Disappointment. Something everyone’s experienced; something everyone hates. Some disappointments are easier to accept than others. Some are beyond our control, some could have been prevented. Sometimes there is someone to blame, other times we blame ourselves or God or fate or bad luck. Reactions can range from anger to deep hurt to bitterness. A select few are able to accept disappointment and move on.
I am not one of those few. At least not at first. Given some time, I can usually accept most things – more or less. Anger is usually my first default setting, but it’s just a cover. My typical reaction is to blame myself – but that hurts too much. So if I get mad at someone else, then I can forget that it’s really my fault.
But it’s not my fault. Everyone’s gonna disappoint you at some point or another. That’s just life. And some people make a habit of it. That’s just the way they are. There’s no changing them, there’s no changing life. Just gotta learn to live with it I guess. Move on; don’t let it hold you in the past.
That’s tough to do, you know? Disappointment, especially when coupled with a measure of rejection, is a tough pill to swallow. And if you let it, it will eat you up from the inside. Take it, learn from it, and let it go. That’s what I’m trying to learn to do. I’ve not had much success thus far. In time, I forget about the pain, but that’s not the same thing. All it takes is one little reminder and it all comes rushing back.
The hardest part is the fact that no two people are going to have the same concept. Something that makes me feel disappointed and rejected may have zero effect on you; and vice versa. We all look at the world differently. We all measure things differently. And no one standard is more valid than another. I think once we learn to accept that, there will be far less pain and heartache in the world.
Do you know someone who seems to be overly sensitive? Someone who gets angry at things that wouldn’t bother most people? Chances are they weren’t always like that. Nine times out of ten, a “prickly” person has been made that way. Did you know that anger is a defense mechanism? We don’t feel pain when we are angry. Those who lash out at the drop of a hat, as the saying goes – it’s not the “hat” that made them angry. Something touched an old wound and the anger is a reaction to the reawakened pain. And of course that only makes it worse each time. They are often perceived as unpredictable. You never can tell what will set off their anger until it’s too late. But you can bet your last dollar that there is an old, deep hurt there that never really healed. And you better believe that underneath that prickly exterior is the softest, gentlest, most loving soul you will ever meet.
So what do you do? How do you act around someone like that? They say that time heals all wounds. I disagree. There is only one thing that can break through their defenses – love. Unconditional love will reach past the anger and touch the pure but damaged heart inside. Only love has the power to heal the hurts of the past. Only love can mend the broken and make them whole again. Pure, true, steadfast, unshakeable love. So, whoever you know who is like that – whether it be a son or daughter or sibling or parent or spouse or friend – whoever it is, just love them. Love them when they are unlovely. Love them when they are angry. I’m not saying you should be a pushover; sometimes tough love is needed. But, please, do not ever let them doubt that you do love them. People like that have to be convinced that they are worthy of being loved.
And those of you who are the prickly ones, don’t let your scars define you. Don’t wait for someone to save you. Having been hurt in the past is no excuse to mistreat the ones around you. Are you a victim or a victor? A victim crawls away to nurse their wounds; a victor keeps on fighting anyway. A victim blames the world for their faults; a victor overcomes the things that should destroy them. We are each responsible for our own actions. So if you are carrying around old scars, do something about it. Don’t lash out at those around you when they aren’t trying to hurt you. And when they do, just forgive and let it go. Forgive for the past too. Forgive the one who hurt you; forgive yourself. Love yourself. Let others love you. Accept love when it is offered. Let go of the burden you are carrying. Let go of the anger. Build yourself into the kind of person you want to be. Most importantly, accept the love of Christ. He will heal every broken piece of your heart.