Experience is what you get when you don’t get what you want.
– Dan Stanford
Got that? I know that you may be very busy wallowing in your own self-pity or reliving that disappointment over and over again in your mind, and in your heart (and I am certainly talking to myself on this one as well), but there is no reason to. Stop right now!
Even though you didn’t get what you wanted, you got SOMETHING. Granted, it may not seem like very much, you may want to toss it out of the window (figuratively), and you would gladly give it away to the first person who would take it (literally), but it’s yours. Like it or not.
Every broken heart, closed door, missed opportunity, disappointing news, application denied, offer rejected, broken promise, and so on that we encounter in our lives is there for a reason. Each of these heartaches is a chance to learn, to build character, to grow as a person, and to heal. Though extremely painful, they are each equally as important as the good things, and actually help to make us appreciate the good things even more. Focus on those good things! Find the good things in your life and focus on all that you have, even if it is not what you want. I know that it is hard (believe me, I know it is hard!), but it is the only way. If you are so focused on the “what you wanted” you may miss out on new opportunities you could create, or what else may come your way on its own.
A recent situation that helped me to somewhat frame a (much larger, much more difficult, and very painful) current disappointment came from something that happened a few years ago. I had made a custom piece of jewelry and it came out really great! I was so excited with how perfect the bracelet was – exactly what the customer ordered – and wanted them to see it right away, that I sent it to them before I took a photo of it for my portfolio. It was a really beautiful bracelet and I just could never recreate it exactly, though I certainly tried. I was so disappointed with myself for having forgotten to take the picture. Though I didn’t have the picture (what I wanted), I gained the “experience” of learning from my mistake and never making the same mistake again. I take pictures of everything I make now, even the pieces that I don’t like so much! Well, trying to make this long story shorter – that same customer from a few years ago just called the other day and asked if I could add on to that piece and they are sending it to me so that I can work on it. I’m getting the bracelet back and can finally take the picture! Okay, now I know that isn’t the best example and pales in comparison to some of the disappointments we face in our lives (my own included) – but, the point is that it all works out in the end. It always does.
Be calm. Be positive. Have patience. Have faith.