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  • Writer's pictureJason Korsiak


"I just don't know how I'm supposed to feel."

Over and over, whenever someone shares their disappointment with me, they tend to say some variation of those words. Have you? I know I sure have.

Wikipedia defines disappointment as "the feeling of dissatisfaction that follows the failure of expectations or hopes to manifest."

I have been wrestling with disappointment a lot lately.

As many of you know, my grandmother passed away a few days ago. We weren't close, so her passing left me with questions over what I could have done differently or better, and how I robbed myself of the relationship I could have had but now cannot.

Even today, a different close family member made another in a long line of poor choices against their own medical best interest -- after nights I spent praying this time would be different.

I am disappointed in myself for not having saved more in better times.

I am disappointed in myself for thinking that just because one business model worked in days of abundance that it would work in days of famine, and for not setting other legs of my long-term plans in motion sooner.

I am disappointed because I expect more of myself and hope more for those I love.

"I just don't know how I'm supposed to feel."

Ah, but there is the rub.

The truth is, you aren't *supposed* to feel any way about anything.

Feelings are neither right nor wrong.

Opinions can be right or wrong.

Actions can be right or wrong.

Words can be right or wrong.

What does that even mean? What is right or wrong?

Right or wrong is the difference between productive or unproductive.

Healthy or unhealthy.

Informed or ignorant.

Positive or negative

And what is positive or negative? Does it mean pleasant or unpleasant, as many of us assume?


Positive and negative means "add to" and "take away from."

Sometimes, the most positive things in the world are the most unpleasant.

Ask any athlete to show you their scars.

Ask any guitar player to show you his fingers.

Ask any ballerina to show you her bruised feet.

Ask anyone who survived emergency surgery.

Your heart is the thermometer. Your feelings are the temperature of your soul. They are neither right nor wrong. They are the truth of where you are.

Your brain is the thermostat, setting the temperature you want.

What temperature do you want in your soul?

Are your responses to disappointment positive (adding to your peace) or negative (taking away from your peace)?

That, rather than how you should be feeling, is the better question. Not what you should feel but what you should think and do about it.

But to answer the question, how should you feel?


You should feel honestly.

If you are wrestling with your own feelings of disappointment, go easy on yourself. Spare yourself questions designed only to make you feel worse. Add to your peace, don't take away from it. Circumstances do that well enough without your help.

And remember, sometimes air conditioners break. The thermostat just can't bring the temperature down no matter how hard it tries. There is no shame in making a service call to a pastor or counselor. In fact, some routine maintenance will keep it running a lot longer. Then, you won't worry about what you shouldn't feel because the only thing you'll feel is better.

Upward and Forward.

A Queens native, Jason grew up in Lakeland, FL and attended Rochelle School of the Arts before moving to Florida's Nature Coast, where he resides. He always dreamed of being a storyteller, and he graduated Magna Cum Laude from Saint Leo University with a BA in Psychology and a Minor in Religion. He has been a professional guest speaker for thirteen years, talking at churches, graduations, and as a guest lecturer at Pasco-Hernando State College. Check out his books here.

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