Written by Evi Idoghor
Have you ever heard the expression “don't cry over spilled milk?” This is a true saying because there is nothing you can do to recover the milk once it has gotten all over the place, and crying won't help. Although it is beneficial to have a good cry every now and then in order to release those emotions. One might wonder, “What do you know about disappointments?” Hmmm...I've had a lot of it in my time on this planet. From rejection emails from companies after you've applied for a job that say, We're sorry, but we decided to move along with a more qualified candidate, to rejections from men, to being deported. (You read that correctly.)
When these things occur, you frequently wonder if you are the only one experiencing them. You open social media and discover people who are living their best lives. They're traveling the world, spending money on their pleasures, posting pictures of matching Christmas pajamas with their lovers, and landing all the deals you wish you had, and you're thinking to yourself, “God, when are things going to turn around for me?” When you peel back the layers of what you're experiencing, you'll find gems that will change your outlook on life. In today's article, I'll share six ways I've dealt with disappointments. Let's get started:
1. Accept disappointments are a part of life: Here’s a shocker: what you’re going through isn't unusual. People get disappointed in various aspects of life. It could be the result of unfulfilled expectations or a personal failure. Whatever the case may be, it happens, and you have to deal with it.
2. Allow yourself time to grieve over it and then move on: some people don’t like to spend time grieving over what is lost. They tend to brush it under the rug and move on to the next thing. They can't, however, give their all to what comes next because they haven't healed from the past. It's like entering a new relationship just a few weeks after leaving a toxic one. Because of the baggage you carry, I doubt the next one will last long.
3. Learn the lesson your disappointment presents: There are always gems hidden in the midst of our disappointments and failures. It felt like death when I was deported (or rather, removed from the United States). It destroyed the safety net I had built for myself over the previous 11 years. However, that experience was jam-packed with life lessons, one of which was that telling a lie can have disastrous consequences (something you don't learn in school, haha).
4. Surround yourself with supportive people: Oh my goodness, I am a blessed girl! God has blessed me with an incredible family and friends. They held my hand as I went through the difficult season of being deported, and they did not pass judgment on me. My brother would tease me now and then, but it was all in good fun. I had one of my friends call me from the US every day with her regular phone (not whatsapp oh) just to check on how I was doing. The others packed my apartment and shipped my belongings back to me. What better people could I ask for?
“A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for adversity.” Proverbs 17:17
5. Pray: This was difficult for me to do while dealing with the disappointment of being deported, because I was disappointed with God. I felt He let me down because He “did not” respond to my cries for help. However, I believe it was the prayers of others that helped me get through that difficult time. In retrospect, I am relieved that things turned out the way they did. Isn't it typical of God not to provide us with what we think we need? He knows what is best for us, no matter how difficult things appear to be at the time.
6. Keep moving forward: Just because one door closes does not mean the end of your life or the end of the world. You must be willing to try new things. You might be good at something else other than the thing that didn't work out. I have a bachelor's degree in chemical engineering. After many doors were slammed in my face while trying to find work, I gave up on my dream of working for one of Houston's best engineering firms and traveling the world. The white picket fence, as well as the husband, who was an American citizen, had to go.
Then I tried my hand at writing. I started this journey in Lagos. I believe that if my deportation had not occurred, I would not have discovered this gift. It wasn't on my to-do list. So, instead of wallow in your sorrow, pick yourself up, dust your clothes, and keep moving forward by God's grace (So Nigerian of me to say this).
Even the best of us experience disappointments. While it can be a harrowing experience, it is not novel. If handled correctly, you can use the gems gathered from that season of life to shape your future.
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