Thursday, July 19, 2012

Life Well Lived: Dealing with Disappointment

BlogHer asks: How do you deal with disappointment, and what lessons do you have to share from those experiences?

Long-time readers will know my answer, and I don't tire of repeating it:

Every emotion has a beginning, a middle and an end. That goes for disappointment, too.

I don't believe in denying it. I don't think it helps to seek out the silver lining. I think you just have to get through it. The lessons, the silver lining, and the new opportunities will come after the feelings have subsided.

After about a year of single parenting, I knew I needed help. When I first started going to therapy, I wondered just when I would stop crying. It was draining. Even with all that I buried during the week to be there for my girls, to do my job, I took full advantage of those fifty minutes once a week to let it all out.

There were times when I felt bad about crying, as I knew there were so many people much worse off than me. My dear friend and colleague assured me that my pain was just as real, and I just needed to "empty my bucket." She was right.

It doesn't help to play the comparison game. We feel what we feel, and denying ourselves that usually just makes us feel worse. We have to feel it before we can move past it.

Eventually, I emptied my bucket and used those sessions to talk about my concerns for the girls, and get some professional insight on how to best parent them. Eventually, the weekly sessions were no longer necessary.

As often as I feel happy now, as content as I am in my life now, I know that it, too, is just one emotion that I experience every day. I know I appreciate them more than I did prior to the rose coming off the bloom, and interestingly, I smile and laugh a lot more now. I hold on to those moments for as long as I can. Knowing that nothing lasts forever helps me cherish the good, and get through the bad.

I'm sure I'm in for more disappointments. I'm also sure that I will laugh again, that I will smile again, and that I will feel happy again.

Join the discussion at BlogHer's main post on dealing with disappointment. And enter their sweepstakes to win an iPod Touch.

1 comment:

BigLittleWolf said...

Life's "hard knocks" do teach us to appreciate what is good - often the most simple moments, but very rich.

A very wise post.