because they can help navigate situations where someone is being passive aggressive. If you are honest and concise about your boundaries, there are fewer opportunities for someone to exploit your kindness or your limits.

There are situations that go somewhat deeper than this, when the conflict has already happened and someone feels the need to hold a grudge or lash out. I think this is actually the kind of situation where “No” may be the biggest act of love. This is when “No” takes on the meaning of “No, I will not fight back” and “No, I will not respond to your attacks”  or  “No, I will not be responsible for your pain or the hurt you are trying to cause.”

This is often the beginning of letting someone go. You may now realize that is time to set the final boundary and say “No” to continuing the relationship. It is times like these, where you show your love by stepping away and choosing not to engage in further conflict or toxic interaction.  

It can be really hard, because at times, not responding may seem like you are acting out of apathy or lack of care. It is truly the opposite though. You are choosing to protect both yourself and the person who cannot let go of the conflict. Neither of you would be served by continuing to argue.  

This is why “No” can be such a strong act of love. Because you are clear in what you need and what you want out the relationship – you are representing yourself honestly and without malice.