The challenge in financial planning is coming to grips with loss. Every client experiences this in different ways — their changing lives as they age, retiring from jobs they loved or not achieving what they had expected from their work, or setting aside money for home repairs. Given that things are changing all the time, why should we allow ourselves to suffer with loss rather than just relate to it?

We become attached to things as they are, as if they are not constantly changing. But if you accept change as the one thing you can count on, doesn't that ultimately make things easier?

"There is no security or certainty in the objects of our pleasure or the objects of our pain, no security or certainty in winning or losing, in compliments or criticism, in good reputation or bad — no security or certainty ever in anything that's fleeting, that's subject to change," writes Pema Chodron in her book, "Living Beautifully with Uncertainty and Change." While this statement seems to point out that the good things won't necessarily last, it means the bad won't either. Let's look at some ways to manage this.

Try not to frame things as simply good or bad. A promotion may mean more responsibility and income, but it also involves greater expectations and internal competition. The either/or approach almost always leads to heartache because things are fleeting.

View security as your ability to adapt to change. Security isn't about how much money you have — I know people with tons of money who are frightened. Security is understanding that no matter what may happen to you, you have the ability to deal with it. Money often creates a false sense of security because of how easily we adjust to it. Our baseline moves up as our income increases; if our income falls, we have to figure out how to handle it. We can all adapt to change, but our security is based on how quickly we can do so.

Rather than trying to avoid discomfort, confront it. When clients are overspending, they often handle it by chalking it up to one-time expenses. Instead, look at how much and why you are spending too much and determine what adjustments you need to make. Is the spending a coverup for something else going on? We have found that most people who fear taking action are relieved once they do so.

Knowing things change creates tremendous freedom because it means we never have to stay stuck. If we view loss as change, we have a better chance of accepting and growing from it.

Spend your life wisely.

Ross Levin is the chief executive and founder of Accredited Investors Wealth Management in Edina.