“Don’t let today’s disappointments cast a shadow on tomorrow’s dreams.” ~Unknown
“Jesus said to her, "I am the resurrection and the life: he who believes in me will live even if he dies, and everyone who lives and believes in me will never die. do you believe this?"
When Kind David's newborn baby was dreadfully sick and near death, David prayed night and day, believing that God could heal his child. He wouldn't eat or dirk; he didn't shave or shower. He didn't attend to any business. He wouldn't do anything but pray, crying out to God.
Despite David's passionate prayers, on the seventh day the child died. David's servants worried how they were going to tell the king that his baby was dead. They thought he would be so devastated, so distraught that he couldn't' handle it. But when David finally figured out what had happened, he surprised them all. He got up off the floor, washed his face, and put on some fresh clothes. Then he asked his servants to bring him some food, and he sat down and ate a meal.
His servants were confused. They said, "David, when your child was alive, you fasted and prayed. But now that he's gone, you act as thought nothing's wrong."
David answered, "Yes, I fasted and prayed when my son was sick, thinking that God might heal him. But now that he is gone, I cannot bring him back. He will not return to me, but In time, I will go to be with him." Notice David's attitude. He didn't get bitter. He didn't question Gd. He could have snarled, "God, I thought you loved me. Why didn't you answer my prayers?" He just went on amongst his disappointment. He washed his face and moved on with life.
Disappointment has got to be one of life’s most uncomfortable feelings. It’s complex, containing a subset of other emotions like anger, hurt, and sadness. Sometimes, those emotions by themselves are easier to deal with, but add disappointment and your life begins to unravel.
Here are 4 steps to get past disappointment:
1. Let it out.
One of the hardest things to do in a world where everything is immediate is to just let yourself experience a feeling.
Even at the most difficulties times, such as grieving, on average we only allow ourselves 1 to 2 weeks and expect to get back into normality again.
Human beings are not very good at allowing the experiencing of emotions in full without trying to speed up the process. The only time we have this ability in its purest sense is when we are young children who have yet to be told or taught what is socially acceptable.
Allow yourself to feel what you’re feeling without any agenda of speeding up the process. Whatever you are feeling is OK. Take some time to just sit with your emotion and experience it without moving to fix or change it.
2. Get some perspective.
The wonderful thing about letting it out is that you have given yourself that time. You have said to yourself, “I care about you. I want to allow you to feel what you need to feel." You have treated yourself like a friend and allowed yourself the space you needed to experience your feelings of disappointment.
Once you’ve done that, it becomes much easier to get some perspective. After you give yourself space to feel, you’re able to give the situation or individuals involved more room to breathe.
Perhaps the person who you feel disappointed by doesn’t even realize they’ve done something to upset you. Maybe they’re stressed out and don’t have the emotional bandwidth to think about it because they aren’t allowing themselves time to experience their emotions.
Giving yourself space to be as you are prepares you to allow the same to other people.
3. Know your own heart.
Disappointment can ripple through to the core of who you are. If you don’t know what your core values are, you may not have a framework to support you when you experience negative emotions.
When someone disappoints me and I feel like closing and withdrawing, I remember my core values, then pause and make a choice.
I wish to be an open-hearted person. These negative feelings are feelings, and they will pass. Do I choose to remain open-hearted, or do I choose to follow the easier instinct and close off? More often than not, I choose to be in line with my values over the automatic response to the situation.
Knowing your own heart and your values gives you the freedom of choice. You can choose to be driven by what happens to you, or you can choose to live in line with your principles.
4. Practice acceptance.
As human beings, even though we know that some things are bound to happen, we’re not always willing to accept them.
Every time I am disappointed, I feel overwhelmed by my emotions. I’m inclined to withdraw and blame others, wanting to wallow in my disappointment. Each time this happens, I must accept i will work through it again and again.
I have to accept that I will continue to be disappointed—that it is a part of life, part of being human. I also have to accept that I will probably continue to struggle to accept this fact, at various points throughout the rest of my life!
Practice acceptance and we may suffer less as it is happening and notice the good things in life more.
My friend, you have to learn to do the same things. People may have mistreated you. Somebody may have walked out on you, or maybe you prayed fervently, yet God didn't answer your prayer the way you had anticipated. That's over and done. You cannot change the past, there's nothing you can do about it now. You must make a decision. Are you going to relive all those painful memories, or are you going to stay in an attitude of faith?
This Week's Meditation:
Love holds no grievances.
Meditate on this for several minutes a day. Allow your thoughts to come into your mind. Each time a negative thought comes slowly bring your thought process back to realizing that true love holds no grievance, and we are made from true love. Remind yourself of healing each moment.