Have you ever had someone you looked up to, trusted, leaned on - until you no longer could?
Did that sense of disappointment hurt like someone had punched your lights out?
Yeah, that's exactly what it's like - or worse.
What does "disappointment" actually mean?
So happy you asked!
The act or fact of disappointing;
The state or feeling of being disappointed;
A person or thing that disappoints. (Note 1)
Now, if we remove the -ment from the word, we get:
To fail to fulfill the expectations or wishes of;
To defeat the fulfillment of hopes, plans, etc. (Note 2)
In the attempt to drive home a point here, take a look at a list of a few synonyms for disappoint:
Deceive, disenchant, dishearten, disillusion, dissatisfy, fail, disgruntle, embitter, hinder, and torment.
Has a person, place, or thing ever left you in a state similar to any of the above?
It's a horrible feeling isn't it?
Like being abandoned in a leaky row boat in the middle of a horrific storm with no life preserver, maybe?
It hurts like the dickens when that happens w,hether it was done intentionally or accidentally, doesn't it?
Although, if we know or become convinced it was done accidentally, it makes the prospect of forgiveness easier to swallow.
Now, let's switch gears here for just a second.
Have YOU ever been the cause of disappointment for someone else? Did you unintentionally disappoint them for any reason?
I have, for sure. I will even go so far as to volunteer that I did so intentionally, on occasion.
Some of those times have been at the end of any semblance of a relationship with a narcissist. Was there guilt on my part? Uh, no...too much damage had been done by the other party, and it was simply a matter of survival.
Know what I mean, Vern?
And, they had just drained the juice right out of your batteries? You were feeling like the life was being sucked out of you?
There are probably better ways to deal with that than walking away. No, I know there are better ways to deal with that than walking away. Yet, often, by that point, we just don't have the energy to deal with it any longer.
So, we walk. We shut the door. We move on. We do whatever we have to do for our own survival.
"As an emotion, researchers describe disappointment as a form of sadness—a feeling of loss, an uncomfortable space (or a painful gap) between our expectations and reality." (Note 3)
Some of us only know one way to deal with such. We crawl into our shells and hibernate there until we feel we can stand up and move on.
Real healthy, right?
Well, at least we learn to recognize and accept that. Then we must learn healthier ways to deal with disappointments, whatever their cause.
"But if you learn how to deal with that disappointment in a healthier and more helpful way then it can be less a lot less scary and painful and actually a springboard or learning experience for further personal growth." (Note 4)
That may sound simple and easy to do. And, for some, I am sure it is. For some of us, it can seem daunting, impossible, unattainable even.
"Just because you may have been disappointed, had a setback or made a mistake and disappointed someone else doesn’t mean that you are a disappointment or failure." (Still Note 4)
Wow, whether you realize it yet or not, that is a VERY powerful statement.
YOU are not a mistake, you are NOT a disappointment, and you will NEVER be a failure!
Life has a way of handing - or throwing - learning opportunities our way every day. Ha! Make that multiple times every day.
No one else can learn for us.
No one else can put forth the effort to make learning occur.
It's on us, folks. We are solely responsible for learning and growing. Or not.
"Instead of getting lost in the pain and negative emotions that can come from a disappointment choose to see it more as something you can learn valuable things from (and something that’ll help you to grow)." (You guessed it - Note 4)
Note 4 is a very useful resource. Please take a few moments to read the entire resource. It will be very helpful - I guarantee!
My whole point, or at least I hope it is, is this: we all suffer disappointments, we all inflict pain and disappoint, and we all, must learn to deal with them.
Sometimes, it is in our best interest to make the break clean and quick.
In others, we must spent much time soul searching, praying and studying to see if we need to forgive, forget and move on, or push up our sleeves and get to work on repairing the damage.
But, to shed even more light on this subject, or to show just how much it hit home to me how much pain we can inflict on the ones we love the most, or in the One who loves us the most, check this out:
"Then Samuel went to Ramah, and Saul went up to his house in Gibeah of Saul. And Samuel did not see Saul again until the day of his death, but Samuel grieved over Saul. And the Lord regretted that He had made Saul King over Israel. (1 Samuel 15: 34-35)
Can you imagine doing something to cause Abba that much regret about you? About Me?
I felt like the floor fell away beneath me as I read that. Stop right now and read it again!
I am a human becoming. I ain't there yet. Every day, I hope and pray that I learn more, and that I grow closer to completion each day.
Still, I have not crossed the finish line.
And, until I do, I know that I will fail, fall, sin, disappoint and cause disappointments in those I care most about - and MOST of all, my Abba.
I can dig a hole and bury my head and heart in it. Or, I can suck it up and do the best I can while taking each opportunity to learn and grow.
I don't know about you, but I have had enough of burying my head and heart.
I want to live.
And, I want to live my life out loud! In joy. In praise of and to my Abba. And, also because I know we are here for a reason.
I don't want to miss that.
I, especially, don't want to miss eternity sitting at my Abba's feet!