Disappointments can make our heart sick. But only if we let them. When we come upon difficult times and setbacks, we tend to get stuck there. We get fixated on what we wished had happened, what we no longer have or what it was like before the setback. As a result, we suffer.
First, Feel Our Feelings
Always always always, to the best of our ability, we need to feel our feelings of sadness or disappointment (or whatever we are feeling). The more fully we feel them, the easier it is to get beyond them. Most of us resist the feelings and try to skip to acceptance. It really doesn’t work that way – we must move through our feelings if we want to come to true acceptance. We need to make space for grief, mourning, and heartache. We must make time to go within and tend to our broken hearts. To soothe ourselves and nurture our souls.
But Then What?
But then there is a point where we must make a choice. Do we stay there? Or do we find our way to a new normal?
What if we could accept where we are NOW (because we have nothing really except this very moment)?
What if we could ask “Why is this here for me?” and “What am I to learn from this?”
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I know this annoys some people. I know some people disagree. But in my experience there is always something to learn from our life’s experiences – even cancer, death, and other tragedies. I suspect that what annoys people is when other people ask them this question when they aren’t ready. They are still feeling their feelings and aren’t yet ready to accept the cards they were dealt.
Ultimately these are questions to ask ourselves, not so much to ask another person.
The Three Steps to Be the River
Go with the flow. Seek to flow with whatever life brings us rather than resist it when things doesn’t go as we hoped or planned.
- Feel your feelings. Always feel your feelings first. Take your time and allow them to move through you completely. Be disappointed. Be sad or angry. Eventually you might notice that you don’t even have as many feelings about it because you are able to see that life is happening just as it is supposed to for you and your personal growth.
- Decide to stop suffering. We have a choice about how we handle our disappointments and setbacks – to suffer and live a smaller life OR to accept what has happened and stay alive in our life.
- Find the gift in the experience. Begin to see each setback as an opportunity to discover more about ourselves and how we can more fully live our lives.
The river delights to lift us free, if only we dare let go. ~Richard Bach
How would your life be different if you could be river? Yes, the river does come upon rocks and blockages, but it doesn’t get upset or mad, it just accepts the rocks and blockages and finds a way around them, finds a way to keep flowing. Share a story about how this relates to your life in the comments below.