She sat at the end of the table and looked blankly out onto the freshly fallen snow, “I guess that is just the jaded part of me.” We had been reflecting on the wonderful and hopeful things we had heard from the morning speaker. Marla had seemed interested, even intrigued by the topic and then in an instant, something switched. “I can’t believe it could really be (wonderful) like she (the speaker) said…I guess that is just the jaded part of me…I have always been like this.”
Marla could listen with attention, take in all of what was said, but something inside her drew an imaginary line when it came to accepting and embodying hope. And, she accepted it as part of her personality, of who she is, and believed it to be unchangeable.
The brilliant writing of A.A. Milne brought personality types into mainstream conversation through the stories of Winnie the Pooh and friends. We all know people who have the upbeat energy of Tigger, the steady and calm vibe of Pooh, the Type A of Rabbit, and others with a melancholia of Eeyore, Jadedness is not melancholia nor is it being highly analytical or skeptical: those are part of the personality milieu. It comes from other sources: disappointment and stress. And all personalities can fall prey.
Jadedness comes from experiencing disappointment after disappointment, without resolution. It can come from holding unmet expectations until our own well-being is impacted. After a time, we begin to tire of broken promises and soon believe, “It will never be different.” In order to protect ourselves from more pain we unconsciously decide to stop expecting goodness.
Becoming jaded can signal exhaustion, stress, disillusionment or compassion fatigue. This week, if you notice yourself to be a bit jaded, unable to allow hope inside, stop and take a deep breath. Acknowledge where you are is the first step to change. Choose an activity that will help you care for yourself. As you treat your own self with kindness and compassion, you can acknowledge the pain of disappointment, and move softly toward a place of healing hope for renewal.
Leaning toward hope,