Recently I received  a copy of a promotion list. All the people who will get promoted over the next year. My name isn’t on it.  Initially I was  disappointed.  I was really hoping to get selected for promotion.  But then I thought about it.  I wasn’t really in competition for promotion.  So no big deal.  I didn’t get rejected.  I am not inferior to the ones that got selected.  So how do I direct all of this energy I built up in the form of anticipation? Do I let it turn to anger over non-selection. Do I use it to obsess over my faults and scrutinize what made me not promotable?

I can’t. That is not healthy for me in any way shape or form.  And when I say I can’t, I mean I won’t let myself.  It’s possible for me to do. Very easy in fact. I am the queen of obsession. But what good would it do me? It wouldn’t change the results.  I can’t be angry or resent the ones that got selected. They were selected because they earned it.  Nothing was taken from me.

I am currently reading The Way of the Bodhisattva by Shantideva. In it he writes:

If someone else receives a gift,

Or if that gift stays in the benefactor’s house,

In neither case will it be yours–

So given or withheld why is it your concern?

He of  course was not talking about me, or promotions in general. But it is a great reminder for me. I wasn’t really in competition for this “gift.” I can’t be upset I didnt get it.  And how can I be upset at those that did? I should, and am happy for them.  Several of my friends were on that list.  And I  think they all deserve it.  So that is where I will channel all the energy built as anticipation..into being happy at their being recognised for their merits.  And celebrating with them will in turn make me happy.

Happiness is, after all, contagious.

L.

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