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What is the other side of disappointment?

Spam Filter For Your Brain - Episode 46

Many of us have big plans and dreams that we've allowed to fall by the wayside because we don't think we're that kind of person anymore.

Maybe it is to climb Mount Everest or to become a pilot or to get yourself a serious crochet habit, or perhaps it is to learn how to paint massive acrylic scenes of wildlife, the sort of little things that we have along the way, these big dreams that we were encouraged to have when we were kids, but somewhere along the line we start being dissuaded from scenes of great adventure and great exploration. Because we tell ourselves, and sometimes messages from around us tell us that maybe we're not good enough for that. Or we're not as good as it takes for that thing. Or we need to be more realistic or more practical. Or maybe we need to concentrate on the bills or earning money for the bills, and so you're allowed your dreams again after you've retired if you're lucky enough to get there and have a pension when you get there.

We're just encouraged so much as kids to have these big dreams, get imaginative, and explore all the possibilities. And I often think of the poem Harlem, "What happens to a dream deferred?" It eats us up pretty often. It eats us up, and it oozes inside us, not because the dream was the important thing and not because the experience was the important thing, but because the idea that we will no longer pursue this thing rests on this fallacy that we need to be good enough to get it, we need to be good enough to do it.

And I'd like to challenge that and invite you to get curious. What if you tried to do that thing and didn't get there? What would you learn along the way? What would you learn about yourself? What would you know about life, the people around you, the environment, and our interactions? What will be gained from going for the goal even if you don't achieve it? Because all of the magic in life rests on the other side of us, challenging again and again that willing to be disappointed, to feel disappointment, to feel like we may not get the thing. And we're going to try anyway. Because disappointment is just a sensation in our body that we've given a great job title to, it is an emotion we feel that is not life-threatening but uncomfortable.

So how would you know that you're disappointed? I think disappointment feels like a tightening in my chest. I feel a bit fuzzy in my belly. I feel light in my limbs like I might need to run. It makes me feel super alert, and everything goes into sharp focus. Even just talking about it now, that idea of being disappointed, it's almost like I can feel my extremities going a bit colder because I know I need to escape.

If I put that into real, physical, practical terms, I might not be willing to chase one of my biggest dreams because I don't want to have cold feet and an uncomfortable belly. Slightly shorter, shallower breaths for a bit. It's pretty wild. What do we do to ourselves when we put it into physical terms? That's what disappointment is; it's a sensation in my body, and I can handle sensations in it. I've done that before, quite often, almost all of the time.

Just reminding ourselves that we have control over this can shift our perspective: What else could be possible? And what else could be possible that I've forgotten about? And what else could be possible that was once really important to me? And is it still important now? And if it is, maybe it's worth you having cold feet and shallow breath to see what could be learnt and explored in our wild life.

I hope your life is filled with all the adventures you ever dreamed of and that you never put something down because you're not willing to have cold feet.

I'm wishing you socks. Socks and extreme dreams. I'll speak to you next week.


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