How do you handle disappointment? Do you embrace it? Do you ignore? Do you distract yourself from it? Do you use it to empower you?
The thing about disappointment is that it is 100% guaranteed to come knocking at your door several times over.
Sometimes we have the ability to predict it? Sometimes it catches us unawares.
It can be big, it can be small and it can be everlasting.
Some disappointments are easy to get over. People often say when one door shuts another opens. They resolve to themselves that disappointment could be opportunity in disguise.
Is that true? Or are we just buying some time to get over disappointment?
Do things really turn out for the best? Or is that just spin?
Others think that enduring disappointment is like a savings bank account. Surely once they’ve accumulated enough disappointments in their life, then the universe will cut them a break.
But some disappointments cannot be resolved, or generate opportunity; they are disappointments that must be carried forever. A cross to bear if you will.
I have suffered many disappointments in my life. Suffered? Encountered? Semantics.
‘What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger’ is another popular adage. Or is it more accurately put that what doesn’t kill simply depletes you a little more; so you are less capable of dealing with the next disappointment.
How much disappointment can one person take?
How much faith can we have that tomorrow is another day… Another day….
What happens one someone resolves to themselves that it’s all okay as long as (insert dream here) comes true, everything will be okay. Dream is smashed…then what? Take a punt on another dream?
‘Look at one you have’ is often a piece of advice that is bantered around. It’s a good piece of advice. But what if what you are surrounded by doesn’t compensate for the disappointment you feel. For example, how does a successful career compensate for the lack of familial support say? They are two very different animals and one cannot make up for the other.
We can’t have everything. That’s true. And life was never meant to be easy. But is it meant to be hard?
So what to people say to overcome disappointment?
Glass is half full;
Always look for the positive in every situation;
Blessing in disguise;
There is someone worse off than you;
Plenty of other people have been through this and survived.
I always found that piece of advice curious. Somehow the volume of people disappointed is meant to be of some comfort, lessen the blow.
The thing with disappointment is that it is generally not a stand alone situation. It is generally riding on the back of something. A chain of events, a series of steps that all lead to this moment.
Most of us deal with our disappointment and are able to move past it, but what remains is sadness. It may or may not be a crippling sadness, but sadness none the less.
As a parent disappointment is a prickly subject. We need to show that disappointment doesn’t need to mean the end of the world; but what happens if the parent doesn’t believe the very thing they are suppose to preach?
There is pressure to overcome disappointment quickly ‘for the sake of the children’. Children are highly perceptive and generally lack worldly wisdom. As a role model, I am charged with their development, education and well being. I cannot falter; I cannot throw my hands up in the air and give up.
I am their rock. But after enough storms even rocks can crumble.
This post was first published on my other Mum’s Word blog “Disappointment – A Necessary Evil?”