Posted on Nov 26, 2012 in News
The more years I gain, the more acquainted I become with the feeling of disappointment. It’s a sneaky little bugger, hiding just around the corner of a fantastic weekend with family, celebrating life and the gratitude that abounds for the blessings of relationships and connection with one another. Sometimes disappointment can even creep into the holiday time itself, loosening the binds of loving conversation. But for me, most of the time, it’s waiting right at the intersection of holiday bliss and the real world. Disappointment showed its ugly head today, as I’m back to the real world of work and routine.
Acknowledging disappointment can sometimes look like admitting that someone or something has let us down. I remember hearing once that though I had worked internally with an organization for some time, I was not going to be considered for an interview for a promotion. Of course, I was angry. I felt sadness and shame. But most of all, I was disappointed.
What is this emotion of disappointment? A quick glance of good old Webster yields the following definitions:
- “defeated in expectation or hope” and/or
- “not adequately equipped”
Thus, feeling disappointed could mean that our expectations and/or hopes have been defeated. It’s also possible to feel like a disappointment in some specific life situation; to be “not adequately equipped” to handle a task or project. Or, a relationship.
Referring to my earlier musing that the expression of disappointment can look like the admission or accusation of “being let down”…I have come to learn that there is a problem with this idea. No, I’ve thought about it all wrong; if I’m let down, then I can only assume that the something or someone who was supposed to be holding me up didn’t do their job, right? But that’s just it…Who’s job is it to hold me up? Whom or what is not adequately equipped to carry me? Was it the responsibility of that search committee to carry my hope and expectations of being hired for the role? In short, the answer is no. No one in that group could have adequately carried my hopes, for I would have been quickly disappointed again. I was bound to be disappointed because I expected an outcome that they simply could not deliver.
None of us want to be defeated in hope or to be not adequately equipped for the journey of life. However, it seems we often place our hope and expectations in all of the wrong places. Who or what holds you up in your life?