Disappointment can provide us with a bridge from expectation to acceptance of reality, increased wisdom, and the energy to begin again.
Whenever we do something in life with an expectation of how we’d like it to turn out, whether that is a new exercise program or a revamped eating plan, we risk experiencing disappointment. When things don’t go the way we had envisioned, we may feel a myriad of emotions from slightly let down, to depressed, or even angry. We might direct our feelings inward toward ourselves, beating ourselves up yet again for a percieved failure. We may also turn these feelings outward toward other people or the universe in general. Whether we feel disappointed by ourselves, a friend, specific circumstances, actions by others, or life in general, disappointment is a tough feeling to experience. Still, it is a natural part of life, and there are many positive and productive ways of dealing with it when we find ourselves in the midst of disappointment.
As with any feeling, disappointment comes to us for a reason, and we don’t need to fear identifying it, acknowledging it, or feeling it. The sooner we are able to accept how we are feeling and process it authentically, the sooner we will be free move into new emotional territory. As we allow ourselves to feel disappointment, we might want to journal about the experience — the situation that preceded it, what we hoped would happen, and what eventually did happen. The gift of disappointment is its ability to call us into alignment with reality so that we’re not stuck for too long in the realm of what “might have been”.
As we review past disappointments in our lives and how we exhibited the strength to move past them, we can begin to realize that in some cases, the disappointment that happened was actually better in the long run than the outcome we originally desired. Disappointment often leaves us feeling deflated with its realistic message that things don’t always turn out like we plan. The beauty of disappointment, though, is that it provides us with a bridge to the other side, where the acceptance of reality, wisdom, and the strength to begin again can be found.