Addicted to Potential

Should I? Could He? Would They?

One of the hardest lessons that I keep not ‘getting’ is potential versus reality. Countless times I’ve held on to the hope of a job coming through, remained happy-ish in the almost-but-not-quite-right relationship, kept favorite clothes that haven’t fit for years – all in the hope that, in the eleventh hour, the potential of the given object will come to be all I anticipated it could be. I’ve spent enormous numbers of hours in analysis paralysis over decisions that must be made or relationships that must be released, agonizing over the possibility that I could be making a mistake or giving up too quickly.

In actuality, when choosing between the two, reality should win because potential is fleeting – always ‘out there’ just beyond reach. And whoever said reality is bad, anyway? Reality can be really really good, once you’ve wrapped your brain around the steadiness of it! When we embrace change and know that by accepting what is, we’re so much more free than when holding on too tightly to fantasy.

Now all of this is easy to say, and to be logical about. But how do we remove the pain from the emotional attachment we’ve held so tightly? As I write, I’m processing the need to release a key relationship that won’t bring me the stability I envisioned, and it occurs to me that hope is my prescription and time will be my healer. By holding on to the hope that I can be my own hero, I can own my destiny and choose to embrace what I know right now to be true. Of course it still hurts. But pain is a sign of growth, right?

On those cruddy days when I’m mad at myself for being here, yet again, and I can’t find the way out of my self-induced prison, I rely on friends and other resources to clear my perspective. My favorite online source for introspection and insight is The Daily Love where wise and wonderful founder Mastin Kipp has an uncanny knack for touching my soul with a perfectly timed message almost daily. And on days when nothing seems to help, there’s the best healing resource of all – chocolate! OK, so chocolate really doesn’t help, but a moment of decadence amidst the tears, at just-the-right moment, can truly seem heaven-sent.

What do you think? Are you a reality seeker or a potential seeker? Have you found a process that keeps the rose-colored glasses from tinting your reality? Where do you turn for solutions or ideas to change your perspective?

Article by Lori Anderson