A few years ago, during a session with my one of my therapists, we discussed (what else?) relationships—present, past, and potential.
When he asked me what it was that I wanted out of a relationship and a partner, my response was that I already received exactly what I had asked for…my ex-husband.
I felt like I had gone to a relationship counter, said hi to the relationship barista, and ordered my person who they delivered to me exactly how I imagined. Kind of like when you order at Starbucks and they nail it; amazing feeling, right? I had placed my order for my perfect match.
But that’s what I thought I did.
As I described to my therapist how my ex-husband had made his entrance into my life, his response was, “Wow, that does sound magical,” and I perked up and replied, “Oh yes, it was!”
The way I tell the story certainly does sound quite magical; however, magic isn’t always the reality of the situation. What can seem “magical” to one person might seem like a nightmare to another. True story.
Reality is, this is why I go to therapy. *smiles*
I kept on with the conversation, describing my ex to my therapist, and he finally says to me in a coy way, “Well, that certainly does sound magical, but let me give you a pragmatic perspective.” Nerd alert: I instantly fell in love with the word “pragmatic.”
So we went in to what I like to call a deep dive into my thoughts and perceptions, and we broke down every little detail that I considered “magical” with his pragmatic approach. Sure enough, I had completely dramatized the entire relationship—from the beginning of our courtship to the demise of our marriage.
He apologized for bursting my magical bubble (laugh out loud), but truthfully, I was more than okay with that bubble being burst because it was the catalyst to my healing journey and the reality itself was refreshing.
I absorbed that conversation on my drive home, and when I got home, I started to really process the reality of the nine years I spent with this person. I used the pragmatic approach and found that the reality was much different than the fantasy I had created in my head. The boy meets girl story wasn’t so magical; in fact, it was quite dysfunctional, and if I were that girl today on the day he entered my life…things would have gone much differently.
But I am grateful for intense therapy, coaching, a deep self-love, and a significant amount of time alone to work on myself and heal those childhood wounds that kept me from seeing the reality of things.
Unfortunately, I had lived in a “fantasy” world since I was a child. Now that I see it, I recognize the patterns and understand why they existed. This was one of my survival skills as a child into adulthood. This is what protected me from my inner demons.
Getting out of fantasy and into a reality mindset has been mind-blowing, terrifying, and a bit mundane all at the same time. I won’t lie, fantasy can feel better than reality, sometimes, but this is not a healthy way to see the world around us—the fantasy lens. Reality keeps us grounded and focused on what is happening now. Not memorializing the past or creating a fantasy future—just living in the now.
So I have taken off my rose-colored glasses, and I am committed to using this approach in all areas of my life. I am willing to see things for what they really are versus what I would make them out to be or how I may perceive them.
Perspective is such a good thing to have, which is why having a trusted therapist or a life coach is a true blessing and so critical when we are working to change our life’s path and the way we see the world.
I encourage you to deep dive into your life and be pragmatic about the details. Ask yourself, “Am I in reality or is this magical thinking?
Leave a comment and let me know how you see the world.