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  • Writer's pictureDee Aspin

When Ideal Dives to Disappointment- 5 Mental Gears to Shift...and Reverse

Sometimes, many times, stuff happens that is less than ideal. In fact, it’s downright disappointing.

We’re often faced with setbacks, unrealistic deadlines and demands. Sometimes we have trouble focusing our attention. It seems there aren’t enough hours in the day. We need time to think, time to develop interests, time to sleep and exercise. To serve. To play an instrument.

Joy can rise then dip even when we are diving into a project we are excited about. Our back goes out… the computer breaks down… the car dies. It pulls us sideways.

Even on vacation, things can start out rough. On our honeymoon we landed in Paradise and my purse was stolen the first night…not to mention a cruise where half the passengers didn’t get their lost luggage until the day before the trip ended.

People, even close families and friends, disappoint when we just seem to miss on communication, even when we try to be accurate. Recently I scrubbed the sidewalk with windex in front of my neighbors walkway after my Benji schnauzer let it loose in the perfectly worse place he could on a wonderful morning dog walk.

“Sorry,” I shrugged. “He couldn’t control it and I couldn’t control him.”

No wonder Psalm 23 is one of the most beloved of the Psalms in the Bible. It rings true. The Lord is my Shepherd I shall not want. Only when He is our Shepherd are we satisfied. Not when we look to work or people to fill us.

Ideals in relationships fade in a few months. The pedestal person shines until the pedestal lowers and we meet the real person with human faults. Imperfect meets imperfect and the actual relationship begins—minus the ideal one.

We journal, “this isn’t the ideal.” God smiles, aware of our distress, knowing we are now poised to look to Him only to be our ideal. To be our Holy One…who He has always been even when we didn’t notice. Or became distracted by shining carrots or characters.

He is our Real and He is our Ideal. He loves us like no other can or ever will, because He created us, we can be assured He will continue to work with us. He will discipline and direct us as a good parent loves and works with their kids, and is real with us… about who we are and who He is.

He is the Light of the World. He brings us joy as we allow Him to lead us as a Shepherd. He guides us with His wisdom feeds us so we not only survive but thrive and grow.

Let’s keep letting Him be our Shepherd and not be too taken with the let-downs. Recently I read a quote, “IF our Master carried a cross, what makes us think we won’t have any?”

Doesn’t that, (forgive the pun), nail it?

When I begin to accept nothing in life is perfect, I will rejoice more in Jesus who asks I be a light as I follow His light. His light is the life of men. Jesus will be my hope and peace in all life’s circumstances. Just keep walking and bearing your crosses with the knowledge, earth isn’t heaven.

We live in fantasy land, even as adults. The spouse we married wasn’t the ideal kid. Nor parent. Nor were we.

Vacation is only as good and pleasing to us as the peace we have inside wherever we go. So, with work, church, our house, our neighborhood…

Eventually, we discover… it’s not about ideal. It’s about contentment.

We must learn to be content with less. Less than ideal. Not more. Even, in our own progress.

And, moving past the dregs of disappointment, absolutely, requires the Art of Appreciation.

Gratitude opens our hearts to receive and live in the daily grace and goodness of God… again.

Reverse: The way out of ideal thinking is to stop ourselves and reverse.

“Whatever is true and pure and good and lovely, think about these things…”Philippians 4:8

Realize: There’s always someone else, somewhere else in this world that would be happy with our less than ideal. Read about other places and people and pray for them. Actively show care.

Each of you should look not only to your own interests but also to the interests of others… Philippians 2: 4

Reset: Journal our thanks. Pray to be alive to God and loving Him and present with others. In everything give thanks, for this is the will of God... I Thessalonians 5:18

Reach out: Ask God for help. Ask others for needs beyond our scope to cope. Research resources. Live as though we are surrounded by care—not alone. Affirm God’s love is relentless.

Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you... 1 Peter 5:7

Share with God’s people who are in need… Romans 12:13

Rising up releases the victorious life from the victim mentality, and increases self-worth and satisfaction. Keep going in the strength of the Lord. “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” Philippians 4:13 God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power love and a sound mind.” 2 Tim 1:7

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