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Be Careful What You Wish For

November 30, 2018  | 

{3:00 minutes to read} It’s an admonition that many a Hallmark holiday movie has been based upon--be careful what you wish for.

The usual plot is that someone wakes up in the life she always dreamed about, only to find out that the life she had was so much better. In the end, she gets to go back to that wonderful life she never fully appreciated and everything is grand after all.

It would be nice if we got those chances in real life, but since that is not likely to happen, the adage is one we need to consider on our own without the benefit of otherworldly intervention. And not just in terms of being grateful for what we have, but also in terms of being careful about what we seek and why.

I see clients who wish for things that:

1. cannot happen given their present circumstances, and
2. even if it did, would surely have unintended consequences for them. 
 

These wishes for changed circumstances can be emotional, such as fervently wishing that they can stay with the other person, or financial; wanting the other person to lose everything and suffer financial ruin.

Reality testing can work with the practicalities of financial circumstances, such as by doing budgets and demonstrating that the inability to pay basic expenses for either party will not work for the family as a whole. But the emotional component — the desire to reunite or to deeply hurt the other person, remains.

The dream or intervention that happens in movies would be a quick and easy way for you to see that what you may be wishing for isn’t such a good thing after all.

In real life, you need to do the hard work it takes to come to that realization, and admittedly, it is a painful process. You have to come to terms with why you want what you want, and what would be a more healthy outlook. Therapy, talking to friends, and being willing to enter into new experiences with an open perspective will all help. Denying the reality of your situation or hanging onto negative attitudes to make the other person suffer will not help and can delay your ability to move forward in a positive way.

Clare Piro Attorney and Mediator

Attorney & Mediator
500 Mamaroneck Avenue | Suite 320
Harrison, NY 10528
Tel: 914.946.0848

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