You get what you get and you don't get upset. I actually said this to my daughter once in a state of frustration. Few things make me feel like a sellout more then serving up well worn cliches to kids that don’t reflect the emotional rhythms of the real world. Truth is, in life you often get what you get, but you also often get upset. A simple dash-cam in any of our cars would prove this reality. LA traffic is the ultimate equalizer of expectation and reality.

So how do we negotiate the frustration that emerges between our expectations and reality, how do we contend with our perceived wants and what stands in the way? Specifically, when it feels like someone else possesses the thing we desire?

If you want to be a little more conversant with both potential and frustration, how to translate envy into an understanding of longing and action, check out our interview with Marcia Reynolds, author of Out Smart Your Brain and Wander Woman: How High-Achieving Women Find Contentment and Direction.

It does not do to dwell on dreams and forget to live.
— JK Rowling

Michelle Harwell, MS, LMFT is an expert trainer, respected speaker, and licensed therapist in trauma and attachment. She is noted for her specialization in areas of development, attachment, trauma, and neuroscience, and her ability to communicate complex topics with clarity and humor. Michelle is currently completing her PhD in Psychoanalysis from The Institute of Contemporary Psychoanalysis. She received her BA in English Literature from University of Oklahoma, MA in Theology from Fuller Theological Seminary, and MS in Marriage and Family Therapy from the Fuller Graduate School of Psychology.