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What if not getting what you want is the best thing that could ever happen to you?

We do this thing with hope, where we pin our personal identity and our futures on which way we go, at each fork in the road. We set our sights on something, go after it–and if we don’t get it? We’re devastated and convinced that it “shouldn’t” have happened that way.

So, what if not getting what you want is the best thing that could ever happen to you?

When you don’t get what you want, all of your “stuff” will be triggered, and you’ll be forced to deal with it (good!).

You’ll also be forced to find new answers to old problems (also good). You may need to completely abandon a path that isn’t working, start a new path, or give up on a dream (painful stuff, but also…good).

I won’t sugar coat it: when we don’t get what we want, it’s fucking painful. It hurts, it causes us to spiral into questioning our worth, and we might even be tossed into wondering if we’ll ever get over the pain. When we don’t get what we want, fear pops in to catastrophize.

And…good! Fear pops up, which means we’ll need to deal with it. The “worst” has officially happened, and we didn’t get what we wanted. Now we actually have to deal with this fact, and do something different with our lives. We may need to take a personal inventory, stop hitting our head against a wall, or take up a cause for radical change against injustice.

Not getting what you want is the gift that launches a thousand bold dreams and innovations. It makes people say, “I’m not tolerating b.s. for another second,” and start new companies or movements with big ideas and a commitment to doing things differently. It makes individuals question why they’ve been settling for so little, or see if there’s something to atone for that will set their karma right.

When you don’t get what you want, tears are necessary. Let yourself feel the full weight and sting. See that burning sadness and ache as something to release so that whatever is right and new has room and space to come in. Deciding that it’s okay when you don’t get what you want isn’t spiritual bypass, if you are willing to access the body and process through the pain, which takes you to the other side of it all.

You will not be here, forever. The open wound of “Why?” will cease. You’ll look in the mirror on some distant day, fresh faced, excited to be here and be alive, even though that one time you didn’t get what you wanted and it hurt like hell.

You’ll respect yourself, more, for having waded through. You’ll respect the unseen, unknowable, maddening and mysterious processes of life, more, for having delivered you through the ache of disappointment.

You’ll stand taller, stronger, more courageous, because now you know in your soul: everything is survivable.