Elections come and go. Winners laud their supports; losers often blame those who failed to support them. We see too often the failure to accept responsibility for our defeats, but with self-examination lessons emerge that can teach each of us about ourselves.
Somber moods often begin with disappointment. We didn’t win. We didn’t get what we wanted. We failed at an important test or task. A normal feeling is to be disappointed, but the difference in a healthy response and an unhealthy one shows up immediately. My healthy choice is to discover the ways I failed to achieve my goals and to accept the responsibility for those. An unhealthy reaction is to blame someone or everyone else for my failure to succeed.
Disappointment can lead to depression, a further downward spiral in the emotional life! Again we can face the feelings with good resources and take steps to overcome this mental condition in a number of ways. Taking action steps can help produce positive feelings. It may be something as simple as an invigorating walk around the block. Occasionally it requires translating anger into action by punching a bag or expressing my protests verbally in a safe setting. At the root of any action is the choice to do something for myself and not slip into the victim mentality.
Unchecked depression spirals on into despair. When I look at all the things around me, I can fail to express the confidence to make changes. A Scottish preacher asked one of his congregation, “How are you today?” The answer was, “not bad, under the circumstances.” His reply was, “Why are you living there?” When one gives up to despair, the spiral down may lead to death, either through disease or self-inflicted death. An unchecked downward mental spiral rarely leads to positive results.
If you find yourself slipping downward emotionally, today is the day to begin to apply the brakes of healthy choices.