Have you ever heard someone express their disappointment? Sometimes it is simply, “talk about a disappointment?” or they might be unable to speak about it and just stare off into space or in many cases, the person is so overcome with emotion that they become nearly incoherent due to uncontrollable crying and sobbing.
Disappointment however, is part of life. We don’t always get what we want and sometimes we don’t even get what we need; at least what we perceive as needing.
The recent down turn of the economy has certainly seen disappointment occur in many people’s lives. Cars repossessed, homes foreclosed on and jobs which were thought to be careers lost.
Disappointment occurs when what we had desired, sought to obtain, set a goal to achieve or even had a need for does not come to fruition or we have accomplished something only to have it taken away. As a result we feel empty, unfulfilled, dissatisfied and even numb.
Disappointment comes in many forms such as losing a sports event, failing a test, rejection of a lover, divorce or death of a loved one.
All of these things disappoint.
The problem with disappointment is that many times people obsess over the disappointment and ultimately depression sets in; the key word being “obsess”. The obsession over the disappointment literally engulfs the individual possessing their body, mind and spirit causing depression to set in.
The depression can either be the simple “blues” or proverbial “down in the dumps” and if not caught in time can lead to and become the more serious “clinical depression” which often requires ongoing therapy and medication.
It should be noted that clinical depression can also have many causes including a medical and neurological connection not associated with that previously mentioned. Disappointment however, can be a trigger mechanism setting off a clinical depression attack sometimes requiring in-patient medical and psychiatric treatment.
Although disappointment can often not be avoided, the way we deal with it or recover from disappointment is important. The Bible has much to say about dealing with disappointment either directly or indirectly. From a biblical perspective there are three basic steps to deal with and recover from disappointment:
- Focus on faith, grace, character, perseverance and hope (Romans 5:1-5)
- Accept the disappointment. Don’t treat it as a joke but then move on (Ecclesiastes 7:1-8)
- Trust completely in the Lord for His healing of the disappointment (Proverbs 3:5-7)
Although the hurt of the disappointment might remain, its duration will certainly be shortened and the road to recovery preventing “simple depression” will be clearer by following these simple biblical truths.
It should be noted that the above mentioned biblical formula is biblical interpretation only and the opinion of this counselor. Although it should help when followed in most situations it is not indented to be a substitute for doctor prescribed medication or ongoing psychiatric/psychological therapy.
Remember that success often occurs in the midst of personal disappointment.