Sunday, January 10, 2010

Disappointment? Stop it!

I learned the concept of the Deadly D's from Kay Arthur years ago. She discusses them in detail in her book, As Silver Refined, as a layered strategy with a military analogy. A life-deadening spiral. And she describes how to do battle.

1. Disappointment. It all starts here. Something you expected or hoped for fell through. Something happened you didn't expect. Maybe an irritating rumble. Maybe a shattering life quake.

2. Discouragement. Rather than facing the situation or learning from it, you want to quit trying. Give up. Turn tail. Run like the cowardly lion. Skedaddle. Hide.

3. Dejection. You feel like a leaking birthday balloon. Tired. Wrung out emotionally, physically, spiritually. Stuck in the pit. Sinking in the quicksand. And you don't really care.

4. Despair. You've lost your last ounce of strength. You've lost the last thread of hope. You can't see any way out of the mire.

5. Demoralization. You've sunk to the very bottom. You've lost any sense of confidence or purpose. You've accepted defeat. You're disgusted with yourself. You abandon all normal function and responsibility. You're undisciplined and live in a state of disorder and confusion. You might run in circles, make bad decisions, or just bury yourself deep in bed. Or even worse.

Certainly, the last 3 steps are stages of depression, and if they persist, a doctor visit is in order.

But for the most part, when I find myself heading toward the dungeon, I've finally figured out that I just have to stop it. Can't let those pity parties last very long. When I'm sitting in the middle of the rubble, whether of my own making or something else, I need to get my eyes off myself and off the situation and back on who is ultimately in control. And that's not me. I need to frisk my thoughts. And the sooner the better.

I'm learning to look at each disappointment as an appointment from God to bring me closer to Him and allow Him to do His refining work in my life. Every loss can bring gain.

I'm not at the point, I don't think, of actually embracing disappointments, but I can at least acknowledge them, maybe even shake hands with them. And yes, even thank Him for them, even if I don't feel like it.

Hope lives because He is my hope. Peace abounds because He is my peace. I can count it all joy because He is my joy.

How do you deal with disappointments?

But as for me, I trust in You, O Lord; I say, "You are my God." My times are in your hand. Psalm 31:14-15a NASB

"We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance. And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation. And this hope will not lead to disappointment. For we know how dearly God loves us, because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love." Romans 5:3-5 (NLT)

But as for me, I will hope continually, and will praise you yet more and more. Psalm 71:14 NASB

Copyright © 2010 by Sandra Heska King


SharonB said...

A wonderful reminder this morning! It was a cause for praise for it's been quite a long time since I've gotten beyond Discouragement.

I have learned also to recognize the steps, patterns and lies that will ALWAYS lead to the down ward spiral. It's so important to just stop, evaluate where you are, what you are thinking and speak truth. And if I can't "hear" truth I need to call a friend. :-)

Really it's about making a choice, am I going to choose to serve God reqardless of my cirmcumstance or am I going to bed and pulling the covers over my head?!

Thanks again dear sister...

Sandra Heska King said...

This whole concept has transformed my thinking. I don't very often make it even to discouragement these days, and when I do, I just enjoy it for a day or two. :) It IS a choice.

I like the "calling a friend" part, too. Too often we try to put on our masks.

Linda Yezak said...

I love Kay Authur, love her teaching on TV. Thanks for this post, Sandy!

Sandra Heska King said...

I've learned so much from Kay! Used to sit under her teaching live and in person years ago in Georgia and on "the ranch." I think of her as my spiritual mom. She still rocks!

Eileen Astels Watson said...

I pray lots and seek to find something positive out of the disappointment. Usually I find the nugget to pull me back up fairly quickly, other times I left to wallow in self-pity for a bit before getting myself in check. Oh what fun we have.

Sandra Heska King said...

Good to see you, Eileen! Yes, it's good to keep a positive mindset. Sometimes a short pity party can be kind of fun, though--as long as we get ourselves in check quickly.

Katie Ganshert said...

Great Bible verses! Thanks for those, Sandra!

Sandra Heska King said...

Remembering that my times are in His hand and that everything He allows is meant to strengthen me and mold me into His image certainly makes disappointments more manageable!

Thanks for stopping by, Katie!

Jody Hedlund said...

Love this thought! I think there is this line we can cross with our depression. And maybe some of us are wired to cross it sooner and quicker. But as you said, when we're nearing it, when need to just stop, pull ourselves up, and focus on our blessings. For me, it really helps to get busy doing something else and take my mind off the thing that is especially difficult. Then when I face it again, I have a renewed perspective.

Sandra Heska King said...

That's the Eleanor way, Jody. Apparently she got busy when she was feeling down.

I like the idea of not getting busy to just hide from it but to gain a fresh perspective in order to face it.

"Work is always the antidote to depression." ~Eleanor Roosevelt

Jeannie Campbell, LMFT said...

thanks for the follow! this looks like such a fun blog, sandra. dealing with disappointments is so difficult, and yes, those last three stages are usually when i see someone in my office. but it sure wouldn't hurt to seek help in the first two stages...before things get too bad. my 2 cents. :)

The Character Therapist

Sandra Heska King said...

Hi Jeannie! Thanks for stopping by and for the follow. I'll gladly take your 2 cents and more. And you're right. It never hurts to seek counsel even in the early stages of the spiral. In fact, I've done that myself. And it only took a handful of sessions to regain my balance.

I've found staying physically healthy is another great way to be prepared and do battle. It's harder to slam the door on those daily disappointments when I'm too exhausted to even give it a weak push.

Elizabeth Mahlou said...

I deal with disappointment by going on to the next dream and leaving the old one behind. I am an incurable optimist.

Sandra Heska King said...

It's a good plan. Death begets life. Thanks for commenting.

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