If you work hard at something but find that too many obstacles prevent you from accomplishing it, you may have to give up. In that case, you shouldn’t get depressed. Conditions aren’t right. Perhaps this will change, perhaps it won’t. You are not a failure. Becoming upset only causes suffering.
– Master Sheng Yen, “The Wanderer”
A combination of attached desire, ego, and shame gives rise in me to a sense of failure. I really want something to happen or be a certain way and I think I deserve it and/or am good enough to have it. So that when it does not come about my attachment is disappointed and my ego takes a hit. The result — shame. I’m not good enough after all.
Helps to step back and think “conditions aren’t right” rather than thinking “I’m not right.” Then, with the sting of shame, ego, and desire lessened a bit, I can look at my part more clearly. And accept it more compassionately.
I say these words to myself for remembering as I go up for candidacy in a few weeks.