Disappointments are a regular part of life. We’re frequently let down even when we hold reasonable expectations. And while it’s tempting to wall off our hearts, we must learn to readjust our expectations to stay open to the fullness of joy that remains.
In big and small ways, it’s only natural to be hurt when things don’t turn out as we had hoped.
And in our disappointment it’s easy to move into all or nothing mode. Either we fully get what we originally wanted or we close ourselves down to it all. In the pain of disappointment we’re reluctant to accept any concessions.
This reaction is self-protective and mostly a reflex. We’ve been hurt and we want to protect ourselves from future pain.
But this reaction comes with a cost. In protecting ourselves from future hurt, we’re also blocking the potential of joy and goodness that is available.
Readjusting our expectations is learning to grieve what we don’t have while staying open to what is.
We don’t have to pretend we’re not disappointed. But we don’t have to let our disappointment rob us of the good that remains either.
For instance, sex with our wife might not happen when we thought it would, a friend might no longer be able to hang out as originally planned, or the holiday plans we were looking forward to won’t happen this year.
We’re disappointed and the potential of intimacy, connection, and joy remains.
Readjusting expectations allows us to stay engaged and hopeful.
We don’t have what we originally wanted, but we keep our hearts open to the infinite ways God is able to fulfill the desires of our heart.
And, to be sure, this openness keeps us from making an idol of even good things.
Be disappointed but don’t let it take you out. Readjust and stay open to the fullness of life God offers in each moment.
Photo by Mariano Nocetti on Unsplash