1. That unrequited love
Oftentimes, in our fog of perceived rejection, we don’t see straight. We convince ourselves that the person who doesn’t want us is, undoubtedly, the person we want more than anyone else. What we don’t see clearly are the ways in which this person wouldn’t have added much to our lives. Relationships are meant to lift us and, if we were faced with intense resistance from another person, we can be sure that the partnership would have caused more strife than good.
Instead of harboring feelings of pain and fixating on the rejection of whoever didn’t reciprocate your feelings, instead choose to be grateful that a force stronger than you veered you off a path not in your best interest. Eventually, we will meet someone that we would never have met had our heart been in the possession of that unrequited love. And, in that moment, we will be grateful that our heart is whole and unfettered by the scarring that other relationship would have caused. We don’t always get exactly what we want, but many times, what we want is not in our best interests as human beings who desire peace and growth and pure love.
2. Not getting that job we thought would change our lives
After many interviews and many daydreams about what our life would look like in a certain position at a certain company, we hear the blowing news that we haven’t received the job. At the time, we can’t understand why this wouldn’t work out, despite harnessing all the powers of the Law of Attraction to visualize our life within this job we have perceived as perfect for what we desire. We don’t know yet that there’s something on the other side of that disappointment. Maybe it’s a job that’s challenging and rewarding in ways we could never have imagined or ever could have conjured into a daydream.
No matter what, our perceived disappointments are always openings and the more we lean into those openings, instead of resisting them, the more we allow the chance to be surprised. We may think a line of work or a career choice or a certain job will meet the expectations we have in our head about what is best for us, but we never can predict what’s happening behind the scenes, what’s available if we gracefully accept that when something doesn’t work out in the way we want it to, that it’s truly just creating more space for something better.
3. That horrible heartbreak
We’ve deemed breakups as among the most emotionally painful experiences, but what if we could find light in our heartbreak? I’m not saying you can find it immediately, because I’m a big advocate of feeling your feelings and not stuffing them down, especially in favor of some bullshit gratefulness you assume you should be feeling. All I’m saying is that eventually, there comes a time where we have to be grateful that a relationship ended to allow for something better. When a person is ripped from our lives, it’s the clearest indication that the relationship would not have served either parties very well. And we don’t know what’s on the other side of that heartbreak.
Sure, maybe there’s a better person for us, just around the corner, who fills in all the blanks the other person left over. But, maybe it means opening up our lives to new friendships that would have passed us by had we continued to be consumed by a relationship doomed to fail. Maybe it means a new passion that gets born out of pain and loss, something we could have never seen coming if our eyes were blinded by that love. Maybe it leads us to a deeper understanding of ourselves, a deeper sense of compassion and love for others around us, a more enlightened line of thinking about romantic relationships.
Our lives do not exist in compartments. Everything that happens is connected. The end of a job could signal the beginning of a relationship. The end of a painful friendship could give way to an incredible career opportunity.
We don’t get to know. Our only job, essentially, is to allow and lean in and know that through pain and rejection and sadness and heartbreak and loss, there is a world that exists in relativity, where we can only know true happiness and love by knowing a lack of it. In this way of life, there is no room for disappointment. There is only room for growth and for the constant expansion of ourselves, to allow more of life and light and love in.