Monday, September 30, 2013

Give Your Disappointment a Voice

When I was a teenager, sixteen to be precise, I got up the courage to try out for the school drill team.  I went to all the practices.  During the last practice the day before the tryouts I went down into the splits to fast and injured my left leg.  I was in a lot of pain but still decided that I would still go through with the final tryout.  I did the routine and smiled through the pain.  Within a couple of days the results were read over the intercom and I discovered I did not make it.  I was very disappointed and held back my tears of disappointment until I got home, after all no one is suppose to see you cry.

After I got home, my mother asked me what the results were and I told her.  I broke down crying about how I didn't make it and was hoping for some sympathy.  My mother's response was not what I had expected she told me that basically I wasn't the only one who didn't make it and that I shouldn't really be feeling the way I was.  I was hurt by her response because even though I knew others did not make it, I was sorely disappointed that "I" hadn't made it and needed to express my feeling.  In that moment, I silenced my feelings of disappointment and buried them into the recesses of my mind.  It was experiences like this that taught me disappointment was something to be ashamed of, a sign of ingratitude and a weakness.  I thought bottling up these types of feelings would eventually make them go away, but it didn't.  When a small future disappointment rolled around, I would explode over something that appeared so trivial.  It wasn't the trivial incident that created such a powerful explosion, it was that the passed disappointments and not being able to address them had built up so much pressure and finally found their release.

Now, I realize I cannot go back and face that teenage disappointment, that moment has passed.  However, it is my desire in my present life to learn to deal with the disappointments and frustrations that arise.  Instead of silencing, I need to give my disappointment a voice.  Everyone needs to have their "it's not fair, why I am going through this, why didn't that work out" for me moments and then be able to regroup and move on forward,  Silencing our voice of disappointment only results in resentment.  Because we are unable to discuss our feelings, one small moment is met with a mountain of hurt from the past. We also can become bitter and instead of being able to let go, we play the pity card like Uncle Rico in Napoleon Dynamite, by talking about what could have been if only.

I have learned to know that the Lord can help us if we are honest with him about the disappointments that come in our life, he isn't going to send lightening down when you express them, believe it or not he will send comfort if you ask for it.  Just saying.

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