Sometimes, there can be a great disconnect between our hopes and reality.
Take for example the hopes about our desired partner and the reality of who we end up choosing to spend our lives with. What do we do with this, when it happens?
Such dreams are part of the self, part of our values and beliefs. They are ours alone, and therefore our responsibility! They demand acknowledgement and careful nurturing.
It can be painful and disappointing to realize that the person we find ourselves with may not be who we had hoped for.
We have to ask ourselves, why did this happen? Did we let impatience take over our judgement? Possibly due to instant gratification; whether made up of the dream of being married, starting a family or the notion of “happily ever after”. The reality is such that now we find ourselves caught up in a great disconnect.
Did we possibly never learn to take our dreams and values seriously?
In that case, we need to take responsibility for our present reality. Being human means being fallible.
Forgiveness of self is paramount; otherwise, disappointment can lead to bitterness, with destructive behaviours following. This could be in the form of self-medication; such as using addictive substances (alcohol, drugs, excessive smoking etc.), workaholism, sex addiction, overeating etc.
Is the answer simply to get a divorce and to try again? If there are children involved, the consequences can never fully be repaired.
Apart from this, what have we really learned if we choose this solution? That we need to choose smarter? Easier said than done! Definitely, that our dreams, hopes and values are important!
Nevertheless, the road to maturity also involves becoming less self-centred and more loving and caring towards others. “Love your neighbour as yourself”, says the Good Book (Bible). Wisdom which has been proven for centuries.
This then means that without truly loving ourselves first, and knowing that we are loved, we do a poor job at loving someone else!
Part of self-love is first to be true to our hopes values. Because they are part of our authentic selves. As well, we ought to expect those who say they love us to respect and value this part of ourselves. If there is a disconnect between our hopes and reality, letting go is the most loving thing to do; for ourselves and others’ sake. This shows maturity.
Secondly, self-love also means forgiveness of self for our past (and present!) mistakes and acknowledging our humanity’s frailty.
Sometimes, it may be necessary to go through a burial ceremony (symbolic or even literal, using a token symbol of our lost hope, burying it in the ground, or casting it into the sea).
Only then can we start accepting an alternate reality and learning to love it (a process). As the song goes: “Love the one you’re with.”
You never know the happiness that may await you!