The Power of “Not-Getting-What-You-Want” Therapy


Image from CBS News.

For most of us, it seems more things are withheld than there are things allowed us. They say count your blessings because you’re bound to discover how they easily out-number your woes. Well, often that’s easier said than done, especially when you’re under heavy fire from the enemy. Enemy? Yeah, like when a loved one gets so sick and it ruins your budget and gets you bankrupt. Or, you’re left with one egg to fry and it turns out rotten and you’re starving to death. You don’t see them but an enemy somewhere is setting you up for frustration. Daily. When it happens, you wonder where the blessings are.

It’s easy to count blessings in times of abundance when every need is sufficiently and instantly met. But that’s not the point of my story here. I’d like you to see the blessing in not getting what you want when you need it most, or not getting your way even if everything else is not working out. When this happens it’s actually therapeutic. It really means you’re being blessed.

Not Disenfranchised But Hugely Favored

Not getting your way. We think it’s what keeps us from getting a good life. We think that if we just get what we want—everything we need right now—we’d be living happily ever after. But truth is, that’s how spoiled brats are made. If you give someone everything he needs immediately each time he needs them, you destroy him. In a sense, you break his legs so he could not stand up on his own and you wreck his mind so he could not decide on his own. You rip off his backbone, so to speak. And we think it’s the key to happiness.

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I remember reading somewhere that the reason millennials are weak and do not know a thing about life is because they grew up being spoon fed everything they wanted and needed. We saved them from the hardships we had when we were young and didn’t want to have them experience the same. So we served them everything on a silver platter and thought we were being loving and caring parents.

Yup, they may be enjoying the convenience and easy life we didn’t have, but they have become weak individuals who cannot do things on their own and easily gives up at the slightest sign of pain or hardship. They cannot even fight for themselves. I often see big, spoiled kids get bullied by smaller kids and then run to their moms so their moms would fight for them.

Being Groomed

When you think you’re being blocked in life—everything you want is withheld from you—you’re actually getting a huge favor. Believe me. It’s not disenfranchisement or deprivation but favoritism. Yup, you’re teacher’s pet or a chosen one. You’re being groomed for something more. If at the office you’re being eyed as a future manager, you’re going to get special training and given tasks different from what the rest are getting. Potential is seen in you. Your tasks will be lots harder. You may even have to skip breaktimes and work weekends and be “deprived” of the usual “favors” given employees. It’s something like that.Screenshot 2018-02-16 09.26.13

It’s a therapy. It purifies you of all immaturity, self-conceit and egoism. It teaches you patience. It’s powerful when you have mastered patience and perseverance. And patience is a lost virtue these days. A lot of people can’t wait. They want everything here and now and think it’s efficiency and productivity. But actually, it makes them weak and vulnerable, so susceptible especially to panic, disorientation and anxiety. But you’re different that’s why you’re chosen. You are material for power. Not many have this potential.

And just think—everybody else is impatient and panicking and angry and weary and you alone are calm and patient, completely in control of yourself, the only one with presence of mind and proceeding properly because you were highly trained to  wait—trained not to get your way or what you want each time.

When you often don’t get your way, don’t fight it. You’re being saved from spoilt or weak character. You’re also being groomed for power, but a different one. Ordinary power uses people to put up itself on a pedestal. It often uses leverage, and cruel one at that. But this power tames your spirit to endure all circumstances, good or bad, with calm, right thinking and self-control—and persevere. Often, it even empowers you to control situations and people without intending to, without effort.

Screenshot 2018-02-16 09.35.22

The bible says they that wait on the Lord renew their strength. They arise from seemingly hopeless situations like eagles while everyone else lags behind from despair, dissatisfaction or frustration. Impatience is built on years of getting used to favors, exceptions, latitude, considerations, leeways and easy ways out, getting what you want in the fastest and easiest way possible.

Worse, you’re even used to forcing people to do things so everything would be to your liking. You think only your ideas and ways work because you’ve become a spoiled brat. We sometimes envy such folks, thinking they’re the most favored guys on earth, the smartest and most talented. Actually they aren’t. We are.

Patience makes us complete.

Let patience finish its work so that you may be mature and complete (or perfect), not lacking anything. [James 1.4-6]

You may feel left-out or disenfranchised or deprived when you often cannot have your way or get what you want. But nope, the bible says it really paves the way of you “not lacking anything.” When you feel emptied, that’s when you lack nothing. When you feel too favored, that’s when you have nothing.

As you know, we count as blessed those who have persevered. You have heard of Job’s perseverance and have seen what the Lord finally brought about. [James 5.7-12]

Those well trained in patience and perseverance are truly blessed. This means those who had everything in life the hard way, who had to wait long years just to have simple needs met, who had to wait in line for long hours while others simply cut in to get ahead without effort, who faced lots of frustrations, failures, humiliation and defeat, and who had to endure getting less while others easily get more.

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