What to do when you are deeply disappointed

Recently, I was deeply disappointed by a close family member.  The person did not follow through on something that was very important, and in turn continued to cause stress and anxiety on many around them.  At first I was quite angry.  I came up with a ton of scenarios in my head (where I was telling them off or giving them the silent treatment) that I kept on replaying for a while.  Then I became deeply sad and shed some tears.  And then I remembered a recent lesson I had read in the book of Kings in the Old Testament.  As many of you know, I am always reading a spiritual text and am currently working my way through The Bible in the morning and through the Bhagavad Gita at night.  What is so fascinating about the Old Testament is that it is part of the Tanakh, the Hebrew Bible in Jewish religion (there are some differences in the ordering of the books, numbering, translations, and some versions of The Bible have added books/chapters).  You can imagine my delight that (1) I am getting background on two faiths in one reading (and potentially more, as many other religions and faiths broke off from Judaism) and (2) I get to see how similar we all are once again! 

Fresco  of the Judgment of Solomon (Wallfahrtskirche Frauenberg, Frauenberg via wikipedia)

Fresco of the Judgment of Solomon (Wallfahrtskirche Frauenberg, Frauenberg via wikipedia)

In Kings, the son of David, King Solomon, asks God to give him a discerning heart filled with wisdom and knowledge.  And he got it!  He is chronicled as one of the wisest men that lived! (By the way, as I continued reading more about King Solomon I came across a story I had read when I was a child that had left a deep impression. Click here for the story that has led to the expressions “splitting the baby” or “cutting the baby in half” in the modern day legal profession).  And so, in that moment of deep, deep disappointment, I asked God to give me wisdom to see things differently.  Instead of seeing the pain and disappointment, to see the love that was missing within the situation.  With just a sentence or two I asked for inner peace, so that the suffering the disappointment was causing me would subside.  The simple ask reminds me now of the serenity prayer:

“God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.”

In my own request to God, I was pretty much referring to the first part: “God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change.” And…my request was answered!  Now, the disappointment was still there.  The consequences of the disappointment were still there (I probably cannot trust this person to make different choices in the future until some things in their life changes), but the pain was gone.  I think you guys know what pain I am referring to….that gnawing at the heart that makes you feel as if you can’t breathe and are in a haze.  Instead there was a deep serenity.  So the next time you feel such disappointment, instead of trying to solve it yourself (which is what I was trying to do with all of the scenarios I kept on repeating in my head!), why don’t you just make a simple request to God? Once you make that request, know that it is out of your hands and that he will take care of it.  If you stop trying to make it right and solve it on your own (again, I can’t help but think of the number of times we try to find peace by fighting in our heads), you’ll give him the opportunity to step in and help.  The level of serenity I felt after I let go and let God was one I could have never found on my own. 

I hope this helps!  I would love to hear from you, so please leave a comment below.  If you enjoyed this post, share it with your friends and family!

Lots of love,

Judith