Aug 2, 2017

How do you handle disappointment?

This thought came to me in a quiet moment here at home:

How do you handle disappointment?

I don't know that I had an immediate answer when the question floated by my consciousness like a cloud in a blue sky being watched from a quilt in the yard.  You know, the question was there and as I directed my thoughts to consider an answer...the cloud had moved on and morphed into another shape in the clear sky.  But the question has lingered and I find myself at the keyboard not knowing where this is going; but trusting The One from whom I believe, asked the question.

There have been times and seasons in my life that I've felt that I could sing the line, "disappointment is my closest friend..." from the song Higher and Higher.

As a verb, handle means (according to my Google search):
to manage a situation or problem.

And the definition of disappointment was:
the feeling of sadness or displeasure caused by the nonfulfillment of ones hope's or expectations.

I feel that these are responses to how disappointment should be handled:

1. Accept or Deny - The reality of life is that problems come. When they do come, I can either accept or deny them. Sometimes, denying is easier.  I mean, hey, if you don't admit that you have a situation or problem, you don't have to do anything. But I believe that is not the way to handle disappointments. I believe acknowledging and accepting that I have a disappointment is the best way to navigate life.  Denial can lead to an increase in problems.  Acceptance does not mean the path will be easy; but, it does mean that the situation can be dealt with, released and processed.

2. Talk it out - Now, communication skills were not stressed when I was growing up, so I am learning much in this area.  When faced with these "nonfulfillment" in life, it is good to share and process with a friend, family member, mentor or counselor.  If you have none of these options, there is always One Person that will always listen.  Hallelujah!  Speak it out. Tell HIM all the details.  I remember getting into my vehicle one evening and talking out loud to The LORD about a problem from the time I got in, until I was almost home.  Oh, the relief that came from releasing every detail of the burden from my shoulders. It is ok to say how we feel.  It is ok to admit that we don't know what to do.  It is ok to ask for wisdom and knowledge and understanding and discernment.

3. Spend time listening - If you have spent time sharing your thoughts and asking The LORD for wisdom, I believe that it will come. I am learning the fact that if I am busy yakking, it is not as likely to be heard, because my nature would be to rehearse my disappointment.  But, I find that if I listen, I can many times hear, sometimes from the most unsuspecting sources, just the encouragement that I need.  Maybe it is a bank teller that shares something with you, maybe it is a person at the grocery store, or a friend or relative that will say a wise word that applies to your situation.  This evening, I really wanted to speak my mind and share a disappointment with a friend after I'd shared it with The LORD. Thank goodness, I heeded that still small voice that said to me: "Don't go there." Shew.  Hours later, I am so glad that I didn't. But I wanted to at the time.  I don't know if it's just me; but sometimes I feel like I should be so justified to just put out there my version of the truth to my situation or disappointment.  Well, tonight, I listened to a friend and just marveled at the goodness of GOD in keeping my mouth shut.  In reflection, my words would have caused more disappointment.  Hello, nobody has time for more of that. Not me.  Not you.

4. Focus on thanksgiving - In times of disappointment, there is a joy and peace that can come from rehearsing blessings.  Though the disappointment may be all I see at the moment, if I recount the blessings of life, I will see that they outweigh my current affliction.  Hallelujah!

5. Wait - on The LORD for specific instruction.

6. Be fervent in prayer.

7. Look up!