Updated: Apr 27
I think if someone truly understands how to do this, they would truly be on their way to attaining nirvana. Isn’t it?
Between the battle of the all-knowing soul and the overactive mind, it is invariably the mind that wins in the end. That is why in spite of our better wisdom which is none other than our subconscious mind talking to us, telling us how inconsequential our disappointment is in most scenarios, we still choose to get disappointed easily and sometimes carry it around for eternity.
In my opinion, disappointment is an extension of our ego which firstly makes us take ourselves very seriously and secondly considers our reading of the situation to be the only reading, and the other party involved to be in the wrong. I think both eventualities are a direct reflection of our own lack of adaptability and high-headedness, if I may.
But here is the thing about disappointment or for that matter any negative emotion that we go through and that is :
We always have a choice to decide our response.
Some of you might be saying right now - “Yeah right as if it’s in my hands. It just happens.”
But that’s, not the truth. It is always in our hands. The only difference from person to person might be whether you are aware of this option that you can control it. Rather I would say you are the only person who can control it.
This awareness is built through spending time with yourself, in silence or in meditation or self-reflection on a daily basis which gives you a chance to address issues that might be hidden somewhere in your subconscious thought process and which come out only at times of reflection or meditation.
This is the best way to get to know your reactions(in this case disappointments) and yourself, better and better every single day with the sole purpose of becoming a better version of yourself.
Suggested Read - The Basics of Meditation & How to get Started
I would like to share an example here. A few days back I had to get some very important work done in the house for which I had taken time slots three times before the team actually reached my house because they kept canceling. When they did reach they were not prepared for the work to be done so they had to come back again. Of course, it was disappointing but they agreed to return in the evening. I had emptied out the area where they had to work so there was a complete mess in the house. When the time came for them to come, they switched off their phones and never came back again. The money had been paid earlier and this was a trip to correct the faults.
I was furious, made a few calls but in vain. Now of course, being let down like this hurts your ego and definitely your peace of mind. But I didn’t want to waste too much emotion over this futile exercise.
After fretting over it for an hour or so. I asked myself a few questions:
What was I angry about?
Ans - The fact that it was unfair of them to do this to me. And that it was wrong to shy away from their work and switch off their phones. That was unprofessional.
Now that it has happened do you have any control over it?
Ans - No, not really. There was no way I could get them to pick up the phone or come for that matter.
What else was bothering me so much?
Ans - The fact that I had removed everything from its place and seeing the whole house in a mess was making me more furious.
What can I do to stop feeling so upset?
Ans - Put all the things back in their place so that I stop looking at those things and feel worse.
And that is exactly what I did. And suddenly the situation didn’t seem that painful anymore and I could actually put things in perspective. And the perspective here is that :
No matter who is right or wrong, if it is taking away my peace of mind and making me carry a negative emotion within my body then I have to do something to change it. Regardless of who is right or wrong. Stepping back a little and looking at this as an observer will tell you how in most circumstances we are being so foolish to choose disharmony over proving who is right or wrong.
How To Fight Disappointment
When you are disappointed, knowing what’s troubling us at that moment helps us distinguish between the real problem and the problem created by our mind. Here the real problem of course was that the work hadn’t gotten done and my house was a mess.
But to move on, at that moment, most important was to put the things back and of course, call someone else at a later date to sort out the issue which was also doable. The created problem was the drama of being left in the lurch which really wasn’t true because I did have solutions for every problem.
How does not handling disappointment trouble us?
This is just an example of disappointment related to a situation or person you don’t know very well. This could get amplified if it comes from a situation or people close to us like your loved ones or your work environment. But remember the damage done to your body and peace of mind will also be amplified. But the way to handle it has to be the same except that it will be harder and you will be more emotionally charged therefore seeing reason is difficult and can be developed over a period of time.
Sometimes we carry disappointment and resentment for days, weeks, or even years. And trust me it’s going to end up doing some serious short-term and long-term damage to your body and well-being.
How meditation gave me answers?
When I was meditating the next morning, I got a few messages regarding this situation and I am going to share them here with you:
Nothing is a catastrophe except natural calamities or losing loved ones. Everything else is overly dramatized by our mind.
If you let anything trouble you that is a reflection of you, not the other person.
Stop getting affected by inconsequential things. In the larger picture, this is nothing.
Accept things rather than resisting them. The more you resist the more it will trouble you, whether people or situations.
But once you accept things it will stop troubling you, the disappointment will be gone and the peace will take place of the unrest.
Every person has free will to do what he wants and you have to accept that.
Your aim should be your happiness regardless of the situation and that is the only thing in your hands.
As soon as we stop to think even for a few seconds our inner voice will tell us how futile this exercise of being disappointed is. But we are so occupied with the disappointment and our perception that we don’t accept any other thought process then.
So let’s do ourselves a favor and stop to hear the voice of our sub-conscience, rather than our ego because the inner voice will always tell us to let go of the situation cos it’s not worth it.
Let’s learn to reassess things quickly and get rid of the disappointment or resentment before the negative emotion damages our body or mind.
Questions you can ask yourself when disappointed:
How do I get this bad feeling inside me under control?
This way you are accepting the discomfort of your emotion, that you are not ok with it and you want to change it. This prevents you from dwelling about it for hours or days or weeks. This is your intent to not stay in the same energy of the problem but rather your desire to get out of it.
How bad is the situation really?
Here you are trying to be realistic about the problem and cutting out the drama and being true to yourself. This really helps put things in perspective.
What is in my hand to change right now to bring things under control?
Here you will think of possible ways to bring your disappointment under control by taking some action specific to improve the particular problem.
What can I do right now to feel better?
With this question, you are already on the path of looking for solutions rather than wasting your energy on feeling more miserable. Here you could think of some ways to take the focus away from your disappointment like a walk, some music, playing with your kids or just some other work which distracts you from this problem.
Is this a catastrophe? Can I let go of it?
When nothing else, makes sense to you and you can’t stop yourself from going over the situation over and over again, ask yourself this. Hopefully, this will really put things in perspective for you and then you can ask yourself questions 1- 4 again and see if you get answers now.
For your well being
No one of us is perfect. We are all work in progress. But the important thing is to be a work in progress and not be stagnating. You could save yourself so much heartache and disease by just seeing things in perspective for yourself and letting go of the drama. And I hope this article helps you do just that.
Wishing lots of happiness and strength to all my readers, always. May you always see the brighter side of everything.
If you want to connect with me you know where to find me.