I believe disappointments are really loud, bright and unscheduled appointments with God.
- I can’t miss them when they happen. They are simply too “loud and bright”
- I didn’t want it to go this way, but it has. It was not my design or desire that it should happen this way, but it has. So it must be someone else’s design that it happened the way it did. I call this someone God. He gives me unscheduled and unexpected appointments with Him through disappointments. Disappointments happen as reminders of His Design.
Disappointment happens only when there is expectation. We expect things to go our way. Sometimes they do. And sometimes they don’t. When they don’t, we’re disappointed.
Disappointments happen in every aspect of our life – family, work, business, driving, friends, relationships, health, performance etc. Seldom does a day or a week go by without delivering disappointments at our door-step. Some big, some small, but all bring a dosage of hurt, pain and sometimes even suffering.
People say that disappointments are really blessings in disguise. I agree. In fact, I know so from several personal experiences. Once, my daughter’s “disappointment” at her purse being snatched away at a London Tube station a few years ago turned out to be a life-saver. The robbery delayed her arrival at her apartment. When she arrived, she learned there was a shoot-out near her building just a few minutes before she showed up. She missed the shoot-out because of her delayed arrival.
Disappointments point to a better path, a more beneficial result ahead. They point to the fact that the result desired and designed by me is not the best for me. That I must target a better path and a more beneficial result. They remind me that I must fit myself better in the cosmic puzzle, that I must dance more gracefully to the beat of the universe. That I must think of God, submit to His Design respectfully and worship Him lovingly.
Disappointment follows expectation, as sure as the night follows the day. But for the sun, there is no day or night! No darkness, only effulgence.
Suppose, instead of learning how to cope up with disappointments, if I can avoid them altogether, or at least minimize their occurrences? The preventive medicine paradigm in life guides me to stay healthy and not fall ill. Like that, if I can avoid, or at least minimize, expectations, then I can minimize and even avoid disappointments,
The Bhagavad Gita points the way to do this.
Do your work. That is your right. Do it well. Whatever work you do is really God’s work – not yours. So, do it as His agent, to please Him. Do it devoted to Him. Do not do the work with an eye on the result. The result will come by itself per His Design. Do work as worship….
karmanyeva adhikaaraste (2.47) yogah karmasu kowsalam (2.50) mat karma krut mat paramo mat bhaktah (11.55 ) maa phaleshu kadhaachana (2.47) tat kurushva mat arpanam (9.27)
If I keep the company of the sun, then there is no day and night for me, just effulgence. In the same way, If I keep the company of God in both the work and its result, there is no expectation and no disappointment. I do the work for work’s sake only, as worship. Sans any expectation, not only is the disappointment absent but my ability to do the work increases in leaps and bounds.
As the sun shines its rays on the mountain top and the valley equally, I must keep the company of God in the “gives and takes” in my relationships with people and be loving. Sans expectations, not only is there no disappointment, but my ability to understand and adjust to other people becomes stronger.
I do not welcome disappointments but they do happen. I do not “diss” them when they do, because they teach me a better path in life.
“Take-home”s from Disappointment:
- Definite reminder of the presence of God
- Points to a better path and a more beneficial result
- Must practice reducing expectations
- Do all work as worship, not be concerned with the result
- Be loving and understanding in relationships, and adjust.