I Want It and I Want It Now!

Remember that famous quote from Veruca Salt in Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory? That reminds me of how we all feel sometimes when we don’t get what we want and are thrown into realizing once again that things don’t always turn out as desired. There is a force at work greater than ourselves and what we may hope for may present itself or not, but if it does, it is not always in the form we want it to appear and usually it arrives when we least expect it.

This month’s challenges also reminded me of my father’s famous quote, although I don’t know if he made it up or not: “Sherry,” he would say, when I would be disappointed about not getting something I desperately wanted, “Expect for the worst, hope for the best, and you will end up somewhere in the middle.” Now, that seems reasonable, right? But it certainly doesn’t go along with the whole law of attraction principle that whatever we think, we will attract. What kind of law is that anyway? That isn’t a law; that is just wishful thinking. There’s nothing wrong with making wishes, but there isn’t a law that is going to make your wishes come true.

So the question I have been struggling with and maybe you have, too, is, “When do we let something go, but at the same time not give up on our dreams?” I am not really sure of the answer, but what I do know and believe is whenever we get attached to the outcome, and it doesn’t work out to our satisfaction, we are going to be disappointed. We will surely run up against walls along the way if we expect things to go the way we want them to go all the time. Apparently, Roald Dahl, the creator of Willy Wonka, knew this to be true.

My inner Veruca Salt was up against some disappointments this month. My husband had his second surgery in four months, my daughter cancelled her wedding (although I am very proud she had the courage to do this), and my media career had some definite ups and downs. As I waited anxiously to appear on television week after week after filming last summer, I only appeared once and not for very long as my friends and family will attest. (Especially my mother who told every friend she has ever known about it.) Was I embarrassed? Well, a little. The big publishing deal that was in the works didn’t happen, either.

In most areas of my life, I am learning the age-old wisdom that we must accept what is and let go of the rest. That doesn’t mean we give up; it just means we hold on to our dreams and take the necessary steps to make them come true, but also know that they may not turn out the way we thought. Something will show up, but no matter how bad we want it to turn out a certain way, our higher power has a mind of its own. At least, that is the lesson I continually have to be reminded of. So the best advice I can give is maybe my father’s. The book inside of me just might have to change titles and the media career may go in an entirely different direction, but ending up somewhere in the middle of it all might be the greatest gift I have ever been given.

© Copyright 2009 by Sherry Gaba, LCSW, therapist in Thousand Oaks, California. All Rights Reserved. Permission to publish granted to GoodTherapy.org.

The preceding article was solely written by the author named above. Any views and opinions expressed are not necessarily shared by GoodTherapy.org. Questions or concerns about the preceding article can be directed to the author or posted as a comment below.

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  • Margaret


    April 26th, 2009 at 8:59 AM

    Never give up on your dreams. You may have to postpone them for a while, but never give up on them. When the time is right they will come true.

  • Kylie


    April 26th, 2009 at 4:54 PM

    I always wanted to be a writer but was busy in a conventional job which definitely took care of all my family’s needs. I was made redundant this year and only work part time. I thought this was the best time to start my dream. It’s easy to get depressed not doing anything when a job goes. Making the best of a bad situation is definitely a good thing. I am only on the first step of my dream but I know I will get there.

  • Myra


    April 27th, 2009 at 2:08 AM

    I believe if we keep thinking of what we want, eventually it will end up coming to us. It may be a year or two or even longer, but I think if we constantly focus on the Good of what we want we will sooner or later get it. And I do agree, if it wasn’t meant to be, it won’t happen. This is so hard for me to accept, but don’t give up on your dreams

  • Ryanne


    April 27th, 2009 at 5:04 AM

    One of the best lessons I have been working on lately is to fully realize that I cannot change the past but can only move on and improve my future. This is true in every aspect of our lives. It is difficult to realize that in many instances we truly cannot control the outcome of situations but we can control and determine how we act and react and that is what makes life so special. Life is all about the process of learning and finding out that we are not always in control of every little thing but that this too can be ok.

  • Samantha


    April 29th, 2009 at 1:56 AM

    Very True, Ryanne… we must learn to move on in our lives and if it’s something we really want, keep trying and hopefully if we have enough faith, it will happen. Some things just are way out of our control.

  • Jeff


    April 29th, 2009 at 3:31 PM

    When did we become such an immediate gratification kind of people? That does not say a whole lot about any of us does it?

  • Walker


    April 30th, 2009 at 1:29 AM

    I think the Christians have a wonderful explanation for this. Placing our desires and will in God’s hands doesnt mean we are going to get what we want when we want but when He wants. I think its easy when we look at it from a distance.

  • Teresa


    May 1st, 2009 at 2:52 AM

    I guess I look at it from a different perspective. I think the more I think about it and focus on it, eventually it will come true. It may not be exactly how I pictured it or in the same form, but I have had it happened several times that the more I put all my energy into thinking and concentrating on something, it usually happens, but of course it takes time.

  • Cate


    May 7th, 2009 at 3:51 AM

    Sometimes I think I should have named all of my kids Veruca, boys and girls. They are obsessed with getting “things” and I find myself giving in all of the time to this pressure. I know that in the long run this is doing them a huge disservice but I have a hard time telling them no.

  • Sheena


    May 25th, 2009 at 5:41 AM

    Man! I have been here in this situtation so many times!! I have gotten a lot of things I have wished for (mainly by visioning it) but lots of things I haven’t yet. Sometime it makes you just want to say forget about it.

  • Molly


    May 25th, 2009 at 5:42 AM

    If it’s meant to be and meant to happen, then it will happen. I just tend to go with the flo of things.

  • Heidi


    June 13th, 2009 at 9:44 AM

    I think things happen for a reason, happen when they are suppose to and if things go bad, there is a reason. I think it all comes full circle and the more we give I believe the more we get back.

  • Is


    June 13th, 2009 at 4:26 PM

    In there times, it is a different form of great depression. we should be close to our families and appreciate what we have. even when things get better- what does this teach us? compassion and more. I talked to the homeless and one guy in his 20s said he dint have a mental illness BUT the strain was causing him to get that way. I TRUELY believe mental strain is caused after one is out on the streets. it hurts you way too much that s why.

  • Ino name

    Ino name

    June 13th, 2009 at 4:29 PM

    why must we go through this?? i dont get it maybe were not supposed to. I LISTENED to grandmas stories on the depression and didnt think it could happen to us. at all. whatsoever. what do we learn? compassion. a lot of compassion. we live in this physical plane and need goods, food shelter, clothing. we need confort

  • Alisha


    June 24th, 2009 at 3:39 AM

    I believe we deserve more especially if we work hard and we give to others. Be thankful for what we have and not what we don’t have as Is said. Focus on the big picture and keep that in front and pretty soon i think we will see it come to us.

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