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Don’t we all want a relationship with a soulmate who meets our every emotional need? Don’t we all want a perfect job that provide us with a sense of fulfillment while building up our bank account? Don’t we all want to believe in such magic? Don’t we hang on to our magical thinking for as long as we can?

Magical thinking is enticing, entertaining. It is the stuff of romance novels and movies. I’d venture to say it is also childish. I am reminded of the passage of scripture from I Corinthians 13:11: “When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child; but when I became [an adult], I put away childish things.”

Magical thinking can take us down. When we get up off the ground after having suffered harsh disappointment, we can take a sober look at our circumstances and learn where the real magic lies: in the fine art of living serenely in less than perfect conditions. We learn to cultivate the ability to cope with imperfection. When to act, when to wait. When to confront, when to put your foot down, when to rear up on your hind legs and roar. When to sidestep, when to retreat, when to let something go. When to accept things as they are for the moment or for the long run.

Nothing in life is more rewarding than learning this magical art. It builds emotional and spiritual muscle as surely as working out in a gym builds physical muscle.

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