Disappointments are a part of life. The restaurant we want to go to is closed, the grocery store is out of what we came for, a friend has to cancel a lunch that you were looking forward to.
But some people don’t handle minor disappointments very well.
We’ve probably all seen a grown adult pitch a fit – tearing a waitress to shreds because the restaurant ran out of their favorite salad dressing…
complaining that their day is ruined over a little rain…
or raging on about how their darling brat didn’t get the lead dance role they wanted.
If people get bent out of shape over minor disappointments – how will they ever handle the major ones?
How will they handle job loss, foreclosures, wayward children, divorce, accidents, poor health of ourselves or a loved one…all the crap that gets thrown at us?
Many people handle major life disappointments with defeat. They let life wear them down. The more they feel beaten down, the more bitter and angry they become.
Have you ever seen an older person with a permanent frown on their face? They’re just quietly sitting there and their natural facial expression is a frown.
I believe what lies in our heart will eventually show on our face. Youth can mask that well, but as we age our face will show the condition that our hearts have been in for years.
So what you do when you find life isn’t turning out how you would have liked? How do you face major life disappointments?
Expectations Rarely Match Reality
The key is to stop having expectations. Take things as they come. I’m not saying just sit back and let life happen to you – think about it like this.
You’re going on vacation.
In your mind you’ve built up all kinds of expectations about how the resort will look, what the food is like, how the kids will behave, that your spouse will be extra romantic, etc.
So you get there and the pool temperature is too cold, the food was good- but not fantastic, the kids bickered and fussed and your spouse wasn’t interested in strolling on the beach.
Since you went with all kinds of expectations and they weren’t met – you end up disappointed. If you would have gone on the vacation with no expectations other than you plan to find the good in it – most likely you would have enjoyed the time.
The same goes with life.
- Put in your best effort
- trust God to lead you
- take things as they roll
If you expect your life to be like Mr. and Mrs. Perfect Pants across the street with all their glowingly Perfect Pants children – then you’re setting yourself up for disappointment.
Our expectations rarely match with reality and that’s where the feeling of disappointment comes from.
Instead of feeling disappointed about life – drop the expectations and take it for what it is. You’ll find that you get much more enjoyment out of life.
What expectations have you had in life that has led to feeling disappointed?