Is this how it is supposed to be?

Is this how it is supposed to be?

I had a client who had built up an image of what his marriage and family would look like when he was lucky enough to be in that stage of his life.

Some of the pictures were based on how he was brought up (either moving towards or away from that style of parenting) and his personal preferences that had built up over time.

My client’s family did not match the pictures in his head. Primarily because they were real! Every moment, unconsciously, he would compare the pictures in his head with what was happening with his family and the disconnect was causing him pain.

Isn’t it interesting that faced with this situation, most of us try to change the external, the real live people, rather than tackle the images in our mind? Wow! Thoughts appear to be more real than reality! You know that is not going to end well!!

Of course you know how the story ends:
it is the story that we all share;
the song that we all sing;
the dream we all dream.
The question is, do we continue to dream or do we wake up?

Your family is not “supposed” to look this way or that way. They simply are. And as we know from our little ones, they may be one thing in the morning and another in the afternoon.

Our children are a thesis on the nature of change yet it is a lesson that many of us struggle with or attempt to ignore.

See the two images you have of the world: the internal and the external. One of thought, the other reality as you are currently playing it. Choose wisely. ❤︎

“Waking up this morning I smile. 24 brand new hours before me. I vow to live fully each moment and to look at all beings with eyes of compassion”.
Thích Nhất Hạnh

In Gratitude

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  1. So true, isn’t that the basis of so many disappointments and struggles — these pictures we have because of how we were raised, what we were taught, what we think we see in our friends’ lives. Accepting what we have in this moment is soooooo hard! OR seeing that what we have is not what we need and then doing something about it.

    • Making peace with what we have is one of the most profound journeys we can ever take (in our own lounge or kitchen!!!). Sometimes we have to make peace with it in order to facilitate change (which is deeply ironic!). Change can be made from a place of calm or stress and tension. I know which one I prefer!!!

  2. thanks for this reminder to accept what is, your posts are always filled with so much wisdom!

    • Oh thank you honey!

  3. I love Thích Nhất Hạnh. I read his poetry a lot in my early 20s when I really needed him, and it is probably something I should delve into again now I’m a mum. Thanks for the reminder.

    Also, the thing that really screwed me up about my breastfeeding journey is that I always had this picture of how it was ‘meant’ to be… it’s hard, though, because that’s where dreams come from. So as much as they can be destructive, they are also important to have… maybe… something I’m pondering.

    • Dreams are beautiful and I love hanging out in my head having a lovely time! The pain we feel arises from the gap between the dream and reality. If we focus on the lack: the thing that should be here but isn’t here, we feel pain.

  4. It’s really hard to uncover those expectations we carry around. I love this reminder to remember that reality is not perfection and the goal can’t be perfection, either!

    • I am interested…….how is reality not perfection? Only our thinking has the power to declare something good or bad, perfect or imperfect. Without thought, it simply ‘is’ which is a form of perfection. You may have a preference that you would like it another way which is cool. Me too. I prefer blue skies rather than grey (referencing this year’s version of “summer”!).

  5. Maybe the problem of our age is that lots of people lives by: I don’t have dreams I have goals.. We set our goals, our expectations, we work hard to achieve them and we accept no deviation from the plan. Then we live with the constant feeling of failure because there is way too many things out of our control, which we can not influence or change but which have impact on the final image. Its really hard to realise that we are the main source of our un/happiness… thank you for the inspiring post.
    I absolutely love the two quotes in your post!!

    • We are the source of our own unhappiness, yes! Bummer huh?! Goals and dreams are fun if we let go of “success” and reaching them. They are simply something we are doing in the moment (that hopefully we like?!?). Looking to a thought constructed future and saying “damn! still not there!” (glittering castle not acquired and the damn prince hasn’t shown up yet) is a great way to feel crappy about ourselves and life!


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