I write this for one of my grandchildren. As much as I want to “fix” all problems, I cannot. Not only is fixing life impossible, but I know I would rob that precious young person of an opportunity to learn — to stretch — to grow stronger.
No one gets immunity from challenges and disappointments. With my background in education, I envision everything as a potential lesson. Numerous personal experiences have indicated to me that if I don’t get the lesson the first time around, a similar circumstance will show up to provide a second try.
Maturity proves to be golden even with the challenges of the aging process. The longer I live, the more pieces of the puzzle fall into place. Below, I share some strategies I’ve used when disappointed.
I remind myself that life happens. Although I have no control over outer events, the weather, or other people, I do have control over my own attitude. If I need to cry or vent, I allow myself to do so without getting stuck in the sadness or fear. (Getting stuck produces depression.)
Our thoughts cause our moods. With effort and determination, I can choose to think about an idea that brings pleasure. I can choose to believe that something better will emerge out of the disappointment.
When feeling upset, I write gratitude lists by naming all the reasons to be thankful.
I remember that each challenge provides an opportunity to learn. (Occasionally, I protest that I have learned quite enough, thank you.)
Moving my body helps. I walk, exercise, swim, or pull weeds.
I remember that other people struggle with their own lessons. When I calculate ways to help others, my own disappointments fade away.
Each one of us gets opportunities to learn and to rise above the daily grind. Life continues to happen and I continue to have no control over outer circumstances. Grandchildren face struggles and although I frantically wave the magic wand, my inability to produce a desired outcome continues.
To my grandchild — You recently got a chance for a new lesson. Although you didn’t get what you wanted, I trust that you will find a winning solution. Life has a plan for you. Be open. Remain positive.
Believe in yourself and listen to the inner voice that guides you to your highest good. That inner voice comes from a Divine Source. If you don’t learn the lesson this time, have no fear. More chances will be available to you. And by the way, when faced with future disappointments, it won’t hurt to try some of your grandmother’s six ideas listed above.
Chernoff, Marc. “7 Ways to Change Your Attitude When You Can’t Change Anything Else.” Medical Guardian. 2015.