Bonjour!

Paris is sunny today, a nice change from the last three years (okay, okay it's only been two weeks of rain and clouds, but...)

That said, it's COLD.

It's cold outside, but that's okay: it's supposed to be cold outside- it's March, and "March can be cold as ..." (fill in the expression you prefer here. Something about a witch maybe,lol.)

So yes it's cold outside, but damned if it isn't cold INside too, here! No heat or hot water in the apartment (and I am definitely not back in that tenement walk-up in the Bronx here, so I expect more!)

I am disappointed. And my disappointment makes the level of annoyance about washing myself in cold water, worse. MUCH worse.

Furthermore, this inside cold happens at a time when I was supposed to be working in Guadeloupe and Martinique! But that all fell through. Disappointing...

On top of all that cold, a relationship with a friend turned ugly. Things got colder still. So disappointing...

So what's up with this freaking disappointment?

One thing is sure: when I am disappointed in someone or something (or myself??), the feeling of disappointment, well, IT DOESN'T FEEL GOOD. As if the disappointment is bigger, somehow, than the underlying problem.

Hmmm... maybe the disappointment itself is the problem...

And so it is!

These things, the obstacles Life throws our way to see if we're paying attention, to help us stand up, to help us grow... well, they're minor. Even when it feels like a "big" disappointment, like losing a job or a friend or partner, the changes are always set up in our favor.

Huh?

You heard me. The Game is rigged in our favor!

The Game is rigged FOR us, by a loving Universe/Father/Mother. So even the "bad" stuff (we do love to label shit!) is set up to bring us into a new place, a new "us", maybe, where our light will have more and more space to breathe... and to shine!

But often, we OURSELVES block that "good" from coming out of a "bad" situation! (MORE labels, pUH-lease! lol)

On the work front, for example, when I lost my job, it opened the door for a new job, one that didn't even exist before, one I would create (with the help of You-Know-Who!) And now I wake up every day (just about!) happy and eager to get to it!

Another example, on the health front: when I blew out my knees running marathons (the apocalypse was at mile 18 in the Philly Marathon of 2002 - and I KEPT GOING, ugh!), it forced me to stop, to wake up and start caring for the body that I had been abusing for decades. Now my body and I, we are on the same team!! (And it lets me run again sometimes, yay!)

In terms of relationships (friends or partners or lovers), who hasn't experienced the end of a relationship that felt like the end of the world... but it wasn't?

These are some of my examples; but don't we all have some?

Life changes all the time. People come into our life, or they leave it. Work comes into our life, and it changes or leaves. What we play at enters and evolves and sometimes leaves as well (I don't race sprints anymore lol.)

It's not "good" or "bad", the change, in and of itself. It's NEUTRAL.

But what we MAKE of it? Well, that's a horse of a different color!

Sometimes we handle changes well... but other times? Not so much! Why is that?

Cuz I've got OPINIONS! I've got JUDGEMENTS! I pronounce THIS, "good" and THAT, "bad". I do it all the time!

In fact, sometimes, just about the whole day long is a running diagnostic of what is happening. I am labeling everything as "good" or "bad": "I like THIS", "I don't like THAT"... and so on. "I like HIM"... "I don't like HER" (or vice versa). You get the idea...

Back in the Bronx, where much wisdom abides couched in vulgarity (which I love lol), they say "Opinions are like assholes - everybody's got one." (I have happily translated that wise adage and shared it with students here in France. I'm so proud! lol)

But seriously, isn't it true? We are constantly judging things as good or bad...

And who hasn't MISjudged something or someone?

Often, we stay stuck in judgment - maybe the "spot" kind, where we judge instantly - until Life teaches us (gently or not-so-gently) that we were WRONG. And THEN we shift our opinion... MAYBE. If we don't let our PRIDE stand in our way. UGH!

The thing is, as long as I am judging something as "good", I may shut myself off from other experiences that may even be "better" for me.

And if I judge someone or something "bad", I shut my eyes to ever perceiving the GOOD that is there...

Disappointment, then, lies not in what is happening OUTside of me (the action of people and events which occur), but in how I HANDLE those events. How I judge 'em!

When I fall into the drama trap of my opinions and judgment, I make the Game of Life harder. On me, and on all around me. I make it a real roller coaster ride (not the "good" kind - okay I hate roller coasters; there is no "good" kind! lol The UPS and DOWNS can get to be too much.

And what makes something "good" or "bad" is whether or not it is in line with my EXPECTATIONS. So, finally it is my expectations that hurt me... not people or things or events. My expectations set me up for disappointment.

To be clear, I am not suggesting any kind of a fatalistic view of the world, devoid of hopes and dreams.

Rather, I am exploring how I can live better during periods of change, when what I may have wanted to happen, doesn't. '' First, I can let go of the "shoulds": this should happen, that person should do this, I should do that...''

The should - expectations and judgment all rolled into one! - poison the joy that is meant to be ours. And if I am watching and waiting for something specific to happen, I likely miss out on all the other wonders that surround me (the sun shining on the white buildings all around, the budding of the trees bursting with the new...)

Hell - maybe we're all bursting with the new!

But if I am waiting on the OLD, wishing and yearning for what WAS or what SHOULD be , I will never even notice the glorious green of new Life. the one that is all around me, and waiting to be born through me.

So, today I let go if it all: the cold outside (god bless everyone but bye-bye) and the cold inside (I'll head to the gym and have a nice hot shower there), I am betting the cold INside will subside.

''And second, I will focus on the NEW life all around me... and maybe give the new life waiting for me a nice head start. '' I can do that! It's simple. I let go of all the silly opinions, and let the magic happen!

Yeah, that's the ticket...

... No More "Should"s from Paris...