Be Careful What You Wish For (Is there such a thing as a bad outcome?)
Ever since I started living from the paradigm I call “the Reliable Symmetry of Happiness,” I’m not so sure what to wish for any more. While I used to say (warmly but unthinkingly) to friends “Hope all is well,” or “Have a good trip,” I have come to a place where I am so conscious that placing conditions on reality has never served me well.
I still hold whatever happy vision comes to me, but I don’t necessarily ‘wish’ for things, since I’m so aware that my monkey minds can’t really KNOW what would be best.
So I now tend to say things like, “Hope your date goes well–unless it doesn’t!” or “Give a great presentation–or not” to my clients and the people who know what I mean (See my Irish blessing to you, written that way at the end of this message!)
I can honestly wish for it to go however it goes. That is the highest of wishes I can have for myself and offer these folks. That’s because I am learning–and sharing with a lot of people–that if you see something as ‘not going well’ (with your x-husband or your boss or your child or your client), there are HUGE gifts in it.
In fact, if things go COMPLETELY AWRY (even you have a relapse of your dreaded old chronic symptoms, as I’m having now!)–those clients and students of mine are open to letting inquiry into their thoughts remind them that it is–more likely–the opportunity of a lifetime. The painful emotions are–always–just YOU showing YOU where YOU have abandoned yourself and life as it shows up (to go worship the way you THOUGHT life should unfold or someone should be treating you).
Over time, I started to learn via a simple inquiry into whatever was upsetting me that I could absolutely RELY ON the ‘bad’ things to bring me the exact gifts of peace, freedom, and love that I wanted but couldn’t have accessed any other way.
By questioning the thoughts that told me what was happening was bad (often using The Work or a shortened internal variation on that meditation), I started to see clearly that whenever I was in pain, it was really just a case of letting my monkey mind play God.
I had relegated my mind to the position of ‘decider of good and bad,’ even though I had plenty of proof that it couldn’t POSSIBLY know whether the outcomes from a given event really WERE the worst thing that could happen (or the best).
This kind of noticing changes EVERYTHING (esp. in all my relationships). It brings me instantly back to the humble place of receiving, rather than trying to control, judge, or legislate people and events to match what my limited thinking told me they SHOULD look like.
It has gifted me with a huge free-fall into the best Irish Blessing EVER–life as it is! A grand WAIT-AND-SEE proposition where the best we can do is be 100% curious and open to how we and others will show up.
That–‘not blessed’ (not what it should be)–story always comes out in our relationships– to others. ourselves, and to the events that come our way that are completely out of our control (the road, the sun, the wind, the rain, what other people do) Getting on top of this means that is the place I feel MOST healed.
Here is the loving-life-as-it-comes modified blessing:
May the road forever rise to meet you (or not),
May the wind be always at your back (when it is)
May the sun shine warm upon your face (except when it’s raining)
And the rain fall soft upon your fields (unless there’s a drought)
And until we meet again (if we ever do)….
May God hold you in the palm of his hands (How could it be otherwise? It’s only that we might not notice how perfectly we are held and supported because of all the conditions we’ve placed on what “God holding us” would look like.)
Love you, no matter what (except when I don’t).
If you’d like to work through a situation of your own, where you can’t find trust in life exactly as it’s unfolding, get my Free-Falling Into Fearless Faith PDF here.