Sunday, 16 March 2014

Dealing with Disappointment!

There is a well known proverb which says "hope deferred makes the heart sick but when the desire comes its a tree of life!"

I think that's a great proverb because it has the problem and the solution at the same time.

It is horrible when the thing you hoped for, built all your hopes on, placed all your expectations on, fails to come to pass. Its like a kick in the stomach and almost wants to deflate you.  You ask yourself what do you do now?  Where do you go now, what happens next? Sometimes its hard to pick yourself up off the floor.

If if was a disappointment in love, it can be even more devastating.  Perhaps the person you thought was The One turns out to be anything but. You wonder what all the hard work was for.  All the investment you put into that relationship seems wasted.  Looking at someone like Khloe Kardashian you can see her pain, she feels she has given her everything to her husband Lamar and still it wasn't enough.  When it comes to loves, it takes two baby. No matter how much one of you might want it to work it has to come from the pair of you. One person cannot build when the other is intent on pursuing actions that will destroy.  Its hard, and indeed the heart will feel sick.  It may even feel broken. Some people feel like failures if their relationship or marriage falls apart.

For women, we many times use our relationships to define who we are.  Someone's wife, or someone's mother.  If this primary relationship fails or falls apart, we can almost lose ourselves. Lose who we thought we were. Actress Cocoa Brown says she stayed in a marriage too long because she didn't want to become a stereotype, another statistic, just another baby-mama.

But what if your disappointment was in your career. All the hard work, study, and then something goes wrong. Here a man is often affected in a deeper way than a woman.  I say this because men define themselves by what they do, not who they are, i.e their relationship.  A man will introduce himself as John Brown, city banker, or Alan Smith, fashion designer, but what happens if your career has failed to take off, or been sabotaged or seems to be suffering from inertia or going through an hiatus period - what then? Who are you now?

Or your disappointment could simply be due to people who have let you down, Perhaps finding out that the friend you thought you could trust has been talking about your behind your back or maybe you found out family secrets that have knocked you for six, maybe discovering that your political leaders are just that, politicians.  Finding out that church leaders you had believed in and accepted their teachings were less than pillars of virtue.

Nevertheless, disappointment is part of life. We all face it.  The main thing is to recognize that life goes on. Every pain is temporary. Over the last couple years I have had some deep disappointments and if I hadn't known had to sit quietly and gather myself, and my thoughts I am sure I would have lost the plot.

Its at times of seeming failure, abject disappointment that we learn life's deepest lessons.  Lessons that prepare you to succeed in life.  I have not read of one single highly successful man or woman who has not had days when they were literally on the floor wondering how they were going to get up again.

One thing I did in times of disappointment was to speak to other people.  But I had to make sure they were the right people.  The wrong people will just commiserate with you and help you to stay where you are, in a place of brokenness or inertia.  Others will give you advice with good intentions but its the wrong advice.  Yet others will share with you openly their own stories of pain, disappointment and failure and cause you to know you can still make it, just like they did.

When you are feeling disappointed, find someone who will inspire you, who will show you that its all part of the process.  Success is a process, or journey.  And so is love.  Anyone who has been married for any length of time will say it takes work and consistent work.  I have been married this July 30 years and I say yes my husband and family mean everything to me but it takes emotional, spiritual, mental and physical investment, you cannot have a successful marriage based on hype and wishful thinking.

Success in life and career will have its curve balls, its fabulous days and days when you wish you had never gotten out of bed, yet as the Proverb says, when the desire comes it is the tree of life.

The disappointment that was meant to floor you, let me say, will be used to build you. I say to the depth that you were taken, provides the depth of the root of your tree of life.  Meaning the degree to which you were lowered will be the height of your altitude.  In fact it will be the mountain on which you stand.  So learn the lessons of life well, use them to grow by, for success has its price.  You have to be willing to pay it.  Love has its price, and you have to pay it. Whatever disappointment you have faced in love, learn the lesson, don't let your pain be in vain.  Don't let your pain make you bitter, let it purify you, allow it to make you better.

Because one day your tree of life will come, whether in life or in love.  So don't give up, don't lose your faith, don't lose hope.  Its not an if, its a when.  Your desire will come.