“Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” Albert Einstein
I am humbled by life day after day. Its grandeur, its splendor, its turmoil, its challenges. And there I am, at the center of what I experience. Sometimes I am a part of the problem, yet as I become aware, I am more and more a part of the solution. However, in a battle of wills, it seems that there are times when my determination and perseverance are outwitted by the natural order of things. Imagine that- fighting the laws of the universe and ending up with a lackluster result; pushing my agenda in spite of how everything is unfolding, doing the same thing over and over again and no change. When this happens, these are the times when I must step back and pay attention to the signs, the little cues that would have me turning left rather than demanding to go right again and again. Demanding a different outcome. For when I keep turning the same way, I am left exhausted and clearly disappointed with results as my expectations remain high and my acceptance low. This appears to be where I am today. And instead of losing my way, I look for the lesson out of the insanity. I beg for the freedom that comes with insight. I know that this is when I get the opportunity to sharpen my intuition that works with the natural order of things rather than against.
So where does that leave me now? I am avoiding. I am scared to deal with the disappointments of life. Though I am aware that my real fear is failure and what that has meant to me since I was a child. This is a huge awareness. No wonder I have been having a hard time writing lately. No wonder I have avoided sitting down to face what is stirring in my soul. No wonder I am having a hard time letting go of my old story, to leave room to create a new one. I am in cruise control mode on the highway of life. Never slowing down to a different speed when life gets uncomfortable to figure it out, rather staying the course expecting a different result where time and time again a course correct is called for.
And I could continue on this course, with this habit, with this pattern, a pattern that is truly insane. A pattern that has me disappointed with my career path, with my relationships, with me. Because if I stay the course, hoping for a different result, I have not truly failed-YET! Safe? As I identify with a role that I have created for myself and hold on to it even though it no longer serves me, I am paralyzed by inaction. What to do next? Negative energy building up around “the let down”, anger arising from feeling trapped in a cage of my own making, yet hope still lingers? Perhaps now is the time to plant new seeds, a time for a new role, maybe not the one you were hoping for, but one that serves you well. That is when you get the freedom to write your way out of the disappointment of the old paradigm and welcome the new.
My daughter tried out for a play. She had her heart set on the lead role. She was in her element, dressed in confidence as well as her Broadway best. Called back to read for what she already believed was hers from the get go. Came out in tears as she was moved by the energy and inspiration of the experience. Leaving on a high, giddy, skipping with joy as the excitement enveloped her. Perhaps even dreaming of being on stage, garnering the attention of the audience as she delighted them with her presence and talent. Set with the belief that this part was hers to lose, only to fall into tears the next day as the disappointment set in that it was not to be. I found myself allowing her to feel the disappointment, let it run its course, then encouraged her to embrace the role that she was given and make it her own. Suggesting that perhaps the universe was unfolding as it should and she would steal the show perfecting her skills still doing the very thing that she loves. As I heard myself guide this beautiful little girl, I too, take my own advice, and allow the disappointment to run its course. While my disappointments have built up over the years, it is time to release them so that I can embrace new opportunities as they appear before me and accept what is not to be. To let go does not mean that I am giving up, it just means I am free to leave room for all the wonder that is waiting for me. By paying attention to this experience, I get to set myself free, insane no more. Humbled once again to life in all of its beauty! Accepting a new role, that does not mean I am a failure, just means that the journey continues, this time with the forces of good backing me up. This time letting go of what no longer serves me, whether it is a career path that I thought was mine, a relationship that causes more pain than joy or even an understanding of myself as I used to be, with acceptance high so that I get to enjoy and explore as I move towards bliss.
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My Year of Magical Thinking: Freedom in Disappointment was originally published on Meg Nocero