Today, I was disappointed, several times. Some disappointments were bigger than others, but a disappointment, small or large, is a disappointment. So what do I do? I thank God that I can write. Then I write. In a recent blog, I mentioned the healing properties of purpose and as I meditate on the word “disappoint” I am already realizing that healing.
The original meaning of the word “disappoint” is French and it meant, “to remove from office,” or “have an appointment undone.” Today it means to be frustrated or thwarted. It also means to be saddened or disheartened. So which of these am I? I’m frustrated. I’m saddened, but I’m not thwarted. There were some things I wanted to happen today and they didn’t, but my appointment will not be undone. I’m still going to get my house on the beach.
Recently I went to Turkey in an attempt to find my birth mother or at least some information about my origins. I am a foundling who doesn’t even know his own birthday and this was my last chance to do this. The process of getting there was full of frustrations and setbacks. More than once it seemed as if it wasn’t going to happen. On top of all the logistical and financial difficulties, I received some stern opposition from someone I loved deeply. This was very painful. Despite this, and despite several other incidents, I was able to go. Setting foot in Turkey after almost 50 years was one of the most amazing moments of my life.
In Turkey, I didn’t get any of the information I wanted. I never found my mother. I didn’t learn when I was born and to this day I still don’t know my birthday. Now here’s the strange thing: the trip was in no way a disappointment to me. It seems that I should have been hugely disappointed, but I wasn’t. Maybe I didn’t need that information after all. Maybe all I needed was to see the land and the people and hear the language and the music of my birth. Whatever I needed, and even I’m not sure what that was, I wasn’t disappointed.
When I got home, there was a subtle but real shift in me. I felt more whole. It didn’t end all my problems or even answer my original questions, but it was a healing event nonetheless. The most exciting part of returning home, besides seeing my daughters, was having a group of friends celebrate my return and process the experience with me. They made me feel like a hero and one friend mentioned my “courage.” In my mind, I did nothing courageous. I just did what I had to do.
Now I’m doing it again. I’m working towards my house on the beach. Sometimes it seems far away. I’ve experienced the same pattern of frustration, setbacks, sadness and fears. There have been times when it looked impossible. And there may be more of those times, because this goal is still far away.
Let me be clear, that my house on the beach is a literal house. It is also representative of several dreams and desires I have. There is also no Plan B. Just as nothing would substitute for going to Turkey, nothing will substitute for this. I won’t settle for a mansion in Beverly Hills or a high-rise condo in Chicago. I will get this house, sooner or later, but I will get it and my Muse and I will spend many happy years there.
So even though I’ve had some disappointments recently, I recognize that they are just part of the process. They’re still disappointments, but they’re gone now. I just keep moving forward. I don’t let them stop me. Ultimately, all of the setbacks and delays make a better story. So if I Get Started and I Keep Going, I won’t be disappointed.