Virginia Satir, author and psychotherapist, said, "Life is not what it's supposed to be. It's what it is. The way you cope with it is what makes the difference."
Is your life the way you imagined it would be? Your career? Your relationships? Mine either. In fact, I remember that being one of the difficult things to accept when I went through a divorce. I'd imagined us living "happily ever after in our vine-covered cottage with our children and grandchildren coming home to visit us regularly in our aging years." Well, perhaps not a vine-covered cottage. But, seriously, I did have a pretty romantic vision of life when I was 20-something and newly married. And, since I'm a strange combination of a romantic and a skeptic, I still have some of those tendencies.
Now I know the truth of what Satir said, however. Life is what it is. And my job is to cope with it in a healthy and positive way. My tools start with my attitude. One of my coping tools is reframing: I can see this situation through a negative or positive lens. What changes with each of those views? Which will best help me move on? News flash: For me, the positive lens works better!
Another tool is to examine my expectations. Mine often get me into trouble. As a "recovering perfectionist" I can expect too much. So I need to get realistic. That leads me to the tool of acceptance. I love the Serenity Prayer: "God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can, and wisdom to know the difference." I really should post it on my office wall!
What are your coping tools? I invite you to share them with us in the comment box below.
Do you need some new ones? If you'd like to talk about this, please contact me.