“One’s best success comes after their greatest disappointments.” - Henry Ward Beecher
“Disappointment is the nurse of wisdom.” - Bayle Roche
It is human to develop hopes and expectations in people, places and things. We rely on the word of our fellows and move toward goals and objectives accordingly. But things change, and regardless how pure of heart we keep ourselves we still develop expectations and thus will always know disappointments. Whether it is a relationship, a business venture or a mutual objective we will know discouragement to the degree that we have ourselves financially, mentally and emotionally vested. The resulting feelings can be crushing – old fears of exclusion, abandonment, self-worth and financial insecurity are awakened. Worsening matters, when someone else goes back on a commitment they often make false accusations in an attempt to cover their trail. They may flat out deny commitments they made, appointments they set or even engage in outright attacks in an attempt to distract attention from their part in things. All this combines to put us in a position where it is easy to rush to “defend” ourselves or “set the record straight.” We often want to attack the other party, perhaps gossiping or spreading a tale of woe. But our choice to allow our fears to drive us to anger comes with many consequences – we burn bridges, we alienate others, we obsess about the situation, we suffer the “hang-over” from our anger (depression) and to the precise extent we do all of this we miss the opportunities that were at hand. Sadly, even if we do engage a new opportunity but still have a spirit of anger or revenge we will taint the potential that exists, which ultimately sets us up for yet another disappointment.
When we first become aware of something changing that we had “counted on,” politely extracting ourselves from the situation is our first move. Trying to “set the record straight” or voice disdain only serves to stiffen the resolve of others who have “let us down” – and trying to assign blame is to waste words and energy. The sooner we can detach the sooner we can gain perspective and find either a solution or a viable alternative. Service work changes our focus, consulting with a trusted and detached confidant shows us where we developed unreasonable expectations or demands. The sooner we accept things exactly as they are the sooner we gain a realist perspective on the situation and learn the lessons that will allow us to succeed in ways we couldn’t conceive of just a short time before. And besides, if we have traveled the path long at all, we have come to know that when we “lose” anything it is simply to make room for something far superior.