What happens when we expect a particular joy and then find that expectation left unmet? Especially when, as often happens, a very very different joy has been revealed in its place. A joy that needs to be identified before it becomes pleasant.
Disappointment; almost certainly our biggest reaction. Sometimes enough disappointment that we fail to choose that utterly different new joy entirely. In fact, sometimes the proceeding sulky mood robs us of several joys before we we mange to move on.
What causes us to become enslaved to our disappointments? Or to believe we are at the whim of our small expectations? What stops us from seeing the larger, grander, more sturdy and exquisite patterns outside of our small circles of interpretation?
Egocentric thinking? Perhaps. A young, less mature form of the spirit we're intended to be. Young humans often mistakenly frame external events in reference to their own context and fail to think past any implication or meaning for themselves. Sometimes, they (we?) even believe that these external occurrences were some sort of response to us personally. That fits. Many of us, as adults, are yet immature spirits.
So then how do we grow? If grasping for the expected joy is the product of an inaccurate frame of reference and simply a stage of spiritual development, how do we ensure that we are supported for growth and healthy development? Who is the “adult” or “caregiving parent” of us as adults?
That one's where I'm stuck; answerless. Maybe we need the desire to pursue growth? Or regular exposure to those few around us who have grown in spirit? (Are we even able to identify such people?) Or perhaps we require a willingness to explore outside our own understanding? Ah. That seems to be part of it - become willing to be uncomfortable, maybe even willing to show ourselves that we’re incorrect. A willingness to see that we're limited, that we're wrong, and that we don't have answers. To be teachable.
That sounds right. Can we actually become comfortable living day-to-day with the big question marks?