We've all been disappointed more than once in our lives. We didn't get an invite to the birthday party, got passed over for a promotion, didn't make the team or a close relative let us down. Tell you what, not having anyone to sit with that at lunch in junior high sure rocked my world at the time! All of these events are disappointing at best, life altering at worst. So now what?
It takes a butt-load of courage to move forward so that the disappointment can lead to discovery and development. And when we reflect back, it can lead to discernment, determination and even delight. Delight from disappointment!? Before you want to punch me or throw something at me, please bear with me and read on.
When a physical injury I sustained on the job led to a heartbreaking disappointment in my former teaching role, everything changed, EVERYTHING! I woke up the next Monday morning with no ‘meeting’ to attend and simply didn't know what to do; it felt like a vacuum had sucked the life and breath right from my soul. After 27 years, my gut knew I was ready for change, but not in this way!
So, in an attempt to move forward I went to a yoga class at 9 am on that morning. I didn't necessarily fit in with those ladies in the locker room. First of all, I wasn't in what seemed to be my old uniform - a skirt, pointy heels and pearls. I just brought my yoga mat and me. The women seemed to have prospective husbands or partners (assumed bread winners) and children of their own. My home life was and is wonderful as a wife and a step-mom, but looked and felt nothing like theirs. It made me feel very alone in my post-disappointment rebuilding and discovering. I won't profess that I wasn't dying inside, but I made it through. Ok, here’s some reality - for weeks, I would wipe up more tears than beads of sweat off of my mat. I realized that I was healing inside and out and my entire life began to change from there on.
Our disappointments or so-called ‘discoveries’ remind us that what ‘used to be’ is not what's BEST for us in the long run. These unplanned, negative events open space, time and energy. The job opportunity that is no longer, the boyfriend or girlfriend who broke up with us, or the client who suddenly decided not to hire us have freed up time, space and energy in order for us to grow.
After attending Harvard's Learning and The Brain Conference years ago, a speaker shared this: "We can't alter the hard wiring of our brains but we can physiologically and emotionally free up space. The human brain is capable of being malleable and open to change throughout our entire life span.”
Think of your lifespan as one delicious recipe - disappointments and all. There is time to marinate, season with different ingredients, and serve it with various side dishes. There is also an ever-changing dessert menu and an ever-changing wine list to accompany us, always.
Don’t discourage, don’t remain dragged down… just continue to pull up a chair to the table of developing. Trust me, it really is delicious!