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It’s only natural to have some vision and expectation of how we see the course of our life and relationships playing out. But reality rarely lives up to our expectations. And we must learn to grieve this loss even as we stay open to the good that’s still available. 

For instance, we might find and land the perfect job on paper, only to realize the many challenges that take place behind the scenes. 

We might also have seemed perfectly matched with our wife while dating. And even when we knew hard days were ahead, we were not prepared for just how difficult things would get. 

Likewise, with our sex life, church, parenting, and the like, things don’t always turn out as we had imagined. And we must regularly adjust our expectations. 

And part of this adjustment is grieving what we don’t have – the idea we imagined when we first began. 

Grieving is simply honoring the loss and allowing it to matter. And this remains true even if our expectations were unrealistic from the beginning. 

To grieve is to pay the emotional cost needed to adjust our expectations. 

Of course, we don’t want to get stuck in grief. But grief is often the path to accepting reality on its own terms, which allows us to see the good still available as well. 

 We’re more prone to outburst of anger or simply checking out when we don’t grieve well. And this can lead to despair and desperate attempts to achieve our utopian vision.  

In the end, it’s not a sign something is wrong when you face disappointments throughout your life and relationships. Things rarely turn out as you expect. But learn to grieve the life that you’re not living to enjoy the life that you are.

Photo by Matt Forfar on Unsplash

Dr. Corey Carlisle

Licensed marriage and family therapist and certified sex therapist - providing Christian counseling and soul care to individuals and couples, with a special emphasis on developing the masculine soul. Suwanee, GA 30024

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