Lately, I keep experiencing disappointment. Or, rather, I am paying attention to the fact that I experience disappointment. I think experiencing it is an ongoing thing for all of us. But it feels much better, safer, to keep on rolling along, letting distractions pull us away from the pain of disappointment.
Yet, the pain is still there.
I’ve been trying to face it, in particular around the stories I weave about the people in my life. How I want relationships to be a certain way. Inevitably, they don’t match the stories woven in my head. Sometimes, the disappointment is minor because I never got too attached to the particular story line that didn’t play out. Other times, it’s gut-wrenching anguish that makes me want to pull on all the armor I’ve worked so hard to dismantle over the past several years in particular. Being genuinely open to anyone is not for the faint of heart.
I now work to find a balance between being open but not being attached to a particular outcome in my dealings with people. The stories in my head about how they disappointed me are just as imaginary as the one’s I make up about how they won’t.
Dropping my stories is hard work. Lately, the temptation to pull back into my shell and hermit myself is so very strong, and I don’t always successfully fight it. It’s a work in progress. Probably always will be.
Today, I wanted to lash out, which is an even more destructive reaction to pain. Instead, I’m writing this post, working through those raw feelings. It’s a meditative exercise for me, writing this blog.
And I’m also heeding this advice from Patrul Rinpoche, which showed up in my inbox today:
Stop living a false and empty life.
Drop those deceptions of your own mind
And endless projects that you don’t need!
Don’t make your head spin with the burden
Of strings of ideas that never come true
And endless distracting activities—
They’re just waves on water.
Just keep quiet.”