The Warrior has been travelling for weeks, across muddied trails, sweeping hills, deep swamps, and unhinged predators. But all of it will be worth it, he deems, upon arriving at the Temple of Enlightened Worthies—the meditation sanctuary only known by esteemed masters and finally revealed to him by his own teacher before moving on from this Earthly life. Now finally, after so long and arduous a journey, the Warrior rounds the mountain trail to discover his first glimpse of the Temple… And alas, he comes upon nothing but ashes and rubble—the Temple ruins, black and worn by many moons past.
Frustrated, angry, nearing the edge of rage, the Warrior drops to his knees unsure whether to sob, to scream, to slash at the forest around him with his sword, or to simply turn the blade on himself in shame for having fulfilled this journey too late. When suddenly, he hears chuckling from behind him in the trees. Provoked, he turns to find the spirit of his Master sitting on a tree, gawking at the trodden Warrior. “Do you know why I laugh?” the Master asks. “Because you are a slave to your own thoughts, like a fool, like a clown! Shouldn’t a clown be laughed at?”
“But the temple,” says the Warrior. “I’ve traveled for so long, gone through so much, all for nothing.”
“Listen to you!” barks his Master. “Attachment rots your heart. Disappointment deludes your mind. This temple has been burnt for thousands of years.”
“So why did you tell me to come here?”
“In order that you experience the illusion of your own expectations! Can’t you see? This is indeed the place of Enlightened Freedom. But only when you let go of your attachment to the expected outcome and your own judgment about what this and that ought to be, will you truly be free and enlightened. Now, fool, go ahead and turn that sword on yourself in shame and self- judgment. Otherwise, become a true Warrior, let go of your attachments and judgments, and meditate at this sacred place, as you intended to do.”
In disappointment, you have discovered the perfect setting to recognize your own attachments to projected outcomes, your judgments about events, and the opportunity to let them all go. Notice your judgment of how the outcome is looks (this is good or bad) and the emotional attachment to your desire for a specific outcome (that would have been good for me, this is bad for me). Then, begin to realize that you don’t have control over external events, that you do not yet see the full spectrum of where this will lead, and that every event is an event unto itself without considering you or your desires (it just IS, and I did only what I could control). Then, you can see this as an opportunity for growth. And one important lesson is: That you are enough and will always be enough, no matter what happens out there. Do as much as you can control; the rest is up to the Universe. Let it do what it does, know that you are enough no matter what, and trust that the adventure of life is constantly bringing the right circumstances to you, regardless of your personal expectations or desires.