What do you do with disappointment? Do you bury it, or minimize it? Pretend it’s not there or that it’s not really that bad? Do you compare what you’re going through to other’s struggles?
There are different levels of disappointment and it’s easy to get frustrated and even feel guilty when disapoinment sets in. We tell ourselves all kinds of things:
- “There are worse things.”
- “Other people are going through a lot tougher things than I am.”
- “I shouldn’t let this get me down.”
It’s so easy to minimize this emotion and what results from it; so easy to just bury it.
What happened near the end of my son Dylan’s junior basketball season is an example. Dylan had been playing great basketball and was featured in the sports section of our local paper. He was averaging more than 21 points a game and had broken the school scoring record. Colleges were taking notice. The team was really starting to come together.
On the same day the newspaper article was published, Dylan was injured. He was immobilized for several weeks and was not able to play in a big game against his rival. Recovery was slow and frustrating. We had to tell some college coaches to not come watch him play. It felt like his dream that he had worked so hard for was at risk. It just felt heavy.
Disappointment for him. Disappointment for us. It got me down — real down.
Now, I know there are worse things. We have lived through worse things with our kids. It’s just basketball, right? It’s not that important. Some would say, “Get over it. Look what others are going through.”
The pressure from the outside would be to bury it, minimize it and try not to feel it…to spiritualize it…
Somehow, that doesn’t feel like the right answer.