Conditions like disappointment and frustration are purely psychological. They cannot be found – nothing which is purely the stuff of the mind can be found in the brain or the heart or the gizzard. That’s what makes life such a game. How you play the game determines how you are treated, and what you get.
When someone expresses a feeling like disappointment or frustration, that person is saying, “This is what my feeling means to me.” You cannot see it or touch it. Anyone observing what is expressed has to interpret it in terms of what it might mean to them.
The question is not, do we actually have such feelings? The questions are:
- Do we have the feelings we are supposed to/are entitled to …have (given that they may or may not further our purposes in our lives)?
- And, is how we express our feelings efficacious for our social groups and for the trajectory of our own lives?
The critical issue is not whether we feel disappointed or frustrated. The critical issue is simply this: how well does having and expressing such feelings serve our immediate and long-term best interests?
We may feel disappointed, we may express frustration, but does performing them in the way we do take us where we should be going?
In what way do feelings of disappointment and expressions of frustration contribute to our mental and physical health, to our future lives, to our destiny? Isn’t that the kind of question we should be asking?
-Lee Thayer, Thought-Leader, Excerpt from Meaning: The Stuff of the Mind