At my age, I have learned that disappointments happen and while it is not easy to understand or cope with sometimes, it is a part of life. When I feel the strong dissatisfaction of life I become frustrated and then I want to jump up and down, stomp my feet and scream “It’s not fair.”
My friend would tell me “Get over it. The fair is in July.” If it were that easy! I’m still in the midst of a temper tantrum. Another friend would tell me “Pull up your big girl pants and deal with it.” My third-grade friends would tell me “You get what you get and you don’t throw a fit.”
It doesn’t matter what the disappointment is or was. Everyone has experienced disenchantment on some level.
William Shakespeare said “Expectation is the root of all heartache.”
Maybe it was an expectation you had in an event or in a person. Often it is the people closest to us that disappoint us the most because we tend to hold them to higher standards than everyone else.
Maybe the disappointment is in yourself. You did your best, but you still fell short of the mark.
When these things happen in your life do you want to hold a grudge? To hold on to it and nurture the anger? I’ll admit that I do. I can justify my bitterness and resentment, hoping the person that has caused me this pain feels just as lousy as I do.
Faithfullycommitted.com notes “But what we don’t realize is that by holding onto past disappointments we are also hurting ourselves, our families, and, most of all, our relationships with God.”
The blogger goes on to suggest that if you’re struggling to let go of disappointment in your life, here are some suggestions that may help:
1. Consider the other person’s point of view. The writer tells a story of a lifelong friend that called two days before her wedding to back out of being a bridesmaid. She was hurt and of course disappointed, “but when I considered where she was coming from, I couldn’t help but feel compassion for her. She had other priorities and other obligations” that needed her attention.
2. Think of times when you disappointed someone else and hoped they would give you grace. I don’t know about you, but I cringe to think about things I’ve done in the past that have disappointed those closest to me. We are sinful, fallible humans who are bound to hurt one another.”
3. Change your expectations. The writer suggests that we examine our relationships and if we are in a cycle of too high of expectations and then disappointment, it’s time to reevaluate. “ You will bless your family if you extend grace rather than disappointment.”
4. Choose to love others anyway. Make sure that love is a verb in your life, something that you do purposefully and intentionally, not something that you expect to just happen. This is a choice you recommit to often. Maybe other people don’t have the same heart. Be kind anyway.
5. Consider that it’s not really about you. I like to be the center of my own world just as much as anyone, but I need to remember that I am a servant and if I want others to see God in me, I will need to step outside of myself.
6. I choose to pray. During the last week I have gone straight to prayer when I feel myself returning to anger and frustration.
May your prayers be more focused on healing from the disappointment.