I meet a lot of clients who are upset about a situation in their life that is beyond their control. Their spouse cheated. Their child is dating someone they don't approve of. Their mother refuses to move into assisted living. The husband won't look for a new job. The wife can't stand his family. The boss gives praise to everyone but my client.
But here's where many people get stuck because they want to change the situation. They want to go back in time and make the spouse remain faithful. They want to pick who their child dates and marries. They want to have full say over where mom lives. They want to make their husband get a better job and insist that the wife learn to love the in-laws. They want to shake the boss and make him sing their praises to one and all.
Life doesn't work that way. And it's not supposed to. Life's challenges aren't presented to us so we'll learn how to fix them. We face difficult situations so WE will learn to change. Your spouse has cheated? Now you have a great opportunity to learn courage, independence and forgiveness. You don't like who your kid is dating? Now you have a great opportunity to learn how to set healthy boundaries.
If you find yourself stuck in what I call a perpetual temper tantrum -- I don't want my life to be this way! -- give yourself a time-out and then learn not to change the situation or the people involved but to change yourself. Your soul will grow, your relationships will flourish and you'll be very, very happy.