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Your Morning Cup of Inspiration

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No one goes through life without disappointment. We all have painful experiences.  We all have situations which don’t turn out the way that we would like them to.  It is an unavoidable part of the human experience.

Now lots of people will tell you to let go of disappointment. They will tell you to forgive the person who wronged you.  They will tell you to forget about that time when your hopes were dashed.

However, I’d like you to take your reaction to disappointment one step further. I’d like you to appreciate your disappointments.

That sounds crazy, doesn’t it? Who in their right mind would appreciate disappointment?  However, we are the sum of our successes and our failures.  In fact, we are more defined by our failures.  Anyone can respond graciously to success.  But it takes mental fortitude and courage to handle disappointment.  We show what we are made of when life doesn’t go our way.

For instance, what if your marriage ended? Would you get depressed and decide that one person’s opinion defined you?  Or, would you shed some tears, forgive your spouse, and then dust yourself off and attack life as a single person head on?  What would you do if you lost your job?  Would you become bitter and hold a grudge against your employer?  Or, would you tell yourself, “This is my opportunity to get the job of my dreams”?

I’ve been through more disappointments than I can count. I’ve had jobs that I applied for and didn’t get.  I’ve had a marriage that ended in divorce.  I didn’t have the perfect, Norman Rockwell upbringing with birthday parties, beautiful Christmases and a lovely home.  Instead, I grew up in a household that at times was fraught with dysfunction.

But those circumstances haven’t defined me, except in how I’ve responded to them. My response hasn’t been to get depressed and give up.  Instead, I’ve learned that the really good things in life don’t just land in your lap.  Instead, they are the product of tenacious drive and hard work.  I’ve learned that life is imperfect.  So, there naturally are going to be disappointments.  However, there is also a great deal of joy.  I’ve been blessed with a daughter, a wonderful second marriage, and a lifelong, continually growing relationship with God.  My list of joys goes on and on.

My disappointments, in fact, have been springboards to greater insight about life. Without them, I would have the emotional maturity of a 4-year-old, falling apart at the first sign of any obstacle or imperfection.  Instead, because I’ve faced disappointment head on, I am resilient.  I don’t take my blessings for granted.  And I certainly don’t judge anyone whose life has been imperfect because mine sure has been.  I now appreciate my disappointments because I know that they have matured me and have given me wisdom.

If you are struggling with past or current disappointments, consider changing the way you view them. Think about how those experiences likely have changed you for the better.  Even if those experiences were hard, you are probably a wiser and more compassionate person because of them.  You probably cherish your blessings so much more because you know how hard life can be sometimes.  So, appreciate your disappointments.  They truly are blessings in disguise.

(Photo Courtesy of Pexels)

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