Article © 2010 by Joyce Mason
All Rights Reserved
Disappointment leaves us sad that something we looked forward to—maybe even longed for—did not occur. It can be a relationship, a fun get-together, or a goal we didn’t achieve, like getting a promotion. We expect people to act a certain way. They don’t. Disappointment.
Yet, in the Great Calendar in the Sky (it goes along with the Great Flow Charters in the Sky ), the dis-appointment might be better for us. We just don’t know it yet. We had an “appointment” in our own minds with a set destiny. God/Goddess/All That Is had other ideas. The cosmic appointment calendar trumps our own. Sometimes we just don’t see the big picture, thinking our Day Runner, Franklin Planner, or the eCalendar in our minds knows best, like our mothers. Our own calendars are right about as often as mom is about “what’s good for us.”
I’ll share my most dramatic example. When I reunited with "Keane," a great lost love of my life (the one who took me decades to get over), he tried to get a transfer to my city, which shocked me. I was startled that after our first long weekend together in 18 years, he’d actually make an effort to be near me on an ongoing basis. What shocked me even further was a dream I had while he was still in competition for the position. I heard this clear, psychic message, “There’s no way he won’t get it.”
Assuming the best and definitely wanting him to move to Sacramento, I was stunned when someone else got the offer. That’s when I realized that my wishful thinking punctuated the dream message according to my desired outcome.(There’s no way getting it won’t happen.) What my inner wisdom was really saying in the dream: “There’s no way. (Punctuation—period.) He won’t get it.”
In the three decades I spent recovering from Keane, I learned something about myself. My early relationships were agony/ecstasy, enmeshed with a mixture of high highs and low lows. Pleasure and pain were so closely bound together, I truly believed I had to endure twice or more pain for any love I got. Not exactly good programming for healthy relationships.
Had I stayed with Keane from our earliest encounters (ages 18-22) or even had the opportunity to be with him again at age 40 on an ongoing basis, the basic facts of our chemistry would not change. Our pull toward one another was always bigger than the both of us, but he was terrible for me. I would have bent over backwards trying to make it work for the fun and the intense chemistry—and my actual, unabashed love for him. But we’re simply too different. He had a side, at least back-when, that was very punishing—one my sensitive soul could have never endured in the long run (and I wonder how it ever did in the short run. I guess if it took so many years to come to stasis about him, it didn’t).
I have often thanked God that there was a bigger force that kept me from going Round Two with Keane. But it took me years to “get there,” to see the divine direction, redirection, or right direction of it. With time I learned to trust the Big Appointment Calendar in the Sky … as you’ll see.
The House That Broke Our Hearts
When Tim and I first got together, my reunited childhood sweetheart hubby, we started looking for a house after we’d been living together, renting, for close to a year. We thought we’d found the house to end all houses—a block from my best friend in a small suburb that was more rural than suburban. From the back yard, it had a gorgeous view of Folsom Lake. We wanted to be near water—if not on it, at least where we could see it, which is more of what we could afford.
We signed the deal right after we saw it. It had a built-in sauna and many attractive features. However, when it came to moving the deal along, the seller hid out and would not respond to our realtor. Apparently, she wanted to back out of the contract but wouldn’t face the music. We had to hire an attorney to gain back our earnest money, and the lawyer’s fees cost us half of it. Tim was resentful and miserable for months. He had his heart set on that house.
Shortly after this debacle, our realtor’s assistant called us about a house she located just a block from her own in a nature setting near a creek. She felt this one was “it” for us. She was right! In the long-run, the house we bought was newer, closer to freeways for commuting while I still was working at my civil service job, and we suspect it is much more structurally sound than the one we lost. We love it here and can’t imagine ourselves in the other place, now that time and the divine appointment calendar has had her way with us.
This illustrates how we just can’t see the complete picture when a dis-appointment occurs. Our perfect house wasn’t ready for us yet. It wasn’t even on the market. So we had to be distracted by some other “house drama” (I was a big fan of the drama “House!”) to keep us from making the mistake of buying anything else until it became available. I chuckle over this story still, and it has been 12 years.
Expectations and Disappointment
Instead of relying too much on my personal expectations, I’ve learned to live by what my first spiritual teacher called the divine escape clause, “This or something better.” Add the name of divinity to the request as you see Him/Her/It—Lord, God, Great Spirit, etc. Disappointment makes us miserable because we continue to think we’re the ultimate authority on what’s best for us, when life and All That Is have been disproving that to us every year of our lives.
I’ve learned, now, to simply understand that when something doesn’t work out, it’s because something better for me was meant to be. I just don’t see it yet. When you can see life through this lens, everything changes. It becomes more of an adventure and there’s less of that weepy, woeful disappointment—a feeling that makes me miserable.
Relationships: The One Appointment We Should Always Keep
This is the area where dis-appointment often equals heartbreak. I have another spin on this. Not just with Keane: I have had many relationships where, in retrospect, I feel blessed to have been “removed” or my appointment calendar edited against my will at the time.
From the perspective of a mature adult, it’s easy to look back and imagine the story arc of major loves lost and how things would have turned out, had we stayed together. That’s when I appreciate that God/dess spared me. But there’s one appointment people always should keep, whenever possible. That’s your appointment with completion.
At least three times in my life, I have had a relationship interrupted for different reasons—in one case, by the man himself (Keane), not wanting go to the next growth step when I had gone as far as I could go without a commitment. In another instance, the young man’s mother made him break up with me when we were truly too young for the feelings we’d gotten ourselves into. In yet another case, another woman stepped in right as we were getting to the cusp of declaring ourselves, before either of us had gotten up the nerve to risk admitting his or her feelings. (In that case, feelings not spoken and each of us being uncertain of how the other felt became the weak link and opening for someone else to enter).
These unfinished relationships feel like emotional miscarriages. I never stop mourning them at a certain level. I have been luckier than most, because in all cases, the interruption was talked about and/or resolved in some way later, even if we didn’t live the relationship to its natural completion at the time. (Example: One of the first things Keane said in our reunion phone call was, “There were loose ends.”)
Still, these relationships leave major losses to mourn. It’s not painful that they didn’t work out; it’s painful that they didn’t get to run their course for whatever we were to learn and experience together because our opportunity was cut off before our appointment time was up. It’s like that horrendous scene we often see, or heaven forbid, may have even personally experienced, where your 50 minutes is up with your shrink in the middle of some big emotional build-up to breakthrough. You’re cut off and left hanging.
There’s a corollary of this idea that applies to divorces and break-ups of committed relationships or any relationship where there was deep bonding. You didn’t fail; the relationship didn’t necessarily fail. Your appointment was with specific learning and experiences. Your time was simply up. This particular appointment didn’t block out your calendar for the rest of your life.
The Blessing and Curse of Deep Feelings
I am a deep feeler, and my husband calls it both my blessing and curse. He’s the middle man in the previous discussion. I keep teasing him that the only time he ever listened to his mother is when she told him to break up with me. Still, we ended up together 36 years later and are happily married. Sometimes even an interfering mother can’t muck things up completely.
If you, too, are a person with deep feelings, understand that mourning the losses of these dis-appointments is normal, healthy, and something you just have to take as part of love. Move through the feelings. Understand that same level of depth is also what brings you great joy.
An old boyfriend died recently, and when I found out, I had quite a weepy day or two consisting of a rush of happy and painful memories. (As I mentioned, all my youthful relationships were a mishmash of both.) After that, I felt great. I’ve even had some nice psychic conversations with him. Any story I’ll have with him again will have to be saved for another lifetime. I can only wonder if the Great Flow Charters in the Sky will bring us together to make up for the opportunities we missed when our appointment was cut short this time.
May you learn to see the blessings in all your dis-appointments. May you lobby for completion whenever possible, and at the very least—reconnect with that person when you’re older and wiser. Express your sorrow for what you missed together … and your joy for the fact that you can see a certain divine wisdom that led you down another path.
Photo Credit: A February calendar showing the 14th prominently © Kasiap Dreamstime.com
Author's Note: This article was originally published in slightly different form in Unity Magazine.