Disappointment Is Unsorted Thoughts – Dr. Ali’s Healing Course

Sorting the Unsorted

Majid Ali, M.D.

Disappointment, like emotions, is unsorted thoughts. This view of disappointment is an extension of my definitions of feelings and emotions as unsorted thoughts. Here is a cute (I think!) account of what I once called disappointment and later recognized as unsorted thoughts.

One of my associate physician is astute, knowledgeable, and diligent. I consider it an honor to be associated with him. The first of these statement was always true. There was a time when I had doubts about the second. I asked him if I can write and post this article. He replied, “Yes, if you don’t disclose my identity.” So here is the short account of that.

My associate had the annoying habit of asking me every question twice, and sometimes three or more times. I respectfully and gently pointed out that I closely listen to him the first time and the second, third, or fourth time is really not necessary.

Every time I spoke so he gave me a disarming smile but completely ignored my request when the next occasion arose. Everyone has quirks and doctors are no exception. I have worked with doctors for more than half a century now (excluding my five years in medical school) and so I accept such quirks, including my own, in good grace. However, there is a limit.

After several months of futile pleading, I began to wonder if our association were going to last. I kept reminding myself of the soundness of his clinical judgement and his other medical virtues, but the problem persisted. My disappointment grew with time until the endless repetition of questions became exasperating. I discussed this matter with one other associate and prepared to let my associate leave. All that changed for ever one day in a moment of clarity—a flash of sorting the unsorted. I recognized that every time he annoyed me, he did so because he firmly stood up for the patient, for the safety of the patient. That flash moment was followed by another flash: how could miss something that obvious and for so long. His repetitions ceased annoying me. I stopped wondering about our continued association.


Deep Disappointments

I anticipate a challenge. Hey, your account may be acute but that’s not real life. You’re in control. Your story is not of real disappointments in life, not the real deep disappointments of life. What does your story say about the deep disappointment of the unemployed? And about the people betrayed by those whom they trusted? And the deep disappointment of broken hearts and violated spirits. My short answer: Life does not give immunity from such experiences to anyone. There is no immunity to death itself. The only true security is in the certain knowledge that there is no security in life. That pursuit of happiness brings more unhappiness than anything else. Unsorted thoughts of deep disappointment call for deep spiritual work—often for extended periods of time—for sorting out the unsorted.

I close this article by offering some healing words from my earlier writings:

* The way we look at the world around us determines the state of our being.

* One can only know as much divinity as exists within one’s own self.

* People who learn the language of silence heal well.

* It is the freedom from the need to be free that sets us free.”

* Regret is a thief – it steals life.

* The reward for reaching out to someone in need is not what one receives for it, but what one becomes by it.

Related Philosophy Essays

Below is a list of my other essays of the subject of the healing philosophy. These essays are based on materials included in the twelve volumes of my textbook, The Principles and Practice of Integrative Medicine:

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