Disappointment is one of the most whack feelings in the world. Who invented it? Who??? I feel like it may have been the same person who invented jealously, envy, and a sense of failure. I forgot his name. Was it Lester? Lucious? Lucifer? Something like that.
The thing that sucks so bad about disappointment is that it follows an expectation. You can’t be disappointed if you didn’t expect something to happen. And expectation is one of those things that we adjust over the course of our lives based on our experiences. If you’ve experienced lots of disappointments, chances are you’ll stop expecting so much. If you haven’t experienced as many disappointments (who is this perfect person? I don’t like her), you’ll probably maintain a child-like level of expectation. Here’s the rub. Expectation is directly tied to our faith. When you stop expecting, it’s because you’ve stopped believing and belief is rooted in faith (take off running right here, saints).
I don’t want my faith to diminish because I’ve been disappointed so often that I’m now scared to expect anything more. I don’t want to be that person. To be clear, I have been her. Yes, indeed. I’ve been so disappointed that I just shut off my expectations. I shut them clean off. Like, they were on and then I shut them off. Like, the switch was up and then I turned it down. Like, the valve was open and then I shut it closed. Get it? Ok it was like when you spend two hours on your hair on Sunday but it rains on Monday and so then just shave your head because why bother? Like that. Defeat.
Have you ever been so let down that you pack all your stuff in your car, move back to your parent’s house, and sit in the guest room (that used to be your room) eating Frosted Flakes and watching HGTV? That was me. Had a lil’ attitude too. Was not cute.
Since then, I’ve gotten myself together (kinda), but I still face disappointments all the time. I’ve developed coping mechanisms. Try ‘em and let me know if they work for you.
- Realize that the specific expectation is not what it’s about. All of us want something, right? We not only want some things, we expect them. And sometimes God says no. Folks love to say that God never says no and only says “not right now.” That’s a lie and y’all know it. Sometimes God says no and in no uncertain terms. Don’t let your disappointment alter your expectation though. Your expectation or your faith should open itself to the will of God. Right? It should be flexible to His terms because He will absolutely give you what you need. It’s not about the house on 9th street that you want and expect; it’s about the sense of stability and physical covering that you need. It’s not about reaching 125lbs on the scale (who is this skinny bih? Don’t like her either); it’s about being well. God’s blessings might come in green when you’re expecting red. It may also come in a year rather than 3 months. There is actually nothing to be disappointed about because it always works out for your good. Keep your expectations/belief/faith open to whatever may come.
- Come to terms with the fact that it might get worse. I’m just going to put this one out there because I dealt with it. In times when I was very disappointed, I would tell God stuff like “listen, God, I’m about to apply for this job and if I don’t get it I’m done.” And guess what? I didn’t get it! Guess what else? I wasn’t done! God is not worried about my little ultimatums. It didn’t get better when I wanted it to get better. It got worse. And I had to deal. But the thing is, you can deal. Whatever really horrible thing happening in your life that has you so disappointed you feel like you might give up is not a thing worth giving up for. I can say this with 100% surety. It might get worse, boo boo, BUT it will absolutely get better. That brings me to my next point….
- Think back on all the other times when life sucked and remember how it eventually stopped sucking. Trouble don’t last always, booskie boo! In every instance of disappointment, I think it’s perfectly ok to allow yourself some time to feel sad or angry or hurt. They’re natural, human emotions that are part of the process. After a while of that, I think you should challenge yourself to move past those feelings. Let them fall from you. Think about the way they fell from you the last time you were disappointed. Remember that this will pass and really awesome days will come. You know this. Deep down you know it’s true like you know Drake is emotional. It’s a given. Keep your mind on the positivity of that.
- Take a look inwardly and find ways to improve yourself. I don’t like this part either, so I’m going to make it short. If you’re disappointed that something didn’t happen for you, it could be because you’re not ready, not qualified, not prepared, not deserving . . . If so, think of a few things you can do to improve yourself. If you’re perfect like me, just move on to number 5 😉
- Don’t compare. I’ve said this before and I’ll continue to say it. Comparison is a trick of the devil to keep us unhappy with ourselves and unhappy with God. You can’t expect what someone else has and then get disappointed when you don’t get it too. It wasn’t for you, boo! It’s not yours! You can’t have her husband because only she can have him! You can’t have that position because it was meant for someone else! You can’t have that house because another family needs to live in it! But you can have the blessings that were meant for you. They belong to you! No one else can have what’s yours. Don’t be disappointed when someone else gets what you thought you wanted. Be satisfied that your very own unique blessings are coming your way.
M’Kay people, that’s just about all I got. I’m sure there are other ways to cope with disappointment. Eat ice cream. Sit alone in a corner and listen to Adele. Punch someone. These are all options as well. Try the other options first and see how it goes.