Overcoming Disappointment: Part 1

Disappointed young manPhysicist Albert Einstein asserted that we cannot solve problems from the same level of consciousness at which they were created. Perhaps that’s why I’m seeing an increase in requests for one-on-one Drama Queen Workshop consultations.

It appears that more of us are beginning to realize that we can’t solve a problem until we fully understand it. At the current level of consciousness, some things seem absolutely incomprehensible; so it seems logical, perhaps even natural, to come at it from another vantage point.

Unquestionably, problems look starkly different when you’re standing in the footlights of the world’s stage than when you’re sitting in the balcony. Frequently, the solutions to those problems can easily be spotted from up there, too. With that possibility in mind, we begin to look for the solutions together.

Even though each person has a different set of circumstances and concerns, I’ve noticed that one problem seems to arise more frequently than others: Disappointment. Many are disappointed by the situation they’re in, the person they’re with or the direction their lives have taken. They had a different vision and grander expectations. Therein lies the rub.

Expectation: Root of Disappointment

I think my “all the world’s a stage” mentor, Shakespeare, has given voice to a truth that a lot of us choose to ignore: “Expectation is the root of all heartache.” Instead, we follow directives to create expectations and visualize those expectations in great detail. They tell us to feel euphoric, as if we actually have received what we desire.

Some even tell us that if we don’t expect something, we won’t get it. But what is a disappointment but an unfulfilled expectation? And, oh—by the way, how do these folks explain surprises: those gifts that we never envisioned?

My unexpected trip last year to Egypt—on short notice, with all expenses paid, including a luxurious suite in a five-star hotel on the Nile River—comes to mind. My daughter, Maiysha, was headlining the “Sing Egyptian Woman” competition as part of a cultural exchange program for the U.S. Embassy in Cairo.

I accompanied as her publicist. The trip far exceeded my most vivid imagination!

Days after we returned, I had to cancel a long-planned, highly anticipated, prepaid trip to a conference in San Juan. So much for expectations.

What is the real “secret” to manifesting our desires?

Pat at the sphinxWhenever I mention my trip to Egypt, others ask: “How did you manifest that? I want to do that!”

I tell them the same thing I wrote in my book on the Law of Attraction secrets no one wants to talk about: Manifesting depends more on “being” than “doing.” Your soul history plays a significant role, too. I can’t delve into that in a blog post; however, in my metaphysical memoir, I do cite a surprising, real-life example of how my soul’s ancient history impacted my 20th century life.

Chances are, you don’t know anyone who has never experienced a disappointment or a surprise. You probably don’t know people who have always received what they expected. I’m sure the same is true of those who tell us how critical it is to have expectations, so it’s difficult for me to believe that they are unaware that their claim is fallacious.

We want to hear that we control our lives and our experiences here, and there are those who are willing to tell us that we do–sometimes they even charge a fee to hear it. But the fact that so many of us pray for one outcome or another is evidence that humans don’t have total power over what manifests here. So why do some spiritual leaders and motivational/transformational speakers tell us that?

I’m sure their hearts’ desire is to empower and motivate us. But are you more likely to empower someone or set them up for disappointment by misleading them?

You can have everything you want. Really.

From up here in the Balcony of Life, it appears that Spirit said, “You can have everything you want.”

Before finding out if Spirit had said all It had to say, folks excitedly dashed off to “empower” people with the few words they heard. Word spread like wildfire. Apparently, no one asked, “Then why don’t I have it already?”

Short answer: Spirit sees us as souls. When It says “you,” Spirit isn’t talking about the physical body costume you are wearing. The body merely enables you to be visible on Earth’s stage now. It is not “you.”

Indisputably, you can have everything you want. In fact, you do have everything you want, Dear Soul—YOU, not your body. Whatever situation you’re in, whatever you manifest here, you—as an eternal soul—created it.

Understand that to the soul, a human lifetime is a bat-of-an-eyelash experience. Whether a prince or a prisoner, it’s just a role to the soul: a way to experience Life in a different way, learn some lessons, create or complete some karma.

While that’s fine and dandy for immortal souls that have written the scripts, their mortal bodies might be catching hell. That’s when my phone starts ringing and my e-mailbox blows up.

Why did I create this? How does it serve me?Then begins the first step on the journey to find the source of the discomfort. It always starts with this question: “Why did I, as Soul, create this painful situation?”

Life isn’t random, and what happens here on Earth is not intended to hurt us. In fact, as immortal souls, it’s impossible to hurt us. Our only pain comes from our belief that we are mere mortals, disconnected from God.

That, in itself, creates a lot of uncertainty and insecurity that leaves us vulnerable to scary stories about an angry vindictive Being who lives far away in the sky, solves problems by killing humans, and has threatened to come down here to judge us, then sentence us to an eternity of torture.

It’s a not-so-Divine drama starring someone who’s certifiably satanic. He demands that we love and worship him, and we do.

Why, God, why?

You’ve heard that everything happens for a reason. Essentially, every drama in which we find ourselves was scripted purposefully. That’s why the most appropriate questions to ask when we want to move to another scene is, “Why did I, as Soul, create this horror flick? How does it serve my life’s purpose?”

If you dare to ask these questions, Spirit will answer. It’s the one thing I can say you can expect. Your answer may come through—wait for it—unexpected channels: a commercial on TV, something someone says in the line at the grocery store, or one of those “something told me” moments when you’re alone.

Stay open. Listen. Trust. If you want to, drop me a note and tell me what you heard—and how it made you feel to get a response. If you must visualize, see yourself surrounded by unconditionally loving souls who are always available, willing and able to support you through your toughest times.

In Part 2, we’ll go a little deeper and explore ways to eliminate disappointment from your life experience.

Opening the eyes in back of your head

I recently reconnected with my college sweetheart and lifelong friend, who initiates a pleasant game of catch-up every once in a while. After all these years, I’m still surprised whenever he and his healthy sense of “what if…” curiosity suddenly reappear on my life path.

During our latest round of shoulda, woulda, coulda catch-up, we had a friendly debate about the value of revisiting the past. He insisted that it’s a healthy exercise, whether our memories are dramatically romanticized or even tinged with regret. Although I didn’t immediately admit it, he was right: Staring straight ahead can be myopic. Worse, we lose the valuable gifts tucked inside those rear view glances: context, life lessons and wisdom.

Rear-view mirror

(c) Bill Frymire

Perhaps you’ve noticed that we can’t always see where we’re going as clearly as where we’ve been. It’s the birthing chamber for those “If I only knew then what I know now” groans.

Ahhh, if our foresight was as 20/20 as our hindsight, life would be so much easier, wouldn’t it? But let’s be grateful that we have eyes in the back of our heads. With that hindsight, we can squeeze every drop of value from our experiences—pleasant and otherwise.

Easier to believe than to think

Albert EinsteinIt doesn’t take Jesus to tell us that putting new wine in old skins will make an absolute mess. It doesn’t take Einstein to tell us that doing the same thing and expecting a different outcome is simply wacko. That great teacher, Experience, has told us these things on numerous occasions.

It doesn’t profit us to blindfold the eyes in back of our heads or power down our brains when discerning truth from possibility. By now, we’ve had millions of chances to be “born again”: clear out the debris from thoughts and beliefs that we know, from experience, don’t work and let our evolutionary lessons inhabit this new space—staying open to the possibility that new discoveries might replace them, as well.

Is Earth really flat?

We don’t have to rely on what others told us to believe. For example, several Bible scriptures, including Revelation 7:1, Isaiah 11:12, Job 28:24 and 37:3,  tell us that Earth is flat. Eyes open, brains in full throttle, do we embrace these scriptures as Truth (the Word of God), or as insight into what ancient people believed was true?

During an online search for images depicting the “four corners of the Earth,” as described in Revelation 7:1, I discovered the existence of the International Flat Earth Society. Its members are dedicated to “unraveling the true mysteries of the universe and demonstrating that the earth is flat and that Round Earth doctrine is little more than an elaborate hoax.”

Half of what you see, none of what you hear

I also found the image I was seeking, created in 1893, complete with ten Biblical scriptures that “condemn the globe theory.” Among them, included scriptures claiming that the earth, moon and sun stand still.

Map of the square, stationary Earth

In the tradition of new wine in old skins, this map presents us with a round and square Earth. It was created using the same methodology as the Christian clergy at the Councils of Nicaea in 325 and 787 CE, who poured an Old Testament God inside New Testament wineskin. All over the floor splashed a bi-polar deity who is genocidal, filicidal, difficult to please, smiting, full of wrath, judgmental, homophobic, punitive, capricious, vindictive, sadistic, AND the unconditionally loving, forgiving father of prodigal children.

Does believing make it so?

Every minute of our lives, we have the opportunity to apply the lessons we’ve learned and use them as guides as we progress along our life paths. Instead, we repeat phrases and hold expectations that they will perform as if they are true, even though we’ve learned through observation and experience, they are not. Phrases that top that list: “Believing makes it so” and “What we think about, we bring about.”

Millions of us quote modern scribes who declare that we can manifest whatever circumstances, possessions and relationships into the physical world that we desire. All we have to do is “claim” them or follow a certain formula or invoke a particular spiritual law.

With all due respect to the writers of those theories, nothing we have experienced or witnessed validates their claim. When our eyes open and brains are in full throttle rather than idling in gullibility, we know that laws produce the same result, 100% of the time for 100% of those affected, independent of our thoughts or beliefs. Yet we keep doing the same thing, expecting a different result.

We also know that laws don’t have to be consciously invoked. When’s the last time you you invoked the Law of Gravity so that you could walk, sit or hang a picture without anything floating away?

Is possibility a law?

Anything is possible. But if the Law of Attraction works the way modern sages say, everything to which we devoted dominant thought and emotional energy, and visualized in great detail would appear in our experience. Nothing else.

In other words, there would be no dictionary entries for surprise or disappointment. We’d be in total control of our experience here; in fact, we’d have dominion over Earth, just as the ancient scribes believed. Wouldn’t that make our physical/ego selves’ toes curl with delight?

Opening the eyes in back of our heads

Perhaps it’s time for us to see a bigger picture, and make a game of it, as creative souls do. My dear friend Joe’s wonder-filled game of “what if…” seems perfect for this:

  • What if God is so much greater than the brain-limiting images of a huge being who looks like a human and lives in outer space?
  • What if God is a divine, immortal and invisible intelligence and we are made in that likeness and image, rather than the other way around?
  • What if we have misidentified ourselves as mere mortals?
  • What if we, as divine, immortal and invisible souls are much more invincible and intelligent than the sensory human body costumes we are temporarily wearing?
  • What if, in the divine, immortal and invisible world of Spirit, everything is perfect, in Divine Order?
  • What if, as divine, immortal and invisible souls, we are precisely where we want to be, having the experiences we want to have for this bat-of-an-eyelash moment in Universal Time?
  • What if attempts by our mortal, sensory human costumes to control the divinely perfect experience we’ve designed simply don’t work?
  • What if we let go of our limited vision of ourselves and consciously sought to identify ourselves as the divine, immortal omniscient spirit within us?
  • What if we trusted the Divine Within to be our pilots, instead of using our bodies and the brains within them to manipulate the circumstances, possessions and people in our physical lives?