We can't help but want certain things to happen in our lives. We're built that way; we're built to have desires.
There's the average everyday desires like, "I'm hungry" or "I'm tired." Then there's the desires in which you want something particular or special to happen. The above-and-beyonds. They usually involve something very special personally or professionally. Sometimes they can even seem fantastical.
Yesterday I was talking with my girlfriend. She had wanted to get this particular professorship at a really great college. She applied for it and it turns out they're not going to hire her. She's feeling kind of down about it.
We were talking about how it's really normal to have those desires too. We can't prevent ourselves from thinking that way, and why would we want to? The hard part is that when those desires don't happen, we feel hurt. There's loss about not having gotten something that our hearts and minds wanted for us.
But the flipside of that loss is great freedom. My girlfriend says that "the burden of the future is lifted. The weight of having to make things turn out a certain way has fallen away, which is like the feeling of letting go of clutter."
There's more space in the future, like when we let go of a piece of once-loved furniture. When we stop trying to prevent ourselves from being hurt, we have a chance to experience the openness of a *real* and powerful possibility. Not getting what we want opens us up to the infinite ways in which the future could unfold.
It's like our minds have this idea, "I need this particular thing. Nothing else can do it for me." Because our minds are limited, we can't think of millions of other possibilities that could be just as or even more satisfying to us. Maybe just being open to those ideas can give us some relief and help us not try to control the world so much.