Not Today

dealing with disappointment

Photo courtesy of George Gvasalia

Photo courtesy of George Gvasalia


None of us like it.

None of us want it.

And yet...

one way or another,

at some point in our life,

we all experience it.


whether we admit it or not,

one way or another,

at some point in our life,

WE will be perceived as the cause of someone else's disappointment.


It would seem that there is no running away from it.

Perhaps then, disappointment is simply part of the human experience.

If we take a closer look, however, we quickly realize that, at its foundation, disappointment relies heavily upon expectation...or rather thwarted expectation for it to come alive.

Of course!


We are rife with it in our lives. 

In fact, having expectations seems like the most natural thing in the world, non?

But why?

Well, it would seem that we may have a predisposition toward expectations.

You see,

many of our most fundamental and primary interactions with the world rely upon expectation in order that we may function.

For example,

we expect the laws of gravity to hold up (so to speak);

we expect our parasympathetic system to breathe and work our bodies without conscious thought;


we expect our conscious mind and thoughts to control our physical movements.

These fundamental expectations create a world that appears to be predictable, reliable and within our control.

Perhaps then, it is no surprise that we innocently assume the 'laws' of expectation extend also to every other facet of our lives.

Except they don't.

You see,

we can't control the actions or inactions of other people

we can't control the worldview of other people

we can't control the thoughts or beliefs or perceptions of other people.

Nor can we control

acts of God




dumb luck


blind luck

or even

good luck.

And yet...we try...

we try so very very hard to control and account for ALL OF IT.


what is there to do with disappointment?

Perhaps we begin with the basics.

We begin by recognizing that

disappointment is simply a feeling -

a sensation felt within the body

created by thought;


the longer we focus on such thoughts -

the longer we will experience feelings of disappointment

No one comes out of life without experiencing some disappointments. It’s just part of the human experience.

But what is beautiful about everything we experience, including disappointment, is that each and every time we have the opportunity to see, think, feel and thus experience something new…without anything else changing.

And so, even in the midst of disappointment, a new perspective may gift us with the grace or freedom or gratitude we never knew was possible.

Lana Bastianutti