Paying close attention to my experiences of disappointments, I discover something curious about their cause: Misappointments cause disappointments.
To mis-appoint is to appoint erroneously. In French, appoint connotes “that which is indicated for the purpose, that which fits.” The word conveys a sense of precision and lightness; like the perfect fit, where the measurements of the appointed, and the nature of that which it is appointed to, fit. It’s a term often used by tailors. Point, in French also means “a stitch.” So something appoint, in French, is something that fits “to the stitch.” It’s just right.
A mis-appointment is “a poor fit.” Misappointments cause disappointments. “Dis” : “the opposite of, contrary to.”
A dis-appointment, beyond our emotional reaction to it, IS “the opposite of a FIT.” So many critical concepts for orienting ourselves in life, like respect (literally “to look again”), become obvious, as soon as we start making sense of the words we use. Www.etymonline.com is a great resource for recovering the sense of the words we use daily. So we hear “disappointment” and we think of our emotional reaction to a disappointment, and give almost zero thought to what the word “disappointment” reveals; a poor fit.
So what’s the point here? Is it just another “word game”? No!
When I recover the sense, not only of the words I use, but of the experiences I am having, then I can begin to make sense of my experience, beyond the very limited, emotional, and quite self-involved reaction to my experiences that I see so deeply ingrained. Disappointment is not an emotional reaction. It’s a bad fit. It’s trying to make something or somebody “fit” where it or they don’t.
The key to moving beyond a life of disappointments is to quit trying to put people, circumstances, and realities into situations and roles for which they don’t fit.
If I have a purpose for you that does not match your characteristics or purpose, and I appoint you for that purpose, even with your agreement, then I have misappointed you. I am sure to be disappointed.
Misappointments cause disappointments.
There’s an incredibly liberating key here:
Every time that I am disappointed I can be sure that I have appointed someone or something to a purpose or role for which they don’t fit!
I can look at my disappointments in life and see that this is precisely so. My disappointments have nothing to do with my emotional reactions to them. They have everything to do with trying to make something fit where it doesn’t fit. Naturally, pain often arises from that.
When I’m willing to take responsibility for my disappointments, then each disappointment indicates a relationship to reality where I forgot to evaluate the reality I was relating to. Typically, I got wrapped up in some “idea” and some emotional enthusiasm, without seeing the nature of that which has a reality beyond my ideas and emotional enthusiasms – or my emotional sadness, when I am disappointed. There is no small measure of narcissism in this approach.
Narcissus fell in love with his own reflection in a pond. Narcissism is not “bad.” It is a developmental stage which remains uncompleted in more and more people today. My ideas and my emotions are not the measure of reality. Narcissism is the assumption that the entire world is my own reflection or, at least, should be.
Just about 100% of the time, the indications of a bad fit were present very early on. I just ignored them. I made excuses for them, or convinced myself that I could “change” something or someone to suit my purposes.
Did that something or someone ever give any clear indication of being disposed to changing? Usually not. Usually I didn’t even notice. I just assumed that because I wanted something or someone to be a certain way, that it magically was going to be that way.
I was mis-taken. I took a course contrary to its nature. I mis-took it.
I can look at my life and see how self-absorbed I became in trying to make something or someone fit where it, or they, didn’t. I’ve also tried to make myself do/ be/ feel/ care/ appreciate what didn’t fit for me. Relief only came when I realized “Oh! That doesn’t fit there and I don’t fit here! Duh!”
I spare myself disappointments when I quit appointing people, situations and circumstances to be what they are not, and when I quit doing the same thing to myself. I have to remind myself: misappointments cause disappointments. Simple.
When we orient in reality we discover that reality is what it is.
It’s transforming continuously, but not randomly.
Life unfolds in connected and related consequences.
All the more reason to go slow and notice what direction it is taking.
Some of you may read the articles I’ve posted on health, and be discovering some rather shocking perspectives on what you thought “health” was, and what “healthcare experts” are “supposed to do.” Reality remains reality.
If I appoint someone who has the title of “healthcare expert,” but has really been trained, programmed and rewarded for following guidelines and protocols established according to guidelines that s/he is unaware of, I might be disappointed. If I only react emotionally to my disappointment, then the lesson goes unlearned for me. What lesson? The nature of what I tried to make fit where it didn’t, or tried to make be what it wasn’t.
Why did I presume that “the healthcare expert” or “educational specialist” was worthy of my trust? Because those people were “licensed, certified and approved” by other people who are also participating, sometimes with the most innocent intentions and the most egregious ignorance, in a system that is fully weaponized against the well-being of those subject to its government, its mandates, and its violent consequences when thwarted. It is up to me to compare the words that are used with the realities of what is being done, and to lead my own self-education.
If I want health, instead of “healthcare,” then I had better learn to take care of my health. If I want intelligence and response-ability, then it’s up to me to take the driver’s seat in recovering a real sense of what that means and how I do it.
When I am disappointed, I can just have an emotional reaction to what I thought was supposed to happen, but didn’t, or I can observe reality again. I can look beyond the labels and expectations I overlaid reality with, and re-examine reality.
That goes for any realm of human endeavor.
This brief essay is one very simple, yet powerful for, and applicable-to-my-life example of something I have said to myself: “Damn I am disappointed!” There is tremendous wisdom and guidance hidden in the very things we say in our confusion, or disappointment. Instead of simply affirming something, typically only from an emotionalizing or moralizing standpoint, we can seek out the other dimensions of reality that our own statements point to.
If I only consider my emotional reaction, then I fail to SEE the underlying, and generative causes. I miss the powerful and simple clues as to my creative responsibility in my experiences of disappointment; clues that provide powerfully liberating keys for living more skillfully. Disappointments provide powerful opportunities to SEE if and how we are orienting in reality, and to become artists in the medium of living. Disappointing experiences offer tools to reorienting in reality, and honing our response-abilities.
When I examine my experiences of disappointment I realize that these experiences started in my care-LESS-ness in how I appoint someone or something to play some role in my life. My disappointments point to my carelessness. Yes, oftentimes I can say, “yeah, but that person was care-LESS.” Sure. Had I been paying attention closely, from the outset, instead of being bowled over with my own self-involved enthusiasms about “what we could do together,” I would have noticed that person’s care-LESS-ness very, very soon:
The Nature of People and Things is Revealed by their Nature,
Not by what I think they are, should, or “could” be.
With experience comes greater attention to who I appoint to what, and how, in my Life. I learn to not only move beyond disappointments skillfully, when they occur, but also learn to avoid appointing people and things to roles in my life that simply don’t fit their nature, or mine.
Gather Seeds – of Wisdom,
Lead YOURSELF in making SENSE
of Well-Appointed Living that Fits with Living Reality.