Things not Working Out as Hoped for or Expected: Part II

“Defeat may serve as well as Victory to shake the soul and let the glory out.”


Is there something else to learn when things don’t work out as expected besides some practical new-age-like, psychology based strategies offered up in Part I of this article?  For those of us into deeper transformational work, in particular things like dissolving self (yikes!) and moving on to dimensions beyond the 3rd, read on…

In a recent presentation by Matt Kahn he coined the term (don’t they just love doing this) “Sweet Defeat”, a term that, from a less “enlightened” perspective may seem more aptly coined as “Stinky Feet”. For those who have no experience with Matt’s work, well, I highly recommend checking him out. He has lots on YouTube and has a website, all very googleable.  In any case he has a 5-star penchant for saying in a few words or a sentence what other teacher’s have spent a few sentences or a paragraph to get across. You’ll want to listen more than once to any of his presentations, as they are most concentrated. But in the end, if you’ve been reading or otherwise exposed to spiritual teacher types over the years, including the classics from thousands of years ago, things may sound familiar, as in Sweet Defeat, save for the use of this deceptive name. Defeat refers to the all too common experience we have in life, in our relationships, work, health etc, where our results are like sour grapes. So what could possibly be sweet about this?

Think about what happens when you are disillusioned. I don’t mean your dive into addictions and victim behavior, rather your more “evolved” response, where, for lack of any effective alternative –after you cried on all available shoulders and still feel crumby– you are ultimately driven deep inside yourself, where, with a little bit of focus and luck, you begin to sense that it was actually YOU who authored your experience. If you are able to get to this point, that is where the sweetness begins, this is where you can begin to let go of the suffering of being a victim and accept that you ‘drew’ this experience to yourself as a sort of wake-up call, to turn on a light inside, to lighten up inside, to enlighten yourself in one way or another. Without these sort of “tower” experiences (tarot reference) these dark nights of the soul, these defeat experiences, you would miss your greatest opportunity to go as deep as possible on a spiritual path. Paradoxically, feeling hurt drives us inward where we can make peace with the fact of being hurt, and finally, with what it has allowed us to see and accept, and thus release the hurt and the illusion.

In a subsequent post I will look at the four kinds of defeat as presented by Matt Kahn with my own expansion on these through their correlation with the astrological elements, which will in turn help you to personalize this teaching.  … Light to you!

Things not Working Out as Hoped for or Expected: Part I


Disappointment, disillusionment, frustration, exhaustion, confusion, loneliness, deception, “end-of-your-rope”, “up to here”, don’t get it, why me?, etc.  How many times in a lifetime –and during certain ‘cycles’, how many times in a day or week or month or year– do we find expectations or hopes dashed by the way things turn out, be it relationships (of any or all sorts, including with children) work stuff, health, practical things, emotional things, transformational work, special projects and any such personal endeavors?

Some simple steps you can take to address these experiences include:

* Re-evaluate the expectations you had, have had (or maybe have been unconscious of) coming in to the situation. Were your expectations realistic? What do I mean by “realistic”? I don’t mean based on your past experience or what others might say. Realistic in this case means an expectation that you can align with your trust, faith, intention.

* Re-evaluate the actions you have taken toward your desired positive outcome.  What values are reflected in your conduct. We oftentimes act at cross-purpose to ourselves. How is that? Sometimes our actions respond to either a conscious intention or a less conscious desire/impulse or reaction, when the desire and intention are not aligned. Becoming clearer on your values will allow you to assess the integrity of your actions.

* Considering the two above considerations you can then re-evaluate your commitment in terms of attitudes and values as they relate to intentions and desires. Something as simple as use of affirmations relative to what you intend to create, to have or to be can help align your commitment to your actions, naturally resolving any conflict between intention and desire, while bringing conscious and unconscious factors to bear upon a single intended outcome.

In Part II of this post I’ll look at a ‘next level’ approach to this issue, one that supersedes these more common ones, one that is inspired by a recent presentation by Matt Kahn.