Disappointment can be one of the most debilitating emotional responses to overcome. Oftentimes it is the people that are closest to you that are capable of the most damage. Disappointments in marriage, relationships, parenting and friendships are among the most challenging to come to terms with. In your mind, you envision a certain way things should unfold. You think that as long as you do your part, everyone else will do theirs. You trust that what you give is what you will get in return. Wishful thinking. If only life’s challenges were as simple as a 5th grade math problem!
I’ve learned to deal with disappointment by accepting this simple truth: “Disappointment is the distance between reality and expectation.” (Joyce Meyer) Think about it. What is the reality of the situation and what is your expectation of the outcome? If your expectation is high, your disappointment will be greater if it falls short.
Similarly, many of us have heard the expression: “Hope for the best but prepare for the worst.” We are the only ones we can control. People will disappoint you but your response will make you stronger! You can choose to wallow in disappointment or rise above it. The choice is always yours!
One of my favorite sermons was given by Elder Selena Berkeley in the Bronx, NY and it was entitled: “I’m coming out of Dis!” It was a powerful message where she encouraged everyone to stand strong in the Word of God and let go of disappointment and hurt. The Latin prefix dis in itself has a reversing force and negates the affirmative. Consider disability, disrespect, dissatisfy, dishearten and disown – just to name a few. Choose to live in the affirmative and come out of dis mess!
There’s always room for hurt and disappointment when you allow people into your inner circle. It’s a chance we all take as loving, caring individuals who enjoy mutually sincere relationships. There are things that you would never do as a friend so you expect the same respect in return but it doesn’t always work out that way. Friendships come and go – the real ones will endure.
Understand your reality and control your level of disappointment. When disappointments come, and they will, you can still have joy!
One of the most daunting tasks I have as a mother is explaining away the disingenuous behaviors of others.
If it sounds too good to be true, it is – there’s no “probably” about it. There’s an unfortunate downside to teaching my children to be men of integrity, who respect others and honor their words. They expect the same treatment in return. Teaching to be good and to do good must come with a cautionary warning: Most people don’t have integrity.
Since graduating high school, my middle son has sought out an interim post graduation program that will help him to develop as a student-athlete. Promises were made by well-known coaches and prestigious institution officials to secure his attendance at an elite prep school only to renege on every promise mid-season and usurp thousands of dollars and time that can never be recovered. A lawsuit worthy cause? Perhaps. My first priority, however, is to piece together the broken pieces of my son, his shattered dreams, cast cold-heartedly to the ground and discarded.
“Son, people are not who they seem, they are just people. Riddled with flaws and self-centered motivation.”
Shall I address the Bronx body shop, where my eldest son took his new car to tap out a dent that a fellow motorist caused while it was parked innocently on his college campus? As if the hit and run wasn’t enough, the body shop swapped several of his car’s factory-installed parts and replaced them with a few “chop shop specials”, unbeknownst to my son. Several weeks later, there is smoke rising from under the hood. “Don’t worry son, just bring it to the dealership and have it checked out.” Well, the underhanded work of the body shop was quickly uncovered. As for his new car warranty, well that was voided based on the unauthorized replacement of the factory-installed parts. Will the body shop owner ever admit what was done? Of course not. Will filing a formal complaint help recoup the financial losses associated with the unlawful act? Not likely. The burden of proof lies with you and unless you have video documentation of the theft by the shop mechanic, it is a waste of time. “Son, all people can not be trusted. Research, investigate and choose wisely. I wish I could protect you from every charlatan, every deceiver, every thief and heart-stealer. My dearest son, I’m so sorry that most people do not have integrity.”
One of my favorite road trips was traveling with my 3 sons from New York to Lancaster, Pennsylvania. Hurricane Irene was making her presence known and threatened to thwart our pre-scheduled vacation plans. Continue reading →