Recently my grandson Fitz exploded into tears because his mother asked him to hold his brother’s hand for a photo. He did not want to hold his brother’s hand!
A young granddaughter “pitched a fit” because an older sibling looked at her in the wrong way.
A touch and a look equaled tragedy for these kids.
Their parents knew it was not a big deal. It just felt like it to the kids at that moment. They would get over it.
You may have a teenage son whose heart has been broken by a girl who said “no” to going out. Or a daughter who thinks her life is over because she did not get into her first choice of colleges.
It’s not just toddlers and teens; it’s us, too. Something has not turned out the way you wanted it to, a rejection makes you feel like your future just flew out the window, a loss seems devastating, a fear paralyzes.
How To Handle Disappointment
In the ordinary disappointments of life it’s easy to lose perspective. (I’m not talking about serious tragedies here, but about the day in and day out stuff that frustrates us and makes us angry.)
Often I behave like my grandson. I “pitch a fit” over something that ultimately I’ll realize is not as big a deal as I thought it was.
Sometimes I ask myself, How will I look back at this in five days? In five years? One day I’ll look back on this situation with a bit of perspective. But now it stinks, so what can I do?
Four things help restore perspective for us and for our kids:
- Remember that time often heals wounds and soothes disappointments. Give it time. Joy will return.
- Do something that has nothing to do with your situation. Visit a museum, see a good movie, spend time with other people—even if you don’t feel like it. Life is not all about us.
- Go for a hike and ponder all the things you see, hear, smell, and sense from God’s creation—things that we too often miss in our hurried lives. When we observe how creative He is, our perspective is changed.
- Remember that God is big. He knows, He understands, and He has a plan for each one of us. He is good. He and He alone sees the whole picture. We see only in part.
Sometimes when I need a dose of perspective I read Ephesians 1 and underline everything God is and everything He has done. I am always encouraged. (This is great to do with kids as well.)
I pray also that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, and his incomparably great power for us who believe.
Editor’s note: Check out Susan’s site every Wednesday for a blog post and sign up to receive “One word,” a twice-a-week e-mail on one character trait of God. FB: @susanalexanderyates T: @susanayates P: @susan2187