Another movie reference pops into my head as I draw these two particular cards…
Moonstruck is a movie from 1987 starring Cher, Nicolas Cage, Danny Aiello, and Olympia Dukakis. There is a particular scene, perhaps one of the most referred-to scenes in the entire movie, that comes to mind. I’m going to set it up here without the obligatory SPOILER ALERT as there is a rule that states that if a movie is more than 20 years old you are exempt from having to declare that particular advisory as such.
For the sake of full disclosure, I made that rule up.
With all that out of the way, the scene goes like this: Loretta (played by Cher) wakes up to find herself in bed with her fiance’s brother (played by Nicolas Cage). She scrambles out of bed, hurriedly dresses herself and declares that they take their entanglement from the preceding night to their respective graves. He declares that he can’t do that as he is in love with her. She looks at him, take a beat, then slaps him. She takes another beat, chases that first slap with an even harder one that seems intended to stop his heart for a millisecond, then retorts, “Snap out of it!”
Often when we don’t get our way, or something just falls through the rotting floorboards of our overbuilt expectations, we get fixated on our loss. We go on and on about the injustice of the circumstance that has befallen us. We hoist the sheets up over our head and dehydrate ourselves through the tears of the loss of that really cool job we were supposed to get. We grouse about how we should have ran the ball at the one yard line, or if we felt we had to pass we should have not thrown it to the intended receiver running a slant to the middle of the end zone…
Oops, sorry about that. I’m a Seattle Seahawks fan that’s been listening to a week’s worth of aggravation regarding their final play call from the Superbowl… we now return to our regularly scheduled blog post…
We can sometimes get fixated on that certain something that we had been wanting. When we don’t get it we throw back our heads and wail to the sky while rending our shirts or blouses or tunics or what have you. We lament about how much better things would have been had we gotten what we should have gotten, how ain’t nothing no good no more gonna come my way now.
The biggest issue with crying over spilled milk is while that glass lay on its side and the white bovine-based protein drink drips off the table’s edge onto the linoleum where the dog eagerly laps it up, there’s still the better part of the gallon jug sitting on the table with the summer sunlight beaming through the window creating the perfect conditions for the bacteria cultural festival to begin drawing in throngs to get that party curdling.
More often than not, when something does not come to fruition for us, or when an opportunity gets snatched from our hands by a gust of I-guess-it-sucks-to-be-you, there is something better waiting in the wings. The woo-woo gurus of the cult of optimism love to say if the Universe doesn’t give you what you want it’s to hold the space for something better to come along. That’s all well and good, but if we gnash our teeth over what we have been denied, the Universe is going to get tired of waiting for us to calm down and will just move along, leaving a note that says “Sorry I missed you while you were the only guest at your pity party. I had something really good for you but I had to go.”
Really it’s actually not the Universe in it’s vast anthropomorphism that walks away with its prize. It’s our field of undeservedness that our lament casts around us, cloaking all good things from our vision that are to follow. We have determined ourselves unworthy of blessings as we did not receive what we thought we were due, so even greater rewards cannot be ours by right if the lesser reward was not. At some point we need to shake ourselves off and recognize that what wasn’t, isn’t, and will not be is just that and move on. We cannot see what is awaiting us until we lift our gaze from the ashes at our feet and turn around to face the sun that is shining on our backs.