“We must accept finite disappointment, but never lose infinite hope.” ~ Martin Luther King, Jr.
We’ve all been disappointed at least once in our lifetime, and unfortunately, there are people who can’t seem to find a way to learn something from these situations and move on. But why do we experience disappointment in the first place?
Is it because we aren’t able to live our lives without putting labels on everything and everyone? Is it because we can’t seem to accept the fact that we are all different and we all act in different ways? Is it because we have so many expectations from life and we get so attached to these expectations? Is it because we simply can’t accept those people who act differently?
Even though it’s hard for many of us to see, the moment we get frustrated over what someone had said or done, something that may be unacceptable to us, we are in fact choosing to get frustrated because they aren’t acting in the same way that we do. Because they aren’t thinking the way we do, they aren’t wearing the same clothes, they don’t behave in the same way that we do, and so forth.
How To Deal With Disappointment
Who would want to live in a world like that in the first place? A world where everybody is like everybody, where we all think alike, dress alike and behave alike?
If you haven’t noticed by now, there are people who are constantly looking for ways to change everybody around them, and they will fight against everything and everyone… struggling against the whole world, struggling against themselves as a matter of fact. No wonder they are feeling so overwhelmed.
We set our expectations so high and so many times these expectations aren’t met, and when that happens, we can’t help but feel disappointed. We cry over what happened and we blame everybody for being the way they are and not the way we want them to be. I saw adults doing this many times.
You will think that in 30, 40, 50 years, or maybe more, they can learn how to better cope with stress, they will learn how to be more relaxed and not to take life so seriously, but I guess that doesn’t always happen.
No matter how much pain the world might be causing you, and no matter how many losses you will experience during your lifetime, I guarantee you that you’ll remain whole, you will remain the same person without falling into pieces, no matter what.
To lessen the pain you might be going through, every time something doesn’t go as planned, or whenever someone is acting in a way that may be causing you to feel uncomfortable, sad or disappointed, try accepting things, people, events, situations as they are, allow events to simply take their course, allow people and events to just be, without you trying to control them, without trying to impose your own ideas and beliefs, without trying to fight against them.
We are all different, and we all see life from a different perspective. What may look like a tragedy to you, for others may be only an insignificant event; and I guarantee you, these people will live way longer than you will. Not only will they live longer, but they will also live a happier life because, unlike you, they will not see life as being a continuous struggle.
When you choose to stress over everything that happens to you, and when you always look for ways to be disappointed, you will eventually find just that.
Isn’t it funny that we all live in the same world, and some of us see it as being filled with violence, crime, and hatred, while others see it as being filled with love, wonderful people; as being a beautiful and peaceful place? Why is that? How can that even be possible? Well, it is. We shape our world according to our own beliefs, and we perceive the world not as it is, but as we are.
The moment you tell yourself that this is a hostile place to be and that there is violence, terrorism, crime, and hatred wherever you turn, you will look for situations, circumstances, events and people to prove you just that. We all know how much you hate being wrong, and we just want to please you, showing you exactly what you want to see, exactly what you expect to see.
On the other hand, there are those really “lucky” people who choose to create their own happiness, their own peace, and because of that, they are constantly looking for places where they can find it, and they always find it.
“I don’t sing because I’m happy; I’m happy because I sing.” ~ William James
If you think about it, we are all artists, sculptors of our own lives, and every day because of our actions, and because of the results we expect getting from those actions, we are shaping our own destiny, making it a beautiful piece of art, or not. Not everybody is able to create such a thing.
Some people are too busy focusing all of their energy and attention on the dark side of everything, they are too busy proving themselves and the whole world how right they are to feel the way they do.
Somebody was telling me recently how, while he was driving, in front of him there was this “stupid driver” who simply wouldn’t move out of the way, out of his way!
He was trying to get someplace and he couldn’t get there because of that idiot, as he kept calling him, and he almost got into an accident the moment he tried to pass him. According to this guy, the driver was there just to make him feel frustrated. Was that even worth it?
If you let your emotions take control over you in such a manner, you will eventually suffer a great deal of pain. If we don’t learn how to control our emotions, they will eventually control us. We can’t always control what goes outside ourselves but we can always control what goes on the inside.
Of course, there will be people who will try to drag us down with them, of course, there will be people who because they are feeling miserable, will try to make us feel miserable too, but we have a choice. We can either choose to be on the same level as they are, and react immediately to whatever they are doing, saying, or we can pause and think about the results, and what impact our reactions will have on us.
Our attitude is everything, and whether we choose to react or respond, is only up to us. The moment we decide to change our attitude, that will be the moment we will realize that they are no longer bothering us like they did before. Just like I told this guy, there is a lesson for you in all of this, and that is for you to learn how to be more tolerant, more patient, not only with others but also with yourself.
The world is as it is, the people are as they are. You can’t change them, but you can definitely change yourself, and that will make all the difference.
“Between stimulus and response, there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom.” ~ Viktor E. Frankl
Try looking for ways on how to better cope with stress, and stop putting labels on everything and everyone. Accept things as they are. Accept reality for what it is, and learn to enjoy each moment of your life. Enjoy each moment and try becoming more enthusiastic about every situation, every event, and every person who enters your life.
Accept them for who they are, without trying to change them, without trying to impose your own ideas and beliefs on them. Allow everything and everyone to just be, the way they know how to be, for everybody is doing the best they can with what they have.
The moment we decide to control the people around us, that will be the moment when we have decided to become frustrated, for how can someone expect to make others accept their point of view by forcing his/her own ideas and beliefs on them, by trying to control every word and every step that these people make?
You hear people all the time, telling you how disappointed they are… Of course they are disappointed, for they are expecting something, they want something to happen, and because they get so attached to these expectations, beliefs, and ideas, when things don’t go their way, when things don’t happen the way they’ve expected to happen, disappointment appears, frustration appears, anger, desperation, anxiety appears.
We don’t become less of a person when something like this happens because something or someone might be acting in a way that is unacceptable to us, rather a better person than we were before, a deeper, more tolerant human being. We now know that to be disappointed is only a passing phase in our life.
Why stress yourself over something that will eventually go away?
Whenever you think stress is about to attack, whenever you feel that your expectations aren’t met, whenever you feel that anger is right around the corner, that is the moment you need to stop reacting and start responding. Know that this too will pass. It did before and it will happen again, and after the rain, the sun will start shining.
As long as your mind chooses to dwell on what happened, on what may happen, you will feel disappointed, and you will feel sad, and you will feel depressed. Remove all your labels and all your attachments from all past situations, and from all your future expectations or desires. Focus as much as possible on the present moment, for the present moment does not, and will not change because of what might have happened or whatever may happen in the future. It stays the same.
It’s only you and your perceptions, your expectations that make you believe otherwise. When I say that you should remove your attachments and expectations from those future situations and desires.
I’m not suggesting you to be lazy and do nothing. Not at all. Know where you are going and why you are going in that direction, but don’t become obsessed or attached to those images, expectations, dreams or whatever they are… and you do this by being present here and now. By doing this, your mind will no longer wander around, here, there and everywhere, and because of that, you will be able to start enjoying life a lot more.
Have you been disappointed recently? How did you deal with it? Did that experience teach you anything new about yourself and about life in general? I really want to know what are your thoughts on this. You can share your insights by joining the conversation in the comment section below 🙂