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.