Disappointment is a ball that lands in your lap with a thud after it’s missed its mark and bounced sideways off a wall. Suddenly, it’s there and you weren’t even expecting it.
Recently, I experienced a disappointment that threw me into a state of confusion and doubt, particularly about myself.
But we are meant to learn from these setbacks in life even though they are not pleasant or comfortable. God’s intention is always to teach us about ourselves during these difficult times.
I am learning that it is never about the person on the other side of the disappointment, it is always about what is best for me. This is God’s heart and desire and the sooner I learn the lessons from mistakes, regrets and disappointment, the sooner I will be aligned with God’s plans and purpose for my life.
It’s also okay to let the ball sit there for a while, until you have had time to process what just happened. You might need a day or two to feel the different emotions attached to the disappointment, but then you must move on.
It’s not wrong to acknowledge our feelings and allow ourselves to feel the disappointment. You can even pick it up and feel the emotions, hurt and even rejection associated with the disappointment that has landed in your lap.
Terri Cole, a popular psychotherapist, says it’s OK to grieve:
“I get angry at myself but I am too healthy to blame others for too long. It’s easier to be angry than sad. Disappointment is actually sadness. Honor the sadness and put a time limit on it.”
I remember it wasn’t so much anger, but sadness that I felt as I grieved for two days and two nights. The feelings were like when someone close has died, but instead it involved the death of hopes and dreams.
Experts in these areas say it is important to set a time limit on how long you are going to feel sad, and hang on to the negative emotions attached to the disappointment. If I had my way I would hold onto it indefinitely, but if you do that those feeling will eventually change into self-pity (poor me), anger and blame.
Terri Cole insists that we should only give ourselves a maximum of two days to mourn. When those two days are over you have to pick up the ball and throw it away. Throw away the anger, blame, rejection and whatever else attached to the ball.
Jesus says forgive those who need forgiving.
I have learned it’s good and healthy to take a short period to grieve, but it’s vital to make up your mind to let it go. Learn your lessons, reaffirm yourself and move on, because if you don’t, that ball in our lap will become a ball of fire that will burn your house down with a vengeance.
Don’t allow yourself to become a victim.
If you are struggling with letting go, the Holy Spirit is willing to come along side and help you deal with your disappointments in life. Ask Him for help.
26 In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans. (Romans 8:26 NIV)
The ball is in your lap. Be sad, be disappointed, grieve the lost opportunity, but then let it go and throw it away. Clear a path in your heart, mind and spirit for new things. Allow fresh hope to pour in to fill and inspire you.
There is a quote I read recently, that really sums up what we need to do:
“Letting go means your hands are open and ready to receive what comes next.”