We just had elections here in the USA. And no matter who you are, you are feeling a little disappointment about how things have turned out. Some of you had your candidate loose, and some still don’t know.
It’s been a week and things are still in the air in some states. I am feeling disappointment myself in the voting system that seems very broken.
But no matter what causes it, we all experience disappointment in our lives. It’s part of this mortal experience. And we need to learn how to manage it, since it won’t be going away at least till the next life.
So, what do you do when you are disappointed? Here are a few steps I take to help lessen the impact on my emotions and get back to a place of peace.
Prayer/ Meditation will comfort disappointment
Prayer is usually the first place I got when I am disappointed. I have learned to ask the Lord for the “why” when His answer is no. And He doesn’t disappoint me.
So, if you are feeling disappointed about something, there is a reason you didn’t get what you asked for. And the Lord is often looking out for your best benefit even if you aren’t exactly thrilled with His answers.
Seek the bright side
Knowing the Lord is in charge, and seeks your best benefit and ultimate success, leads to this next stage. Seeking the bright side can also be called looking for the reasons or the hidden blessings that come from not getting what you initially wanted.
When I was in college I ran for president of my sorority. I was so sure that I was the best one for the job and put a lot of effort into my campaign. In the end my sorority sisters voted me the vice president over membership. I was disappointed!
But as I got to know the role of VP, I realized it was right up my alley, even more so than president would have been. I had so much fun building the membership of our chapter and planning really fun events.
I was much more social than I realized before I started. It became some of the best memories from my college experience. And I wouldn’t have had that chance if I had gotten what I first thought I wanted.
Look for blessings
As we look for the blessings around us, we become more grateful for what we have. Sometimes blessings are waiting for us and are dependent on our failure. When I was in college, I wanted to go on to be a professor.
This meant I had to get a master’s degree and eventually a doctorate. But when I took the entrance exams I failed royally. Now I could have taken them again, many people do.
But this was a chance for me to reevaluate my goals. And once I did I realized that what I loved about being a professor was working with people and teaching, and there were many ways I would be able to do that didn’t require the next 8 years of my life.
So, I began looking around and eventually went a completely different route. I still get to teach, which is what I also love. And over time that disappointment became just a small bend in the road.
Get your mind off the disappointment
Probably the hardest part of disappointment is how much it consumes your thoughts when its fresh. Let’s use the example of the election for a minute. The news is all election all the time.
And if your candidate has lost it’s just making it worse to watch the other guy make his acceptance speech and listen to the news talk about the guy who lost. So, I turn off the TV and find something else to do. My disappointment is only made worse when I dwell on it.
Keep moving forward
Fortunately, the world is full of many other things aside from elections. There will always be chores to do and friends to see.
And in the long run this presidential election isn’t going to affect most of us on a personal level. It’s the local elections that create change, and we have a chance to be involved personally on that local level.
The world is full of good and bad, it’s the balance of things. So don’t let a little disappointment get you down for long. Because there is always a new adventure right around the corner. And knowing how God works, its going to give us more blessings than the route we would have chosen for ourselves anyway.
Patty thrives on all things creative. You’ll often find her in the garden pretending she is a suburban farmer. She loves meeting new people, and is devoted to her friends and family. In her heart she is a Midwesterner even though life has moved her all over the country. She believes in “blooming where you’re planted” and has found purpose in every place she has been. She has a deep and abiding love for the Savior and the Gospel of Jesus Christ. And she loves editing LDS Blogs because it is a constant spiritual uplift. Not many people can say their job builds their witness of the Savior.