When You Don’t Get What You Want
I don’t do well with “letting go.” Loss is hard. Loss, of any kind, is painful. Loss is especially tough when it gives way to the cruel honesty that you’re just not going to get what you want. I’ve had to face this reality a few times with regard to botched romantic relationships; I’d throw myself into the emotional process of trying to sift through the scattered pieces from all the broken glass.
And then there’s this quote:
“Remember that sometimes not getting what you want is a wonderful stroke of luck.”
Potent words, spoken by the Dalai Lama, that I’ve frequently seen on personal development sites. It’s pretty comforting, right? That stressful period that’s awfully draining and miserable might actually be for the best.
Now, of course it doesn’t appear plausible that “the best” is going to stem from the ugly crying that you’re presently experiencing, but maybe it will. Maybe you don’t know why or how it could come to be, but there is pure hope in that statement — hope that not only things will turn around, but they will turn around for the better.
Becky Swenson’s post on Tinybuddha.com divulges the heartbreak she experienced from battling infertility. However, the couple pressed onward and considered adoption. Swenson describes the intense fight she had with her husband on their way to their first adoption meeting — they had to drive back home and never made it.
A month went by. They attempted to attend another meeting, but missed the opportunity when they were caught in a highway wreck.
On the third try, they arrived at the agency smoothly, finally ready for information. “Was something cosmic happening so that we would show up at the right time to receive the right baby?” she said.
After the adoption was under way, and they embarked on the waiting process, Swenson would sing to her child to-be in her moments alone. Coldplay’s “Yellow” soon became their song to share. “I would sing, ‘Look at the stars; look how they shine for you,’ because I thought we could see the same stars. I felt closer to her, knowing we were thousands of miles apart, but could see the same sky.”
When she met her baby for the first time, she knew that despite all the setbacks, that extraordinary and heartfelt moment was meant to unfold just as it did. “She was dressed head to toe in yellow,” she wrote. “Shirt, shorts, even yellow jelly sandals. This was my daughter.”
Lida Shaygan’s article discusses the pertinent lessons learned from those nagging stressors. One could realign his or her focus after hitting that brick wall. Learning from past mistakes is useful, especially in preventing future mishaps.
For me, this insight particularly resonates with relationships as well. Perhaps aspects of your relationship served as a Band-aid of sorts, and that breakup was a catalyst for confrontation and change in order to be the best version of yourself.
Once you do overcome the challenging hurdle and establish something positive, you crystallize another layer of strength – nothing becomes too big to handle. “Confidence comes from accepting and facing those obstacles and letting them make you stronger,” Shaygan said.
Based on my personal experience, I can certainly give validity to the Dalai Lama’s preaching. Yes, I’ve felt like a mess, and yes, I’ve cried and moped plenty, but there is also resilience and ways in which I have found the good within the bad. Every situation is different, but I think a brighter outlook isn’t too far out of reach when swimming through those rough waters.
Suval, L. (2013). When You Don’t Get What You Want. Psych Central. Retrieved on May 4, 2015, from http://psychcentral.com/blog/archives/2013/09/01/when-you-dont-get-what-you-want/