We’re all familiar with disappointment. Some disappointments in life are mild, some are severe. The greater our investments of time, resources, and emotions into specific areas of our lives, the more devastated we are when we find ourselves halted on our roads of choice.
The more we care, the more it hurts.
If we’re making big emotional deposits into a person at the exact time that person decides to withdraw from our shared lives, the abrupt end is shocking. We are devastated. We’re traumatized.
The one left holding an abandoned partnership or thwarted interest wonders, What about what I want? What happened to my freedom of choice? Why am I suddenly powerless? How did I miss the signs of this happening? Is it too late to force us back on track? Are my options exhausted? Should I grovel? Should I relent? Why is it that the time I most need my senses is the time my abilities fail me?
Powerlessness to affect a desired outcome is excruciating.
Friendships end. Marriages end. Partnerships end. Injuries end careers. Bankruptcies end ventures. Relationships fail. All kinds of dreams end. Some conclude relatively painlessly — they were fortunate enough to agree that the road together had run its course; it was time to part ways — but oftentimes, the end was unwanted.
When one person opted out while the other wanted in, it’s uniquely difficult for the one left holding the dream. They were denied choice. Their dreams for life together hadn’t dimmed; they remained committed. For the jilted, it takes time to acknowledge and accept the harsh reality:
One person can’t hold together what another is determined to dismantle.
It’s so much easier when both parties agree. When one wants out while the other is still very invested, terrible pain results. Those left holding the original vision have some catching up to do. Their freedom of choice was denied. Their dreams were brought to an end for them. They didn’t get a say in what was extremely important to them.
It takes time to grieve the death of dreams that can no longer be.
Some time after deep grief lessens, more truths surface — brighter truths, encouraging truths; hope for the future:
You are not powerless after-all. Life options exist aplenty. You still have choice.
New roads will appear on the road-map of your life. Your passions will be paired with opportunities and people who will embrace them. As you forge new paths, one of many remnants will emerge from the debris of your past: an appreciation for freedom of choice. Because you know what loss of freedom feels like, you won’t overlook it this time — you will treasure it; you won’t want to waste it.
You have freedom to select from a vast array of life options going forward. Choose wisely, appreciate much, and like never before, value the gift of your freedom of choice.