I’m your silver lining
But now I’m gold”
Life is unexpected and sometimes it’s a pleasant surprise like Jenny Lewis says. But on the other side of that coin, life is full of disappointments. Wait, hear me out please. Because these continual disappointments grow perspective. And perspective can work toward your character building. Believe me, I tire of the continual character-building, but these things all mixed to together ultimately puts us farther down the path to wisdom. And I don’t think any of us would part with wisdom if it were given to us. I am quite certain if you’re a human reading this, you’ve experienced some sense of disappointment in your life. Probably even within the last week or 24 hour span. It is a natural part of our world. People disappoint, situations disappoint, and at times, we become altogether disappointed in ourselves and our placement in this life. This is because we’re constricted here. Yes yes- we’re in a carnal straightjacket. And we’re dying to get it… pun intended. If you feel like sometimes your soul just needs to breathe, it’s because it does. And it will. In time.
So where is the positive in all this? Perspective. We have the opportunity, and blessing if we make it, to gain new perspective every time we are riddled with disappointment. Disappointment teaches us 3 key things about ourselves:
1. Disappointment teaches us we are imperfect. We have never been and that is not easy to swallow. We want our looks, our style, our relationships to be so ideal. It’s pretty evident in the way we use facebook at times as a status symbol (how can we not?). We are such visual beings, and realization that disappointment brings is the lie that our lives are so much worse than someone else’s. This is a falsehood, told by the Father of them.
2. Disappointment humbles us. It shakes us up a bit and gives us a sampling of humble pie. If I’m not careful, it’s amazing how quickly I can become inflated with pride. When that bubble is burst, it makes it all the more deflating to my ego. One of my weaknesses is the desire to want people to like me. I think most of us do, but in the music world, this cannot control you. If you let it be your guide, it will ultimately guide you where it will. We must keep the humbling in our minds and remember that any praise or criticism should be weighed against the only One whose praise or criticism matters.
3. Disappointment shows us our need for each other. (Here’s a great song to demonstrate my point.) I can’t tell you the deepness of friendship that can grow from two parties realizing they have been in the same place. My best friend lives in Texas. We bonded over a similar experience with the same guy (albeit at different times:) What started out as a 4 hour conversation became a deeply rooted friendship. These moments laden with raw emotion that the world tries to cause us to suppress are actually like fertilizer for deep roots in a relationship. We all know that true friendship never rests in the superficial, but sometimes we lazily bob in the shallow end of the pool, afraid to delve into the unknown. I challenge you to push your comfort zone. Reach out to people you would not normally confront. Give to those who can’t ever repay you. And in your own circle, be willing to listen and possibly cultivate deeper and more meaningful friendships.
4. Disappointment causes us to realize we are not, and have never, been in control of this place where we currently reside. Like my own grapplings with faith and the pursuance of a life in music, I continually get hit with this truth. I’d like to be in control. I’d like to walk up to a producer, ask him to produce my work, walk up to my dream band members and have them say yes to playing with me for as long as we like and create music and lyrics that are so relatable that the world loves to sing my songs while being gladly willing to roadtrip and pay part of their hard-earned money to see our shows. I’m not saying that won’t happen, but I am saying that life doesn’t ever (ever) turn out the way you map it. There is uncharted territory. There are jungles. There are enchanted forests full of blessings you never imagined. There are even gifts bestowed that several years ago you would have never imagined or even knew you needed.
And along with all of this, there is disappointment. Strangely enough, by tempering the good with the disappointment, we come to find this healthy view of the reality enveloping us. And, we begin to see the good things in our life as immense blessings. Our thought process begins to be revamped by our new attitude of gratitude. From there, we can actually catch sight of little glimmers of peace and thankfulness and, as my dear friend said this week, the realization that we are right where we need to be.
Any creativity or realizations that have come from those times? As my mother told me “Good music comes from bad places.” I believe some of the greatest art can come from some of our darkest days. That being said, let’s look for the small hoorays even in the darker days. Keep it up kids 🙂