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Art of Disappointment:
If there is one skill we all possess in abundance, it is the ability to get disappointed. Getting disappointed with something or someone is almost a universal and unique ability of human beings. We know how to find ways of disappointing ourselves, in spite of all the beautiful and wonderful things happening around us.
Our ability to get disappointed is rooted in the very mechanism of our thought process. First we get attracted to something, then we build expectations on it, and when the expectations are broken we get disappointed. This cycle of attraction, expectation and disappointment is the mechanism of creation and sustenance of misery.
We all know that there is no such thing as a perfect person, perfect job or a perfect place. We participate in the process of beautification of things around us. A new place is exciting and enticing precisely because we are new to it. Our sense of adventure and curiosity is what makes it beautiful in the first place. This is true with everything else; be it people, relationships, habits, profession etc.
The way we participate with our surroundings is how they eventually affect us. By themselves, people, places and processes of life have no power over human emotions. The human mind and its thought process is the ultimate decider of how we feel about certain things. In a way, the way we see is how things are.
Disappointment is simply a habit. It has very little to do with external situations and circumstances. They say that it is almost impossible for a human being to put himself in a situation that he cannot come out of. It is very true; we always have a choice to end the cycle of disappointment. We have a choice to choose our situations and circumstances. We have a lot more freedom than we know.
Observe people who get disappointed easily. Observe those who are constantly ravaged by their unreasonable expectations. Observe those who have become servants of their own emotions. You will see that all of them have a choice. They simply don’t exercise their choices for various reasons.
The root of disappointment is complete attachment to expectations. Expectation by itself is not such a bad thing, but unreasonable expectation and attachment to it is a problem. Vivekananda said that the best way to live in this world is by having a detached attachment. Our ability to stay detached even to the most attractive of things is the only way to escape the misery of disappointment. Practice of detached attachment is the only way to experience life fully without being burdened by its disappointment. Learning the art of detachment is the only way out.
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