The Dharma of Disappointment

If you embrace disappointment as your teacher, life itself is not disappointing. Read the following article and listen to the suggested audio dharma talk, and then deepen your understanding of the teachings by contemplating the reflections provided below.

For Your Reflection:

1. Take a moment to reflect on various moments of disappointment in your life. What is your attitude toward disappointment? Do you feel defeated when you experience disappointment? Ashamed? Inadequate?

2. Whenever you reach for what you value, you risk being disappointed. Observe whether fear of disappointment stops you from taking chances. Is there a difference in how you handle disappointment when you have been motivated by your core values rather than by your desires?

3. Notice your response when someone you care about is disappointed over something. Are you able to respond with compassion? Are you comfortable staying mindfully present with their disappointment?

4. When you have to disappoint someone, how do you handle it? Can you disappoint because it’s the right thing to do yet not lose your heart connection with the person? Are you willing to receive someone’s criticism because you have disappointed them? Can you be open to the possibility that they’re right but still maintain your boundaries?

5. Reflecting back on your life, how have you responded to your disappointments? Do you still carry them around with you? What purpose does this serve? Is it worth it?

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