Thursday, January 13, 2011

Embracing Disappointment

I learned to protect myself from disappointment at an early age. My elation at the prospect of the possibility of something I desired coming to fruition was tempered by words of  caution.

"Don't get too excited. You don't know what's going to happen."

The message I heard  was to tone down my joy as if that might somehow protect me from disappointment. If I wasn't too hopeful I wouldn't be too attached to the outcome and it would be  a much shorter trip to being let down.

The less joy I allowed myself to  feel at the suggestion of what wonderful thing might happen,  the thicker my armor of protection would be. Shift joy to cynicism. Call it pragmatic in the workplace and you're considered more grounded in "reality".

What I learned is that trying to protect myself doesn't stop disappointment. In fact, I suspect that the thicker I built those walls, the less I believed I would get what I wanted,   the greater  I increased my  chances of being disenchanted. Not to mention  the joy I denied myself along the way.

What was the big deal anyway? So what if I was disappointed? Did disappointment mean that I had eliminated ever getting what I wanted? Or was it a sign that the Universe had something better in mind than I had even imagined for me? What if I started to find joy in disappointment as well? What if I let go of my attachment to disappointment and replaced it with the elation of havingness? What if I learned to embrace disappointment instead of trying to head it off at the pass?

I have a lot on my desire list for 2011. 101 items to be exact. Some might say that is too long a list. That I need to brace myself that I might not get every single one. That no one gets it all.  That's their reality. It's not mine.  And if I happen to trip on disappointment on a few of them, that's OK too. I know how to pick myself up.

Do you protect yourself against disappointment? If so, how?
Does that stop you from going after what you really want?
Do you have a list of what you want to create this year? 
Do you believe you will get it all or are you gearing up to be disappointed?

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