I laid there on my couch reeling over the words my friend had flung at me in an angry text message. My best friend had called me a liar and, in not so many words, “slow” to respond (but his tone was clearly meant as an insult about my intelligence. He had been upset over a misunderstood text I had sent earlier, and made it seem as if I was intentionally avoiding him by giving him excuses. I’m not the fastest at text messaging or anything technology based, and I had tried to explain this to him over the phone. He would not take my calls or reply kindly to my text messages. The three-hour time difference between us didn’t help things, and neither did his migraine and my pounding headache. In the end, he settled for hanging up on me and refusing to reply back to my texts. I was obviously upset by his reaction to miscommunication and misunderstanding, but I was more hurt by his disbelief and lack of trust in my word. In essence, I was hurt and disappointed.
I still love my bestie very much, but laying on the couch tossing and turning was evidence of my hurt and disappointment in how he reacted. For several hours I wallowed in that sadness and even developed feelings of anger toward him. Ultimately, however, I realized by the two o’clock early morning hour that I had to let go of these feelings. Yes, it hurt that my best friend falsely accused me, and I still believe it was out of frustration from his migraine and the day at school. But I still loved my best friend, and I was grateful for the life lessons he taught me over the years. It was this feeling of gratitude that helped me let it all go by morning’s light.
Rita Watson, MPH, wrote on this letting go with gratitude concept in Psychology Today as a way of dealing with disappointments, anxiety, and sadness (see full article at https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/love-and-gratitude/201209/disappointment-anxiety-and-sadness-letting-go-gratitude). Watson not only recognized that disappointments were a natural part of life, but they were largely out of our control. Disappointment is caused by an external force (another person or situation), but our reaction of anxiety or sadness are within our power, according to Watson. There are even layers of anxiety, sadness, and resolution over these. Again, these are our reaction. Watson states that recognizing the disappointment for what it is, and counting it as a loss for which we should be grateful are a healthier way of coping with the situation.
In my book The Last Prophet, Uriel’s Light (Book Four), our main characters journey through several stages of disappointment, anxiety, sadness, and then find peaceful resolution with the freedom of letting go of control. Each character went through stages and phases of loss, but found liberation in release.
We may have lost someone or something in the end, but being grateful for the experience and the life lesson learned from the situation are signs of psychological and emotional health. Letting go, then, by being grateful for the disappointer’s presence allows you to take control of the situation. But do know that he or she may not change, even after this recognition. Have a good cry, then move on with the liberation that gratitude brings, knowing that you have learned from the experience.
What disappointments, anxiety, or sadness do you need to let go? How will you free yourself from this control? Comment in the space provided.
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