Astronomically, retrogrades happen as Earth is passing or being passed by other planets. A planet seemingly moving backward is an illusion, as planets always revolve around the sun in the same direction, but the appearance of retrograde motion occurs because of the relative difference in speed. Astrologically, when we try to understand the meaning of a planet moving backward, the first thing to note is that it's a fairly rare occurrence. The vast majority of planetary motion is direct, so direct becomes "normal." Most of the time, planets move in forward motion. Simply by being contrary to the normal flow, retrograde motion represents an exception, or perhaps even a challenge, to this sense of normalcy.
Since retrograde motion is so radically different than the norm, it's not a surprise that many people often experience it as disruptive. The question, then, is whether disruption is in and of itself a bad thing. In the end, a change in perspective might just give us access to an opportunity we would have missed otherwise. Viewed through this lens, perhaps retrograde misadventures can become worth it - even transformative. So, in conclusion, retrograde events are disruptive, but as a result of this disruption offer us the opportunity to reflect and change.