“Frustration is the compost from which the mushrooms of creativity grow.”
“I've come to believe that all my past failure and frustration were actually laying the foundation for the understandings that have created the new level of living I now enjoy.”
People need trouble -- a little frustration to sharpen the spirit on, toughen it. Artists do; I don't mean you need to live in a rat hole or gutter, but you have to learn fortitude, endurance.
I’m going to do something different. I just wrote a blog, and I usually don’t start another one for at least a few hours, but something frustrating just happened. I just wrote about the healing properties of Purpose, so now I’m going to apply that power. I will begin by describing my frustration.
Imagine waiting for a phone call all day. Then it comes, but you don’t hear the phone ring or the ringer didn’t go off. All day the ringer was working, but when the awaited call arrives, the ringer doesn’t sound. And there’s no way to return the call. Or imagine waiting for a bus for a long time. Finally, you become impatient and start walking. Then the bus drives by you. I’ve actually had these things happen. They didn’t happen today, but something similar just did and I’m feeling frustrated and angry.
I want to rage against technology and against bad luck. I want to kick something or yell. Or maybe I could call someone and complain. But I’m reminded of the admonition by the Buddha, “One who conquers himself is greater than another who conquers a thousand times a thousand on the battlefield.”
So I’m trying to conquer myself. I’m trying to conquer the urge to give into anger and discouragement and frustration. Yes, I feel those things and it’s okay that I do, but I don’t want to feel them for long. They don’t help. What helps is to write. What helps is to stay in my Purpose. What helps is to remember my house on the beach.
I tend to not do well with frustration as it is. I get easily annoyed and when things don’t go my way, I’m not most mature or calmest person in the world. But I can choose differently. That’s why I’m writing now. I’m trying to be a better man. This is part of the Purpose. It’s to improve myself. It’s to create self-healing. But healing is not the final destination. As I heal, I am able to do more and be more. Healing, as important as it is, was never meant to be an end in itself. It was meant to bring me to an even higher path of service and love for others. Yes, it’s important to just be, but in my being I want to also be doing the things I have been called to do.
So as I write, I feel my frustration fading. The anger is gone and I am starting to feel calmer and more rational. Perhaps there may have even been a reason for the source of my frustration. In other words, maybe this happened for a reason. Maybe my Muse wanted to see if I could start growing up a little. Maybe this was just life and life happens to everyone. Maybe I wasn’t singled out. Or maybe I was, so that I could choose a new response, like writing instead of regretting.
Regret only serves me if it leads to change. Otherwise it’s like a big rock around my neck that will drown me if I get in too deep. So I don’t need regret. I just need to respond differently. This takes training and the development of new habits. That’s why I’m writing now. Every time a frustration occurs, I have to step into my Purpose. I won’t change overnight, but I’m changing now.
That’s all it takes, a different response. That’s not easy, but that’s all it is. When I was feeling frustrated (that’s gone now, by the way), it felt like my frustration would consume me. That is the power of negative emotions. They can feel overwhelming. That’s why advice like, “Just get over it,” is rarely helpful. It’s hard to “get over it” without practice. Once I know that there’s a better way, however, then I become responsible for my healing. Healing can then bring a new way of thinking. Eventually my mind becomes so used to the new way of thinking, that frustrations no longer feel so powerful. Then I can start using my time and mind for other things. That is the hope anyway. I believe inner peace in difficulties is possible. I’ve experienced it, but not often enough. Now I want to make it part of who I am, not just something I experience.
So I decided to Get Started and to Keep Going. It helped and there's much less frustration.