Disappointment is a part of life we all unfortunately have to deal with and it is something I am all too familiar with. I have been disappointed by life events, family members, friends and even myself at time!
I will never forget the most disappointing day of my life...
In my primary school we had a 'buddy' system where a reception student was paired up with a year 6 student who would look after them during school hours, we called them our 'special friends.' From the moment I started in that school I couldn't wait for the day I got to year 6 so I could get a little friend to look after.
The day finally came and all the new reception students were coming into school for a meet and greet with their special friend. I was SO excited to meet mine, it was a BIG deal. I had brought in a little present and card, I genuinely felt like I was becoming a big sister. I waited and waited while all the other children got paired off excitedly, but my special friend never came. She didn't attend that day because she was poorly. I was absolutely heartbroken.
I remember walking over to my mum who was smiling excitedly at me expecting to see me skipping out of school having had the best day, I just looked at her, shaked my head and burst out in tears. Seriously, I was really gutted!
This year, I think we have all had to deal with a lot more disappointment than usual due to the COVID 19 pandemic and I think some people may have handled it slightly more gracefully than others!
This year I have had to reschedule my wedding and just yesterday it was announced that only 2 households could mix indoors on Christmas day where I live so our family Christmas plans has all been thrown up in the air. I have managed to stay positive most of this year, but I have to be honest, yesterday when that was announced I felt the familiar feeling of disappointment burning in my chest.
To be completely frank, I did want to go full on 3 year old tantrum mode and stomp my feet and exclaim that it's just not fair! But luckily, I managed to contain myself!
So, that leads me to todays blog post which is all about how to handle disappointment with grace. I am hoping writing this will also remind me of these tactics as I'm sure we all know them but having them at the forefront of your mind helps you to handle situations better when something is thrown at you in life!
1. Look at the bigger picture.
At the moment we are all facing disappointments but if you look at the bigger picture and try to understand WHY we can't do certain things, it helps the bad news go down a bit better. Rationalising that we can't do our usual Christmas plans because it will reduce COVID infection rates and save lives allows you to handle the news better than just feeling like you are a child being told what to do. I'm sure many parents will agree with me also that when you explain to your child WHY they can't do something, rather than just saying 'NO' - the tantrums are reduced (sometimes - hopefully, if the child is fed and not tired!)
2. Stay grateful
When we are let down by something in life, it becomes very easy to go into sulking mode and just feel sorry for yourself. But the fact is, there is always something to be grateful for in your life and there is always someone who has it worse. Wallowing in your own self pity can often seem like you are oblivious to suffering that goes on around you in the world. So focus on what you DO have. For example, this Christmas I am focusing on the fact I have my home, my dog and my wonderful fiancee to keep me company, a blessing that many people would love to have!
3. Express your emotion and then move on.
As much as it is important to rationalise and then focus on the positive, it is equally as important to not suppress your emotion. I am someone who wears my heart on my sleeve and at times a good cry is what I need to feel better. You are allowed to pity yourself and express some emotion at times (as long as it doesn't hurt anyone else).
What is not graceful, is lingering on negative emotions and allowing it to make you you feel bitter and resentful. For example, if someone else got a promotion that you wanted at work, it is perfectly ok to take yourself off and have a little cry or call a friend to off load. But then, be sure to go back and congratulate the person who received the promotion and allow yourself to be genuinely happy for them.
Moving with grace through life is not always easy and we often need to control ourselves and act in a way that feels unnatural at first. But like anything, gracefulness takes discipline that once we are in the habit of, will come much easier to us the more we practice it.
Well they are all my tips for today. If you are dealing with disappointment at the moment then I truly hope this has helped you.