disappoint – to fail to meet the expectation or hope of; frustrate. to make (someone) unhappy by not being as good as expected or by not doing something that was hoped for or expected (merriam dictionary).
we’ve all felt disappointed at sometime in our lives. whether it’s with an individual, a specific circumstance or an overall disillusionment with our lives. what i know now is this: it’s not the situation that creates the disappointment – it’s our reaction to or toward the person or circumstance that creates dissatisfaction and/or disappointment.
i’ve struggled with disappointment in the past. it often seems, in the big scheme of things, to be insignificant and not worth the time, but somehow my mind fixates on it and i feel hurt, anxious, and immensely sad. these are lower states of consciousness that can be hard to pull ourselves out of.
here are three typical responses to disappointment:
self-pity blocks us from reaching our fullest potential/goals and moving forward and upward in life. self pity keeps us from living in the moment and enjoying the beautiful things that each day has to offer. find a way to get out from under those feelings of ‘woe is me’ by spending time alone, doing something you love or talking with a friend about your feelings. personally, i find meditation to be of great value because it allows the mind to quiet and be in the spaciousness of love where the feelings lessen and i can see more clearly.
anger, whether at oneself or another, weakens our immune system on multiple levels, possibly creating physical illness and overwhelming stress. anger almost always makes the situation worse. be kind to yourself and whoever you feel has done you harm.
denial only harms ourselves. i know. i used to be the ‘queen of denial’ whenever faced with possible conflict or disappointment. holding things in, avoiding the person or situation, tucking it deep underground creates more problems.
here’s what i’ve learned when dealing with disappointment:
- experiencing disappointment is a part of living just as joy and happiness is. it’s what you choose to do with it that makes the difference.
- understand how difficult it is to live up to your own expectations for yourself before you blame someone else of not living up to yours.
- non-reaction can be wiser than reacting impetuously, without compassion and understanding toward the other person or situation. take the time necessary to investigate why you’re feeling this way and be kind to yourself.
- instead of seeing it as disappointment, see it as a challenge and a learning experience. analyze it and move on. don’t get caught up in thinking you or someone has failed. failure is if you give up and refuse to learn from the experience.
- look at the reality of the situation instead of your expectations, demands and/or requirements. often the reality is quite different from what you want to see. living mindfully allows us to see the reality in the moment which is often quite different than what our mind tells us.
- if you can’t move on, get help. talk with friends, a professional. sometimes we can get trapped in the pain and find it difficult to see our way out.
- live your life purpose in the fullest alignment with your spiritual truth. every ‘setback’ is a step toward your highest self, that which brings you closer to the light of living mindfully and in love.
there can be no deep disappointment where there is no deep love. martin luther king, jr.