Disappointment

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Disappointment.  How to get over it?  How do we move on from situations that disappoint us?  I often struggle with that question.  Over and over in our lives, we are confronted with disappointments.  How do with deal with it?  How do we move on and let go?

Some disappointments are quite insignificant.  For example, today I really wanted a Big Mac.  By the time I got around to getting my lunch, it was well past lunchtime, and I was really hungry.  I was looking forward to my sloppy burger.  I sat in a long, long line at the drive-up window waiting for my turn to order.  I didn’t mind the wait.  I was having an enjoyable conversation on the phone with my son.  I didn’t allow impatience to sneak in.  Finally, I had my food, and I pulled into a parking space to quickly eat before returning to the office.  I pulled my fries out of the bag, and they looked terrible.  They were too dark (which is odd for the crazily regimented McDonalds.)  OK, it wasn’t the fries I had been craving anyway, so I set them aside and grabbed my Big Mac.  I instantly knew that this wasn’t good.  Thunk, thunk…the bun was as hard as a rock, and it was cold, too.  Yes, I was disappointed, but I dealt with it.  In case you’re wondering, and T was wondering, I ate it anyway. Obviously, I’ve learned how to deal with the everyday, minor disappointments pretty well.

It is the larger disappointments that I’m not so good at dealing with, facing, letting go, or getting past.  How do we deal with the things in life that don’t go our way even if we have put our heart, our soul, and a vast amount of energy into it?   How do we deal with disappointment over something that didn’t go as we had envisioned?  How do we deal with tragic loss?   I’m not good at all in dealing with the larger disappointments life throws my way, and that bothers me.

December 11 is a fine example of ME hanging onto, not being able to let go of a disappointment.  My superstition, hatred, and fear of November is another example.  Believe me there are a host of other disappointments, but this isn’t about MY LIST of disappointments or regrets.  What this is about is the fact that it’s finally sinking in that I need to learn how to LET GO of disappointment instead of replaying it over and over in my mind…looking for a way I could have changed the outcome.

I have decided to face this head on.  I am going to begin dealing with the subject of disappointment just like I would deal with a challenge that I might face at work.  I am going to begin by educating myself on the mechanics of disappointment.  What is a common reaction?  What is unusual?  What is normal behavior, and what is over the top?  Once I identify where I fall on the scale of what is considered “normal,” then I will educate myself on what to do about it.

I don’t want to become cynical.  I don’t want to be a grouch or a recluse.  I want to learn how to LET GO of the disappointment in a healthy and constructive way.  I don’t want to be a Pollyanna, either.  While I know that there are lessons to learn from many of our disappointments, I now realize that some things are simply not fair.   That’s life!   Those are the ones that are difficult to let go of and move on from.  When life treats me unfairly, it makes me angry.  An angry person is not who or what I want to be.  The disappointments we all face are often not our choice, but how we deal with them is well within our control.  Now…I just need to figure out how to do that!

 

“We would never learn to be brave and patient if there were only joy in the world,”

~  Helen Keller

Let Us Be Lovely

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I am a nice person.  I am kind and soft-hearted.  I truly do want those around me to be happy.

I am not perfect.  Yep, I certainly can be grouchy, pushy, even bitchy, but all it takes is one word from someone I care about (or even don’t!) and I will try my best to tone it down, be kind, cooperate.  Ask me for help, and I’ll do my best to help you.  Need an ear or a friend to listen?  Well, I will try to shut up long enough to be there.  Hugs, a shoulder to lean on, a hand to hold?  That’s me.  It’s so darn easy.  It’s not too much to ask.  Strip everything else away, and human kindness (besides food and shelter) is truly the most essential thing we crave.  I’m not an expect by any means, but it might rank right up there with our most basic biological needs.  Most of us understand that.  We need kindness, and we are more than willing to give kindness in return.

As I said, I am not perfect, but I am not nearly as bad as I have been imagining myself to be.  The mind is a tricky thing.  Those who get a kick out of messing with people’s minds engage in a game that is way too easy to win.  It’s easy to get a person to become filled with doubt.  Play on their need to give and receive HUMAN KINDNESS.  Get them to love you, trust you, and then do a complete 180.  Next step, blame them.  Don’t blame them openly, just start feeling sorry for yourself.  Make them feel guilty and inadequate.  Make them feel that if they only tried harder, everything would be OK again.  Good people will want to help you.  You’ll have them eating out of the palm of your hand in no time.  This, my friends, is what is called a toxic relationship.  Beware!  The danger is out there lurking behind the eyes of people who will be ever so happy to tell you what a “great guy” they are!

Life can be complex and painful, or it can be quite simple.  Like breathing, or having a bowl of cereal in the morning, living a life of kindness should come quite naturally and easily to normal people.  It should be part of our daily routine.  Making a choice each day to be kind, to be at peace, to live honestly and with integrity, will bring us back to a place of rest and peace at the end of the day.

At lunchtime today, I sat in my car thinking, relaxing, and eating a McDouble.  The sun was shining.  The sky was that beautiful, crisp, dazzling blue of an early autumn day.  My sunroof was open, and a cool breeze ruffled through my hair.  I felt peaceful and content.  As I sat there in the McDonald’s parking lot, I looked around me.  The guy across from me was sitting in his car, necktie loosened, reading the sports page.  He looked up, and I toasted him with a fry.  He smiled.  I smiled.  Life is good, and I am thankful that today I took a moment to open my eyes to the beauty and kindness all around me.