I am dealing with a big disappointment on a project.
I have felt let down and hurt.
I should be used to disappointment, right? For years after the car accident, every visit to doctors and therapists was full of hope, followed by the crushing realization that my hopes were unrealistic.
Some injuries don’t heal that quickly. Some careers, some projects, even some relationships, are not recoverable. One finally learns to live with the realities, to work with or around the limitations. To set about creating a new life.
“Ancora imparo”, an elderly artist once said. (I am still learning.) I, too, am still learning, still remembering. That even when one puts all the plans and arrangements in place, something can still go wrong.
I’m reminded, too, that good often follows bad. In my earlier years, I yearned for certain things, was discouraged when they didn’t materialize, only to achieve something better later on.
Not always immediately, of course. Sometimes, great effort is required. Sometimes, there seems no end to the bad. Life has taught me that too. But good does eventually follow bad. If we don’t believe that, what’s the point of living?
I believe in prayer. I do so knowing that prayer isn’t always meant to change the heart of God, but the heart of the one who prays. So this, of course, is a time of prayer.
I believe in the kindness of others. That the consolation provided by a small group of caring people goes a long way.
And I believe, when disappointed, that one must honestly acknowledge the emotions, acknowledge the hurt. It does no good to lie to oneself: your heart knows the truth.
And then it is time to focus on more positive things, such as the blessings all around me. There is so much to give thanks for.
One of those blessings is my own capacity to help others. In my darkest times, in those bad years, I had lost sight of that. More recently, and again in the last few weeks, I’ve been reminded that in the midst of my own disappointment, I can help others.
And so I have. In recent weeks, I’ve helped friends. Helped a stranger too. All unasked.
It’s not entirely altruistic, you know. When I help others, it uplifts me. It reminds me that I have the power and the gift to help. In other words: it’s a present to myself.
Dedicated to all who are dealing with disappointment, and searching for the faith and strength to move forward.
81 thoughts on “Let Down, Looking Up”
I’m sorry to hear about the set-back on your project. Your post contains very wise words that I probably needed to read today, Cynthia. Thanks!
Couldn’t have said it better, Becky.
Thank you, Helen.
You’re welcome, Becky. And thanks for telling me that. Wishing you a good week.
Can’t “like” this one, Cynthia. Alas, life is full of disappointments, and some of them are crushing. We pick ourselves up and move on, even though it isn’t easy. Yes, acknowledge the hurt. I found this post so inspiring. What a treasure you are. And I sure do hope that the project can go forward, despite the setback. Best, best, Cynthia!
Thanks, Laurie. Very much.
Disappointment is underestimated until it hits you. You helped me recently. I sent of my assessment of a manuscript yesterday. I hope there is an upturn in your fortunes very soon.
I’m glad to hear about the assessment, Hilary. We help each other, sometimes not even knowing.
Cynthia, I am so sorry to hear your news. I think we all know how we ‘should’ deal with these kinds of set backs, but that does not always make it an easy process. Your reflections remind me of this quote from Seneca – “A good person dyes events with his own color…and turns whatever happens to his own benefit.” As you say, it is good to seek out the blessings in our lives and take comfort from them. Sending love and hugs xxx
What a great quote. I admire people who can change gears immediately; wish I could! You’re so right — we think we should know how to deal with disappointment but I find that I have to go through the process if it’s something important.
Martin Luther King Jr. once said, “We must accept finite disappointment but never lose infinite hope.” Get those feelings up and out with someone who will not judge, lecture or plop a scripture verse on top of this disappointment pile and tell you to move on. Disappointment can tend to temporarily move a person into a place of withdrawal – that’s what happens to me – and if so, let it be…for a time. Sit in it. Learn what you need to learn from it. Notice/pay attention to when it’s time to shift and only then, continue on.
Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful. Hebrews 10.23
Well said, Diane. Thank you.
I’m so sorry to hear this. Take solace and know we all hit potholes on the road of life, though some holes may be deeper than others. Yet we trudge on and continue to set our sights on better times ahead, which there will be. Chin up and trudge forward! Take full advantage of friends and family’s help and guidance along the way for you are not alone. The powers that be will be with you as well. Take care, huge hug sent and keep the faith! Xo
Thank you, Christine, for this kind encouragement. It’s great to hear from you and thanks for the visit.
So sorry that you’re facing continuing challenges, Cynthia. I like your take on the effectiveness of prayer. That’d something I hadn’t thought about. It’s good that you’ve been able to help others of late. It always does your heart good to know that you’ve blessed someone along life’s way. xx
So true. It does the heart good. Sometimes, when we feel the hurt of disappointment, it’s so easy to stay in the valley and so hard to see beyond our own feelings.
I am sorry to hear of your disappointment Cynthia. But i like they way you face it and i think your wise words and observations will help others.
Thank you. That’s why I wrote this post. Having been through various challenges, my disappointment surprised me. So I stopped to see what I was doing to get through it, and thought: hey, maybe others would benefit from reading this! Turns out that’s true. Have a great week.
Cynthia, know that you are a constant inspiration to me. The ways in which you have faced adversity are remarkable, not just to me, but I’m sure to many others too. In spite of everything, I hear only joy when I speak with you. This setback is just that – not a disaster, but a mere setback from which you will emerge stronger. Something good is bound to follow. Loving thoughts. xxx
Thank you, Carol, for this wise and caring response. As you know, I decided some time ago to accentuate the joyful and funny moments of life. Turns out there is also wisdom to be gained and shared from the tough moments too. Thanks for sharing your wisdom, my friend.
Cynthia – you are a constant inspiration to me as well. Last year I decided to try for a job painting a mural locally in Florida. Really put my heart into designing, drawing and coloring a scale version and did not get the job – later realizing I would have to paint an artistic picture on a board fence in 90 degree heat with 90 percent humidity…One of my favorite Garth Brooks songs is ‘Unanswered Prayers” https://www.songfacts.com/lyrics/garth-brooks/unanswered-prayers.
Thanks for sharing this, Amy. What a great reminder about unanswered prayers. And I just read the lyrics and listened to the song. Right on.
I’m sorry to hear about your recent disappointment, Cynthia. My prayer life has gotten me through some difficult times. I’m a firm believer that prayer can change things. I’ll be praying for you.
Thank you, Jill, for this comment about the power of prayer. And thanks for your prayers. Please say one for the person who couldn’t come through too. Though I don’t quite understand it, I feel quite sure that person would not deliberately hurt me, so I know there’s a need there.
Thanks for sharing, Cynthia. Love and prayers… ❤
Thank you, Bette.
You have a great attitude Cynthia. I appreciate your wisdom and reminders. May we keep looking up despite our letdowns.
Thank you, Brad. I know you’ve had your share of disappointments, yet you keep looking up. So you’re having a good influence on me!
Thanks for expanding my view to remind me that it’s a mutual joy and support. I’m grateful to be connected with you. ❤
I’m hoping things turn around quickly, but the timing of this is interesting. I’ve have some personal challenges over the last two weeks so consider the fact that you just helped me with this post. Thank you. ❤️
Thanks, Judy, for saying this. You know: that was the main reason for sharing this post, because I usually accentuate the positive. And I figured that life should have taught me how to deal with any disappointment by now. But when I realized how much the experience hurt, and the ways in which I was trying to cope, I knew there was something worth sharing here. Thanks for the reinforcement and I’m wishing you the best in dealing with your challenges.
So many wise loving comments here, Cynthia! I’m sorry for your disappointment, but in your writing, I can feel you moving forward and moving along–who knows in what good direction.
You’re so right, Lisa. I’m working at moving on from the hurt and into more positive territory. I could not have shared this experience otherwise. Great to hear from you and I hope you’ll have a lovely week.
Thanks, Cynthia. I hope things keep looking up–at whatever pace works.
I too faced a big disappointment a few days ago and despair came calling. But some voice inside told me not to give in, to find another way to move forward. And as I grappled with possibilities, I thought of you and how hard you have worked to make your voice heard in your work. Truly I planned to contact you for advice and encouragement. Looking up and out is a good place to start. Thanks for that. Perhaps later (or sooner) might be a good time to connect and learn how to make my own voice heard. For now take good care.
I’m thankful that you shared this, Marie. Not always sure about my own advice, but encouragement I have lots of! Of course, I’ll help.
Lovely post, Cynthia. Your faith and hope shine through the disappointment. Surely there is light at the other end of the tunnel!
I hope so! One way or another, and I am hoping for that light to shine more brightly, soon. Thanks for your kind response.
A profound response to disappointment. May all be recovered
Thank you, Derrick. A big disappointment is like a small grief. We go through some of the same process.
I want to know who disappointed you. Name names–that person can answer to me, and all of us! I’m not as good and forgiving a person as you are, it’s clear . . .
Ah, Kerry! Thank you. Please spare a good thought for that person, too: I am quite sure that the person who disappointed me is dealing with their own challenges, or this wouldn’t have happened.
May something better come along as you look up. We are all so sorry for your disappointment. I agree, that when we help others, we help ourselves. Peace and love to you!
Thanks, as always, Jo Nell, for this supportive response. I am grateful.
I’m sorry about the disappointment you’re experiencing, but I’m glad you found opportunities to help others. It’s always uplifting when we can do that.
Well said. Uplifting, and reminds me that in the midst of bad, I have power to do good.
This post resonates with me, Cynthia! I love the idea of helping others, and you are right that it does uplift us. One idea that someone mentioned always brings a blessing: paying for the items that the person behind you bought at a fast food drive thru! I have enjoyed doing that, although I learned to ask how much it was, since once it was about fifty dollars! Fun though. Sending best hopes for future blessings and joys. Disappointment is so difficult to deal with, and yet if we can manage to resolve that, I think we are way ahead in any game.
How uplifting to read this, Carla. What a lovely thing to do. Thanks for sharing your experience, and your kind thoughts. I am grateful.
I’m very sorry to hear about your disappointment Cynthia, but helping others seems a very positive way of feeling better.
Thank you, Andrea. Wishing you a good week, and lots of beautiful writing.
I am glad you are looking up and able to acknowledge and share your hurt and disappointment. I treasure your words and friendship. Kia Kaha.
And I treasure yours. Thank you!
Thank you for these wise words, Cynthia. They are a comfort to me.
You are always in my thoughts and prayers.
You are such a good friend, Lavinia. Thank you very much.
You have a great heart, may more of us be like you. I’m not sure your situation, however, my son was assaulted and was left with a concussion. It pained me to see him suffering with symptoms and the Dr was into let’s see how this plays out, but after seven weeks I couldn’t watch him missing out on his life. I took him to an Osteopath and within five minutes of OMT therapy he could move his neck back to normal. He remains symptom free. Again, I don’t know the specifics of your situation but I can tell you I saw the difference in a Dr who actually touched and healed my son. Courage to you!
I’m so very grateful for your note and I thank you for taking the time to write it. Wishing you a great week and keep writing! Great posts.
And I am saddened by what your son went through but I also thank you for the suggestion.
I often read that when we do not get what we want, it is because either the time isn’t right or we are meant to have something better. I believe, with your true and loving heart, Cynthia, surely something better is on the horizon for you, and that your disappointment will heal. Stay strong, my friend.
Thank you, my friend. Among other things, I realize that maybe I needed to retreat and reflect.
A beautiful and inspirational post Cynthia. 🙂 I do believe good comes after bad, just like karma finds her way to those who’ve done wrong. 🙂
Thank you very much, Debby. It takes a lot of empathy, but I always imagine something must have gone very wrong with the other person. Plus, I learn that I am not as disappointment proof as I thought!
I am so sorry you have been disappointed. I think disappointments are greater when other people are involved. We can be quite philosophical when only our pride is hurt; when a personal plan has gone wrong and no-one else is involved. When a scheme that fails involves others we either have to break bad news and feel guilty or, as I see in this case, someone else has not been able to do what they said they’d do. This makes us feel very emotional; not just disappointment but shock, anger, doubt, sadness and terrible insecurity. The shock stops us in our tracks and we are unable to make any sense of things. I have to block any thoughts about what has happened until the time is right to begin analysing not only what has occurred but my personal reaction to it.
You, as ever, are doing what you do best. You are sharing your thoughts with kindness and with the hope that you can help others in a similar situation. You are always in my prayers, my dear friend. God will help you come to terms with this disappointment and He will help you find a new path. With each setback we hope to gain a little more wisdom and strength. xx
Dear Clare: You are such a thoughtful and wise woman. Thank you for understanding the feeling, and my effort to make something good come from it. I have been praying for my colleague who was unable to come through on time, and sending good wishes. Thank you for the prayers. I am grateful to know you. And I look forward to reading about Advent preparations at church on your blog! What a lovely little church.
Thank you, Cynthia. Church life is full of difficulties at present. In the dry weather this summer we found large cracks appearing in the east wall of the church and the floor tiles have begun cracking too. We have had an architect look at the damage and a conservative estimate of the work involved is £4000. The architect pointed out a number of other faults that need attention in the very near future. We are still without a priest after nearly 16 months and no likelihood of one in the near future. I am taking a Morning Prayer service on 9th December (I took my first one in the summer – scary!) and Richard is planning and will take the Carol Service on 23rd December. We will not be able to attend the Advent Sunday service as we will be in Sheffield. Alice and Phil get married on 1st December and we have to leave Sheffield the next morning earlier than the service at Sheffield cathedral. I have managed to persuade my brother to take Mum to church that day. She has decided that Sheffield is too far for her to travel so won’t be attending the wedding.
May I wish you a peaceful Advent, my dear friend.
I’m just had the privilege of connecting with you know so I don’t know everything about your dreams and projects, but I’m sorry to hear you have been disappointed. I was raised catholic but ow consider myself more like an Agnostic. So don’t know if I should call it God’s will, fate, karma, but most of the times I had huge failures/disappointments the paths I took because of them were better than the alternative. I guess it’s a way to say “things sometimes happen for the best” I know it’s not always, but I do hope somehow this is the case for you.
Sorry the project went awry but at least in your gifts to yourself, some good has come out of it. I so agree about getting what you need, sometimes, rather than what you want. As you know, like yourself, I suffer from chronic pain which is extremely irritating. Every third Sunday at my church, we do healing. I ask for healing for others in my life who are sick and healing for myself.
Unfortunately, the pain is just as much of a nagging irritating as usual, but the weight of responsibility I carry in relation to the other sick folks I pray for … it hasn’t altered, but it feels as if it’s been lifted. There was a point last year when I thought I was going to go under and it happened to be the week for healing. After the session, something in my mind just seemed to switch itself on. My mental attitude completely altered I was able to accept the situation – something I knew I needed to do but hadn’t managed in ten years – and then I just began to pick up the pieces and put them back together. These days, I’m either coping better than I believed I ever could, or I’m dangerously detached and about to have some kind of psychotic melt down. Mwahawhahahargh!
But whatever it is, I’m absolutely convinced that what did it was the prayer. As the Rolling Stones very wisely sang, ‘You can’t always get what you want, but when you try, sometimes, you might find, you get what you need.’
I hope the feelings of sadness and disappointment soon pass and that you are full of beans again!
I usually take part in the healing service, too, MT, and it’s remarkable how peaceful I leave there feeling, no matter how bad the pain. I knew the prayer was working for me when I started spending more time praying for the person who let me down, and less for a great outcome for myself. Praying made me put myself in that person’s place, in a meaningful way.
I am still recovering my beans, and your reply is one of my ‘helpers’. Thanks, as always, MT. I don’t think you’re headed for a psychotic meltdown: I think your sense of humour has also been a great outlet for you — and for me! Even when your posts are serious, you always inject some hilarity, which makes me smile or laugh out loud. That’s a great gift, my friend. To yourself and others.
Thank you. That’s a lovely thing to say. I’m glad my reply helped with bean replenishment and t’ing. I think without my sense of humour I’d probably have topped myself ages ago. Honestly, I’m such a moron that you can’t really be me unless you are able to laugh at yourself a LOT.
Well you just made me grin again. You are something else, MT!
Cynthia – I am so sorry to hear about your latest news, stay strong and keep your energy moving forward. We must accept finite disappointment, but never lose infinite hope.
Sorry to hear of this. But keep going. Don’t lose hope and focus.
What a beautiful and uplifting post, Cynthia. You have definitely conquered the hardest part. The Lord knows our needs and it might not always be what we think it is. I, too, have experienced the disappoint where you try and try and do everything “right” but it still doesn’t work out. Only to be blessed later with something much better. Keep the faith, my friend! ❤
Sorry to hear of your disappointment. In life, I have found, it’s 7 times down and 8 times up. I send you beautiful thoughts on which to float.
And I am grateful for your thoughts. Thank you!
Sorry about the disappointment,
Helping others is one of the most rewarding things we can do
Beautifully written post, Cynthia. I’m sorry for your disappointment. I hope there will be a blessing around the corner for you! Change is hard, but you have a great attitude. 🙂
Thank you, Patsy, for this lovely message.
You’re welcome, Cynthia. ❤
I’m sorry to hear about your project but as always you spring back with a positive outlook. You are such an inspiration!