Disappointed? Try this Recipe for Living

Most of us suffer disappointment now and then.  It hurts when people we’re counting on let us down.  It’s easy to feel disenchanted when it seems we won’t reach our dreams.  Death of a loved one can be consuming.  All of these feelings are unpleasant, but for most, they are part of life.

Understanding Pain

Feelings aren’t the enemy, it’s what we do with them that matters.  Sometimes analysis is helpful.  We might benefit from hearing our friend’s side of a story.  We might learn to adjust our dreams so they are more attainable.  Analysis may give us the opportunity to learn from our failure.

In the case of a loss of a loved one, we might have a lot of questions we need answered. Some feel they owe it to their loved ones to know the whole story.  It’s okay to seek information.  In order to find peace with a situation like this, we might need to know enough about what happened for our own sake.

We can often learn valuable lessons by understanding what went wrong in disappointing situations. At other times, though, no matter how much we try to make sense of things, we may not find the answers we seek.  We may never understand why certain things have happened.  Sometimes there is no right answer that will soothe the soul.

Make a Choice

We can live with ongoing regret or grief, but those types of feelings won’t move us forward, and they won’t correct a tragedy.  We won’t find the happiness we’re searching for in life if we keep defaulting to negative emotions.

Perhaps this is why forgiveness is such a well-talked about action.  Forgiving means choosing to let go of the disappointment and sometimes the desire to punish someone.  No matter how right we are, for our own sake, it might serve us well to close the door and put the painful event behind us.

Choose Resilience

Instead of digging our hole of despair deeper or getting stuck looking for answers, we can choose resilience.  We don’t have to understand resilience to choose it.  We don’t even have to know how to be resilient.  There doesn’t need to be a guarantee that resilience will get us where we hope to go, either.  We just need to trust that resilience is the best attitude to adopt.

Choosing forgiveness and resilience are good first steps toward emotional healing.  Once we decide to put the present problem to rest, we can look at new options to pursue.  We can look for what is within our control to help move us forward.

Reach Out

Reaching out to healthy people for help or direction is a good plan of action.  In order to climb out of our rut, it will help to have supportive role models to turn to.  Don’t be tempted, however, to turn on those who have the ability to enjoy life.  They aren’t where you are, and may never be. Their world doesn’t need to become as bleak as yours for them to understand. Their role in your life isn’t to coddle you either.  Look for the light they exude, draw from it, and appreciate it.

If we don’t have in-person role models, we might study online or through books to discover what others in our situation have done.  We can look for how they have pulled themselves out of crisis situations.  We can investigate what steps they have taken to move forward with their lives.

Have Bounce-Back Ability

Choosing forgiveness or resilience doesn’t mean the hurt didn’t happen.  It doesn’t mean the person who let us down wasn’t inconsiderate.  It doesn’t mean our dream lacked value.  It doesn’t mean our loved one will be forgotten.  It doesn’t mean we turn our back on evil or that we forget our disappointment.  We don’t have to pretend nothing happened.  We can, though, accept there is good and bad in the world, and we can choose to live in the place in between.

To be resilient means to be pliable and flexible.  It means having bounce-back ability.  A squash ball has high bounce-back ability.  In the game of squash, a ball is hit with a paddle one moment, and bounced off a wall or several walls the next.  In this fast-paced game, players are required to be agile.  They are free to move around in the court as long as they don’t block each other.

Typically after making their shot, squash players will position themselves back at center court in what is called the T-zone.  The T-zone is said to be the best position for receiving the ball and taking the next shot. A player can’t control where his opponent’s ball will hit next.  He can only respond.  He can position himself in the best spot that will work in his favor.  He can play in the middle area of the T-zone.

To live life in the middle zone, means we are neither stuck in good and bad, right or wrong.  We are flexible.  We adjust ourselves to a position that works in our favor.  To live in the middle zone means understanding events in life can’t always be controlled, and that there are usually two sides to a story.  Living in the middle zone might just be the best position to be in, in order to deal with the next onslaught life will deal.

The Recipe

Try using this recipe for getting through your disappointment:  Find as much understanding you need.  If answers aren’t forthcoming, give yourself permission to live in the middle zone of not having a full explanation. Choose to be forgiving, resilient and flexible.  Give yourself permission to move on.

Living with forgiveness, resilience, and in the middle zone, will enable you to care for your own well-being, and that’s a good strategic position to take.


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