I’m sure you’ve all heard it before: “Life is full of disappointment”. It’s like history’s first pessimist spread a virus, passed on from generation to generation. We all get to hear the words and consciously or subconsciously accept it as truth. Now before you think I’ve been struck by some kind of head trauma, I’m not saying disappointment is some mystic force jammed down our throats. No, I’m saying we approach disappointment wrong.
Is disappointment inevitable? I definitely think so but I’ve decided that I don’t want to live as if it is soul crushing when it happens. Relationships, finances, career, society, etc. All of these can cause disappointment in our lives. A lot of times, it’s based on factors you can’t control or maybe choices you’ve made unaware of the outcome. It comes and we face it.
I’m even beginning to wonder if disappointment is a reaction we’ve been “instituted” to have when life’s turns and twists take place. If it is just a reaction similar to excitement or anger, then can it controlled? If we have a choice in the matter, can we actually will ourselves to step back and not let the negative emotions that come with disappointment affect our outlook of the situation?
I don’t claim to have an answer (sorry, this is not a post with answers…just reflection). What I can offer is my own battle with this. Recent financial happenings in my life have gone in directions I did not anticipate. I admit, I got down for a moment but I also know I can either wallow in the dust or stand and press on, in hope, believing victories will come. It’s not always easy but doable. If you are person of faith, then you would put that hope in God. If not, then you would put that hope in yourself or maybe significant others in your life. Either way, you are moving forward without letting disappointment convince you there is nothing better.
Too often we witness people we know either intimately or simply as acquaintances falter under disappointment. Depending on the level, this can cripple dreams or make people look for help in various arenas. My hope would be that we all stop responding to the unexpected in a way that would blind us to the opportunity to try again or make any adjustments needed to set the course right again. For myself, I don’t want to miss the better parts of life because I convince myself something can’t be done or that I’m incapable of having an attitude and outlook that would see me above the trial.
Call to Action: Look back at a recent disappointment (I’ve got a fresh one for myself) and seriously take a moment to examine it. Write it all out as well and see if you can find the positive opportunities. Sometimes we need to dissect the twists and turns to see other possible doorways.