While reading the first blog article on embracing disappointments, on my doctorgayle.com website, I asked myself if this was all that needs to be said about disappointments. In other words, can my blog followers benefit from additional dialogue about disappointing moments and if so what would be most beneficial? The first question that popped into my mind was “how does one keep oneself from being overcome or overwrought with the negative emotions arising out of disappointments?” After pondering this question for a few moments I began to have some internal dialogue. What do I personally do when disappointments arise? Am I able to simply dismiss the disappointment and pretend it doesn’t exist? I realized the second question is almost a defeating purpose, i.e., simply dismissing…
Denial never seems to be the answer, but brings more frustration than anything. So, if we’re ever going to learn how to deal with these conflicting emotions, we must first acknowledge “yes, I am disappointed; now what do I do with this?” What stood out uppermost in my mind is the word “acknowledge.” We can acknowledge a negative situation without “owning it.” If I “own” the disappointment that seems to be self-defeating. Have you ever experienced a situation where you became extremely disappointed in the way someone treated you? I have, and have had to learn to ask myself a series of questions: (1) why was this even an issue? (2) what was the root cause of my disappointment? (3) was it an internal thing (in my own mind) or was it an external (the way the person acted). Sometimes the answer has been “both, internal & external.” In other words, whatever was being displayed with the person was their issue (external); whatever emotions I was feeling was my issue (internal). Could I work this out within myself? Absolutely! Though in some cases it may require external assistance.
So step number one in working it out for me is to release the person from any wrongdoing – whether they did anything or not, deliberately or otherwise I cannot afford to internalize their actions. If we’re in relationship, would they deliberately disappoint me? Possibly, but generally not. Were they even aware of their actions? Probably not. Did I need to say anything to them? Probably not, especially if I could reason with my conflicting emotions. KEY!!
Now reasoning with my own emotions meant some self-work, not always so easy. I have to go back to my own advice, specifically “what are the steps to move beyond this…? So first step, acknowledge, second, release the person, third release myself – we can be our own worst critic. Moving forward, make sure there is no underlying anger, resentment, offense, or wounded-ness (request my free booklet “Offense vs. Woundedness” on my website, www.doctorgayle.com).
Most importantly, move on. We can either choose to stew in our own hurt and disappointment, or continue to move forward in our quest for self-discovery, growth & maturity, and true identity. I choose the latter. How about you.