Managing Disappointment When “Everything” is Going Wrong
Do you ever feel as if “everything” is going wrong? Disappointment can make us feel as if everything is going wrong. Today is Valentine’s Day, and my 20th Wedding Anniversary. So much happened, that the past 20 years, felt somewhat disappointing; as if everything had gone wrong.
Life rarely goes as we had wished, hoped, dream, or imagined. As the years wear on, and one disappointment happens after the next – we are left feeling a great deal of disappointment. If you focus on this for too long it can seem is if “everything” is going wrong in your life.
Things certainly have gone far differently with my daughter, Jamie than even my worst nightmare! When she was born, it was the furthest thing from my mind that she would become addicted to drugs. By the time she was one, it was clear that she was gifted in so many ways, and as the years moved forward, there was no indication she would be attracted to a world I still don’t completely understand. Watching her play sports with ease didn’t prepare me for the day she would walk away from it all or be laying in a hospital bed with a bullet in her gut. There was nothing in Jamie’s first fifteen years that were real signs of what was to come…that she would be murdered at the age of 30 years, 7 months, and 4 days. My hopes and dreams for Jamie went all wrong.
Rich and I didn’t really plan to be married on Valentine’s Day; it just sort of worked out that way. In retrospect, we wish we had chosen a different day. I have never been a huge fan of Valentine’s Day for a couple of reasons. First, it doesn’t seem like we should need a “day” to show people how much we love them. Next, because it puts a lot of pressure on people to act in a certain way on a certain day.
When we began to celebrate our anniversary on Valentine’s Day, it quickly became apparent that our anniversary would never feel special; at least not if dinner out was involved. Year after year, we sit in restaurants where everyone has a rose on the table, with price fixed menus that are not up to par with usual fare, and couples sitting around attempting to feel special. I am not being cynical, really, just our observation.
Sure, we could do something different on our anniversary than dinner, but for various reasons, nothing “special” has ever occurred on that day for us. Life keeps getting in the way; like the year when I got a call from Jamie, from jail, on my way to dinner. Truthfully, life just kept happening, and so Rich and I would say, “We will do something special on our 5th anniversary.” Then, On our 10th…. 15th, 20th. So, here we are on our 20th Wedding Anniversary and today we are doing – NOTHING. We are both sick today, but we really didn’t have anything too special planned anyway. I was tempted to feel very disappointed. Twenty years! We went through some serious stuff in those 20 years, and we are still together. This is something to be celebrated.
Okay, I would be lying if I said there was no part of me that feels a bit disappointment today, but I have learned too much on this journey to allow myself to live in a state of disappointment. Today, I am extremely grateful to be blessed with Rich by my side during a nearly 20-year stretch, much of which I could never have imagined. I am thankful for our friendship. We are a team.
Choose Gratitude Over Disappointment
As I look back on the disappointments of my life, from Jamie, to our zero 20-year anniversary celebration, and everything in between…I choose gratitude. I am thankful that God has never left me alone. He has carefully removed certain people from my life and dropped others in with perfect timing. The lessons I have learned, and person I continue to become are all thanks to the “disappointments” I have experienced. Everything I am becoming is due to “everything going wrong.” As I sit today, coughing and blowing my nose, and wondering if I have an anniversary card in my card box that I can give to Rich – I am okay with my life. Even though it may seem as if everything has gone “wrong.”
Don’t Hate the Fire So Much
While there are certain things in your life that may just feel flat out, wrong, try to step back and take a look at the big picture. Be willing to learn and grow. The fire refines us, so don’t hate the fire so much. Allow life to be an adventure, that will probably not go as you planned, but that doesn’t mean it has all gone wrong.
Valerie Silveira is an award-winning author, international speaker and Beast slayer. Through the devastation of losing her daughter over and over to the addiction Beast, and finally losing her to a senseless murder, Valerie empowers others to stand up and fight for their lives. She is the creator of Nine Actions to Battle Your Beast and the Still Standing Sisterhood membership program. Valerie uses her books and Still Standing Sisterhood to guide women in their quest for happiness, peace, and purpose. She builds up women of courage who stand strong against any Beast in their lives.
Until her death in August 2016, Valerie chose to call her daughter Jamie, “Jordan.”