236 QUESTION: All my life, it seems I have done exactly what the lecture [Lecture #236 The Superstition of Pessimism] was all about, because I didn’t want to deal with disappointments. But I also felt that I must have it, I can’t bear not having it. I was afraid not only of failure, but the meaning of failure. Is it something that I was not meant to have, or what? I found this superstition safe but I see how it has limited me.
ANSWER: It has. The most productive attitude about the possibility of not getting the wish fulfilled in this particular form would be somewhat like the following: “If such and such a desire is not fulfilled now, I have the courage to confront myself and find out the meaning.” The meaning is not something bad nor does it imply that you are undeserving or that there is something terrible that you need to fear.
It may mean many different things. It may mean that there are certain obstructions within you that you need to know about, not just for the sake of this particular fulfillment, but even more importantly for the sake of your total unfoldment as an entity, so as to become fully unified and whole. You have intelligence, openness and goodwill within you to learn. This can be a glorious experience.
If what you desire does not happen now in this particular way, what will make you happy and whole will happen in another way that may possibly turn out better. Pursue the truth of your potential and state, “I can take a momentary disappointment and make it a stepping stone. I need not fear that it may not be now, in this particular way. There are many ways.”
With this attitude, you will create a relaxed inner climate, so that attaining the result will not be a question of do or die. Such a demand creates an unbearable tension that is often a direct block to the fulfillment of the desire.
A relaxed and growth-producing attitude would let you off the hook and make it possible for you to believe in the best. You will open the doors to finding out a great deal about yourself. This will be infinitely richer than the mere fulfillment of your wish could ever have been.