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home?One of the strongest messages I received growing up in the church is that it is my job to not upset people.

I mean, it’s okay to upset sinful people who are doing wrong, like Jesus overturning the tables of the money-changers in the temple. Hurting sinful peoples’ feelings is okay.

Just don’t upset your brothers and sisters. That’s a no-no.

I’m the oldest of five kids. I grew up super responsible. My goal was to never disappoint my parents. As a good church-goer, my goal to never disappoint my parents transferred onto every other Christian. I never disappointed anybody.

To disappoint: to fail to fulfill the hopes or expectations of someone.

My parents had hopes for me. All my brothers and sisters in the faith had hopes for me.

And I never disappointed them. Until I did.

I started thinking I was going to have to disappoint people when I was around 27 years old. I’d experienced a kind of spiritual crisis and realized I needed a spiritual director. Yes! It was then I knew that I was going to have to start disappointing people, letting them down, and not fulfilling their hopes for me.

For me, it wasn’t a sudden rebellious outbreak: “I’M GOING TO BE ME!” It wasn’t like me suddenly turning from the lovely Jekyll to the evil Hyde in one fell swoop. It was more of a slight turn in direction.

This was the turn of direction: It was a subtle decision that I was going to stop disappointing myself rather than others. I was going to commit myself to personal transformation, no matter what the social cost.

You have to decide to disappoint people. Now, it doesn’t have to be active. It is usually passive. That means, you don’t set out to disappoint people. You set out to be true to yourself. You commit yourself to change, interiorly and exteriorly. This is going to disappoint people.

  • So the primary decision is to commit to authenticity and the change this requires.
  • The secondary decision is to acknowledge, accept and bear that this will disappoint people.

When someone says (and I get this pretty frequently): “You’re a disappointment to me.” I respond, “I didn’t mean to disappoint you. I want to live with integrity. I can’t help if this disappoints you.”

I disappointed people when I was 27. I disappoint people now. I am changing. I am faithful to my transformation. I am respectful to myself, no matter what the cost.

The disappointing of their false hopes is all an illusion anyway. Their expectations on you are their expectations, their hopes, their fantasies. These fantasies really have nothing to do with you anyway, but with the fantasizer’s desires.

Commit to change. You may disappoint others, but in the long run you will not disappoint yourself.

Much love to you guys!