Something so basic, is perhaps much more complicated than it might first appear.
Empirical knowledge reinforces lessons “the hard way.” You can tell someone that the plate is hot, but if they touch it and burn themselves, lesson learned. At its most basic exploration, this is what Rumi suggests…. From your burned and hurting finger, your lesson (light) is entering and teaching you something you will need for survival long term.
As one extrapolates this into matters of nonphysical experiences, we encounter the wounds of not getting the grade we wanted, or our parent’s approval, or getting chosen to be on a sports team, or hired for the job we applied for, accepted into the learning institution of our choosing, going on a date with the person we admire and more.
Each of these rejections are empirical knowledge. Each are teaching us the difficult lessons that Mick Jagger summarized so simply as “You can’t always get what you want.” But Mick, understanding this lesson from Rumi, quickly follows with… “But if you try some time, you just might find, you get what you need.” Right there is the lesson… you are not always going to get what you want. There are huge disappointments waiting for all of us in life. And when those disappointments occur, and the wound is most sensitive and tender…. That is where the lesson comes through.
An understanding of what was wrong… and a deeper willingness to evaluate what did not work at this moment in time is extremely catalytic…. Only if you allow it to be. We are quick to raise our defenses, deflect the rejection to a host of variables outside of our control, which in some circumstances, they may well be. But, in doing so, perhaps we are closing an inner portal to our deeper being that has been opened at this moment of disappointment so that we may learn, grow, change, evolve and emerge victorious on the next attempt.
This all follows the adage, when you lose… don’t lose the lesson.
So the next time the wave of disappointment drenches you in it’s unmerciful onslaught, recognize that there is a portal within you that has just opened. Listen to it and learn. Life is trying to teach you how to do better, be stronger, and return victorious on your next attempt.