Everyone needs a cheerleader. In an earlier incarnation, I actually was a cheerleader. I recall stepping out onto the gym floor in my blue and white mini skirt with my megaphone at my side. I would yell at the top of my lungs, “Yay Mike, Yay Jones, Rah Rah, Mike Jones!” (not his real name). I wonder how it felt to be Mike Jones, however (this was back in the day, before feminism hit and I burned my bras, started wearing construction boots and quit cheerleading). Mike Jones must have felt pretty good about himself, is my guess, hearing his name screamed out by a bunch of hot young cheerleaders, game after game. I’ll just bet he was glowing.
Not that I want to be a cheerleader again, but I do think that there’s something to be said for having a fan or two to cheer you on, and to trumpet your accomplishments. I have a couple of friends who are very, very good at this: they always step up to make me feel better about myself when I’m low (I also have one pal who seems to like to see me suffer, sorry to say!)
In the yoga circles I frequent I’ve been hearing a lot lately about letting go of fear and anger. But I don’t hear too much about letting go of disappointment—particularly disappointment in yourself. Disappointment can feel really bad—and it just seems to breed more disappointment (the same way gratitude tends to breed more gratitude). It’s easy to feel disappointed with a pose when you can’t quite wrap your body into it properly…or to be disappointed with the way you handled a situation, or in how your tomatoes turned out with all the rain….
Some people tend to be disappointed in their spouses or children. I would have been devastated if my parents had ever said to me, “I’m disappointed in you.” Thank God they never did say that, even when I really messed up. Disappointment is a normal, natural feeling in humans but when I hear the word it just makes me droop—like a flower deprived of water.
My wish is that we could all be cheerleaders for one another (perhaps, without the short skirts), that we could let go of our disappointment about ourselves, our family members, our friends, our vegetable gardens, our shoes, our hair cut, our bank accounts, and the countless other things that make us feel as if our life just isn’t measuring up. It would be lovely if we could all get the Mike Jones (not his real name!) cheer when we wake up in the morning…hearing someone (even ourselves) trumpeting how utterly amazing we are.