Why I celebrate when things don’t go my way
Thank you to all of you who took the time to respond to my article last week. I always appreciate hearing from you and learning how what I’m sharing lands, and more importantly, what it stirs up inside of you.
One woman questioned my experience with the heartbreak of not getting what you want.
From what she wrote, perhaps she felt my focus on what she called “the glitz and greatness of not getting what you want” might have been coming from a lack of experience on my part. Or that perhaps my experience with disappointment might be different than what I shared in last week’s love note.
So, let me share where the inspiration for my article from last week came from:
I experienced a big disappointment, recently, when it became clear to me that something I’ve been desiring for almost 20 years cannot and will not be mine.
My desire for this thing was very, very intense. It was the kind of desire that was so strong it could have lit up an entire city with the amount of electricity and energy it ignited inside of me.
And then, boom. Done. Zip. Zilch. Nada. Game over. Full stop.
To be clear, this was not my first experience of not getting what I want. Not many of us make it to our late 40’s without at least some disillusionment and disappointment.
In fact, not getting what I want has been such a regular experience for me that for a vast majority of my life I lived under the very strong assumption that I couldn’t ever have what I wanted.
I believed my perpetually unsatisfied longing and yearning meant I was always going to be hungry. I normalized the constant ache of never feeling fulfilled or satisfied. This led to a lot of sub-par standard setting on my part — which is a conversation for another time.
What inspired last week’s article was that when I didn’t get what I wanted recently, I found a new way through the disillusionment, grief, and pain — a way that has left me feeling more alive and grateful than ever before.
I’ve been in a personal reinvention process since 2015. After I died giving birth to my son, and the experience of having my life implode over subsequent years, I entered a “do-over” with myself and my life.
I was ready and willing to do the deep, dedicated inner work to ensure I didn’t recreate what and how I was living before. And since then, I have elevated and replaced a lot of old beliefs that were keeping me stuck.
Part of what is decidedly different for me today is that I no longer believe I can’t have what I want. I now know I can.
If what I want doesn’t happen, my new expectation is that something “even better” is waiting for me. I turn to bigger picture thinking, and I entertain new thoughts like:
“Even if I can’t make sense of it, and my heart still aches and longs for it, perhaps what I wanted wasn’t “right” for me after all. Perhaps there is a better plan that I can’t see right now.”
“Maybe my desire wasn’t big enough! Maybe there is something above and beyond what I know now that is perfect for me. Imagine that! Something greater than my current desire! Wow! What will that be like?!?!!”
This isn’t to say that I’m above human emotion. Far from it! When I don’t get what I want, I have my feelings about it.
I tenderly sink into feeling the unbearable heartbreak of a dream left unfulfilled, a desire spurned, a love unrequited, a hunger unfed. I cry and rage. I beat pillows and stomp around and wail and moan. I sing at the top of my lungs to Alanis Morissette, Rage Against the Machine, Emeli Sandé, and Tori Amos. I might numb out for a bit in a movie or a Netflix series. I let myself go into a full-bodied collapse if I need to.
But I don’t stay there for long.
And that is what last week’s article was offering you — a way forward from the gut punch devastation of not getting what you want.
In my recent experience, I decided to honor all that did get to happen for me.
I loved how I felt when I was immersed in the idea of having my desire fulfilled. All my senses where ignited, all my synapses were firing. I felt so incredibly ALIVE!
And even now, as I’m still navigating the grief of not getting what I wanted…
While I’m in the process of recalibrating myself in the direction of new (and even better!) desires…
As I live into the in-between time and spaces of where I am today, and where my “even better” is I am making some very intentional choices.
I am choosing to appreciate the beauty of what did happen for me.
I am choosing to praise desire itself for all the ways it ignites and grows me.
I am choosing to lean into all the radiant possibilities that await.
I am choosing to believe there is an upside — even amidst illness, loss, disappointment and death.
I am choosing to hold the agony and the ecstasy, and let them pull me forward, onward, and upward.
I am choosing to focus on and cultivate my aliveness wherever it may be found.
Having been so close to death, and the many years of grueling chronic health issues I’ve navigated ever since, I know all too well that any source of aliveness — even amidst disappointment — is precious.
Because when we keep holding on to what didn’t get to happen, what we don’t have, and all that hasn’t gone our way, we remain hungry. Always longing. Unfulfilled. In a place of lack, endlessly settling for crumbs.
I know from personal experience that this is not living. It’s not where happiness and fulfillment live, either.
I don’t know how long my “even better” will take to come into my life. Right now, I don’t even know what my “even better” is. But I do know that I will choose to keep growing into the woman who has an “even better” experience. Choosing aliveness plays a very big part in that.
My invitation to you is to let yourself celebrate life, even when things don’t go the way you want them to.
My invitation to you is to let your desire — fulfilled or not — be something to celebrate as an incredible source of aliveness.
Don’t take my invitations as a mandate. Have your own experience. Discover what is right and true for you.
My writing is an offering of a different possibility. When I find a new way through life’s challenges — a way that offers up far more aliveness and joy, even when things are anything but pretty — I get excited to share it with you (more aliveness there… ;).
I share my writing with you from a deep place of love and respect, but also from a place of desire.
I desire to live in a world where women are embodying their vitality, beauty, and power. Where a woman’s aliveness is seen and honored for the magnificent and incomparable gift it is. Where women are free to shine brightly and be all of who they really are.
May my words support you in becoming all of who you are meant to be. May they be a beacon of possibility when you don’t get what you want.
Lots of love,
Originally published on https://aliciamorrow.com/