Disappointments and Blessings
Disappointments they say are blessings in disguise. Personally, I feel that it’s easier to tell someone this when you’re not in their shoes. There are times that I’ve been disappointed about not getting something I really wanted at a particular time but in hindsight, it probably wasn’t best for me at the time. there are also some challenges I’ve dealt with in my life that, till this day, offer no closure or sensible reasoning for why they happened to me. I would rather refer to them as suffering instead of blessings with the only ray of light being that I came out of it a stronger person.
You know how they also say, what doesn’t kill you make you stronger. I don’t like that quote, although there is some truth to it. Have you ever felt like some tests and trials in your life are just unnecessary and make no sense whatsoever? Unless you’re an alien, I think you definitely have at some point. You didn’t ask to be tested, you didn’t ask to come out stronger. Maybe you have had your fair share of mishaps and think you’re all good in that department. I don’t think anyone asks to be dealt with unfavorable cards in life, but things won’t always in our favor! And when life happens, we’re not always prepared.
In my last post, I talked about gratitude and the half-full versus half-empty glass perspective. I would encourage you to adopt this mindset when you encounter disappointments. It sounds so cliché to tell you to look on the bright side when something awful happens to you. Your instinct is most likely to express frustration. I understand. Even as I write this, I want to throw something on the wall because I myself am upset. Although a temporary release, it never truly relieves the pain and angst. So, I’ll tell you how I deal with disappointment after throwing a fit and unloading on someone:
- Assess the situation – did I do anything directly/indirectly to contribute to the unfavorable outcome? Could I have done something better? Is there a chance for a do-over or retrial? This assessment is also tricky because it could lead to self-blame, regrets and make you feel even worse than you already do, and we don’t want that. Learn to accept responsibility for your actions and forgive yourself when necessary. If it’s a poor decision that led to the disappointment, I tell myself that I decided based on the information available to me at the time and I only acted in the way I thought was most favorable in the moment. This helps me sleep well at night (:
- Patience – one thing I have come to learn is to be still and patiently watch things play out. You may not see the good in a disappointment until long after you’ve moved on from it. Sometimes, you never get to see the point, but trust the process. Sometimes what was once considered a disappointment may indeed turn out to be a blessing, but it doesn’t always work out like that, so you take it in your stride and deal with it
- Music – I cannot explain this further other than to say that music on its own has the power to lift my spirits and make me feel much better in the moment. At times like this, I would listen to uplifting/inspiring music to encourage me and lighten my heart. It doesn’t heal all the way but it’s a feel-good feeling I have come to appreciate in my low moments
- Lastly, Faith – I’m Christian and in my moments of confusion and despair; when I’m unable to find solace and succor in any human being, I’m confident that God’s plans for me are always to prosper me and never harm me.
Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything (James 1:2-4, NIV)
I read this bible verse this morning and even as a Christian, I’ll be honest that this is not always reassuring. I don’t always want to bear the weight of an unwanted cross. But I’ve learned to look beyond the immediate pain towards the outcome. True growth starts from within and pruning requires effort. Like the salvation story, we must take up our cross daily with the mindset that it is producing transformation within us. Going a step further, we are told that ‘our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all’. I’m not even trying to preach, but as Christians, we are to adopt this assurance in the face of disappointments.
I put out a post on Facebook asking people how they dealt with disappointments and I’ll quote some of the responses I received
- “As a perfectionist, disappointments serve as a reminder to me that I’m human. And I give my self permission to cry about them, reflect, or be sad. But, I never let them hold me back for striving”
- “If things go as planned we chalk it up to our superb planning, hard work, and dedication.. If they don’t then we try to make the best of it and think of it as turning out better this way in the end. The reality is that many cards are dealt when we’re born, so much is up to chance, and we’re in control of less than we think”
- “When I Am Disappointed I Usually Journal About It This Way I Can See What Happen From Another Point Of View Almost”
What is your outlook on disappointments and how do you deal with them? Do you see them as blessings or unnecessary burdens? I’d love to hear your thoughts.