What robs you of joy?
The gap between what we expect and what life gives us can vary wildly. What we want does not usually match what we experience. We want to be liked and find approval; instead, we get criticised. We want credit and glory for our accomplishments, to be admired, but we’re ignored and our achievements go unnoticed. We want control, to tailor life to our specifications, but life always has other plans. We set goals for ourselves and expect a level of maturity and sanctification, only to be discouraged by an emotional revolution that takes us captive and prompts an embarrassing display of immaturity.
Sometimes, we feel content or even pleasantly surprised by how rich life is. But other times life’s disappointments suck us deep into the bog of despair and self-loathing.
Disappointment hurts. Having hopes raised only to be dashed creates more misery than if the hope had never been there.
What a strange world we find ourselves in! How can a world so full of marvels and pleasures be such a source of disappointment?
What creates our expectations for what life should give us?
Certainly we have cultural expectations that are conditioned by advertising and media. Our tendency to compare also creates expectations. You don’t feel short until you are in a room full of giants.
It is strange how our habit of comparing rarely makes us happy. Our world is full of disparities. Some people are living in total luxury, while others live in filth, torment, and struggle to even have their most basic needs met. Most of us are not in this bottom tier of misery, but rather than being grateful for this, we still want more.
Desire, longing, wishing, searching, tasting, but it is never enough.
We have a disappointment in what life gives us, but we are also disappointed in ourselves. We expect more from ourselves than we accomplish. We fight our limitations and resent them. Our helplessness to change our imperfections is discouraging. Our inability to break bad habits is depressing.
What created this gap between our expectations and the reality of life? Continue reading…