Whenever we chase a dream or have an expectation, we are at risk to feel disappointed. Disappointment is a big glaring NO in response to what we hoped for. Those who study spiritual concepts have often been taught to write out wishes into affirmations or positive statements. The laws of manifestation state that the more detailed these declarations are and fueled with energy the better. This practice of envisioning is part of the creative life, investing our heart and soul into an idea and when it doesn't work, it hurts.
Right away, it is best to do nothing and here is why. You are feeling vulnerable. Take some time and give yourself the space to heal before opening yourself up again. Feel your feelings and honor them. If you feel ashamed or uncomfortable voicing or expressing your disappointments, do so in journal writing. You need to grieve for what could have been. Everyone feels disappointment whether you are a child or an adult. The fundamental difference between the two is how you handle and express it. Children do not have the emotion regulation or control that adults can learn and put into practice. No matter what your age you may need to have a temper tantrum, yell scream and cry. Get it out in a way that is healthy and private. Know that you can survive feeling disappointed because it is only a feeling. Like all emotions that arise they someday will release their edge and subside. Yes, it can be uncomfortable as hell although it won’t kill you.
Disappointment invites us to feel our feelings, take a step back and reassess before making another move. We often think we know what is best for our life and how it should unfold according to our plan. It is possible that there is another way. Take time to think about where you are now and where you would like to be. Write out some new affirmations and come up with a plan B.
Don’t expect anything from anyone?
Some may say they cope with disappointment by not expecting anything from anybody. I wholeheartedly disagree and here is why. For one, it is a bland way to live. This statement suggests to me that a person has given up. I won’t bring myself to restrict or dampen my fire, out of fear or resistance to a feeling. I want to experience passion and joy even if that means feeling the bitterness of disappointment. Being empathic and feeling deeply, I understand that I am bound to get some emotional scrapes and cuts in this lifetime along the way. When I look at past scars, I can recall a specific incident that I survived and made it through.
Change the direction of your life, do not shut down permanently or change who you are.
We have all heard the expression, sometimes a rejection is a blessing in disguise. There is a time and a place for this well- meaning expression and it is not welcomed at the beginning of a disappointment. When one initially feels the sting of disappointment, hearing that adds salt to the wound and is enough to make one want to haul off and punch something. Before you do anything you may regret, take some deep breaths and consider the following example. I once wrote an article which was criticized. I was told that my writing sounds like it belongs in a personal journal and not in an article, ouch! I was instructed as to how I could “fix” it. I being the obedient writer changed it up and resubmitted it to be told that she would hold onto it for possible future use. It was never published. Not only was I angry that I changed my writing style for someone else, it still was rejected. I placed the article in a file and didn’t look at it again for another year.
After this time, I decided to submit it elsewhere. Not only was it accepted as is, I received free copies of the print magazine and was paid for my writing. If it was originally accepted, I would not have received any payment. Looking back in retrospect, I can confidently say that this closed door was a future blessing.
Use your disappointment to take back your power
When disappointment shows up at your door, don’t doubt yourself and what you have to offer. My lesson from that previous submission experience is I will never again change my style for anyone because in that act, I pushed my power away. After all, numerous other magazines love my style and have published my articles. I had a story published in Chicken Soup for the Soul. I know on some level, people are liking how and what I write about. Use this time of pain to remind yourself of the gifts you have to offer and where those gifts will be validated and honored.
We feel upset when we perceive someone has let us down. They have not lived up to our expectations of them, whether they know it or not. Interestingly, we are the ones who have built up an image in our minds of who we think they are whether or not it is true to reality. Be willing to let go of your illusions. Practice acceptance and forgiveness for yourself and others. When we harbor feelings of upset within it only causes us to suffer. Call back your energies and move forward. This isn’t about blaming or feeling victimized it is about standing more in our own power.
There is much more to life than this one disappointment. Focus on all the good things you do have. Be grateful for other relationships and projects. A part of keeping disappointment in perspective is being able to appreciate and continue creating with an open heart even though it is hurting. Trust in God that something better is on the horizon because it is.
Lisa Hutchison specializes in connecting empathic caregivers, helpers and artist to spirit. She utilizes psychology, spirituality and creativity to help others fill their cup whether she teaches group or individual sessions. When you give from a place of self-care, you feel energized and passionate. Lisa, a licensed therapist, is also a published writer for Chicken Soup for the Soul. Visit www.lisahutchison.net and sign up for her FREE newsletter.