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When Things Don't Go Our Way (Not Political)

It can be really hard when things don't go our way - and I'm not even talking politics here. I'm talking ordinary life stuff. I am a Scoutmaster for a Girl BSA troop and I just had two girls leave our troop after indicating they were going to join. I'm gutted. They fit in so well. They seemed really happy.

Facing this, I have a lot of choices ahead of me. I could feel like a victim - why does this always happen to me? I could get angry and defensive about it - looking for someone or something to blame. I could chalk it up to "you win some, you lose some." Or I can accept it with grace, honoring the choices others make, not take it personally, and invest my energy on building a better program and recruiting more girls.

As someone who is easily excitable, I'm no stranger to disappointment. Having hope and then experiencing a blow of disappointment leaves one wondering what is the point to hope at all? I have wrestled with this extensively.

Sometimes I have wondered if I should temper my enthusiasm, or work on keeping a more detached, dispassionate, pragmatic view. Or, another option is to practice dusting myself off quicker, getting back up, and with enthusiasm refocusing on what matters. In the end we each get to choose our response and that decision falls into two categories: a decision founded in faith or a decision founded in fear.

Having hope, feeling excitement for a future possibility we want to happen, isn't necessarily a bad thing if it has a quality foundation - if it isn't delusion. And things don't always work out the way we want - that's a fact of life. You might choose to see it as actually working out in your favor in the long term, that there is a bigger plan even if you can't see it. Or you may see it as things just happen. It's neither for or against you. They are ideas that help with acceptance and not getting fixated on something you can't change. But regardless - it's still two choices: we can either embrace that sometimes we will face disappointment by not letting it imped what we are trying to achieve, or we can try to prevent disappointment by protecting ourselves. Faith or fear.

I tried protecting myself for years and it was pretty depressing. It's a lot of energy that advances nothing and keeps you stuck. Now I'm feeling the uncomfortableness of disappointment for a moment, acknowledging it is part of the deal regardless if I like it or not, and soon will be refocusing on what truly matters. It's a bummer - for me. For the girls, it may be exactly what they need and for them, I am glad.

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