Star light, star bright,
First star I see tonight,
I wish I may, I wish I might,
Have this wish I wish tonight.
Source: The Dorling Kindersley Book of Nursery Rhymes (2000)
It’s 7:30 am and time for “Santa’s Wish List”, a promotion run by our local radio station, in which children between the ages of 5 and 9 are asked to submit their Letters to Santa. One of the country’s largest retail stores then plays the part of Santa and make these wishes come true. Determined not to cry today, I turn up the radio. No crying…. Sure….
The softy in me, inevitably and without fail every morning, get all choked up and teary-eyed and every morning I have to reapply my make up and leave the house all puffy-eyed, red nose and all.
The innocence of these kids is just so magical and pure. How can you listen to that and not have a moment?
For the past couple of days, I’ve been thinking about my Wish List to Santa. My wishes are simple but complicated. On the one hand, I wish for an awesome, long, relaxing holiday. On the other hand, however, I wish for clients and work to stream in so I can put a little buffer in the bank. Perhaps, if I can win the Lotto it would help. Or, what if…. and so it goes. It got me thinking about things I’ve wished for in the past and I had a bit of an “a-ha” moment.
You see, a couple of years ago I too read The Secret. That, coupled with scripture that confirmed that: Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.
It sounds so easy. I can understand why people are skeptics of the concept. Can you imagine if it really was that simple? There would not be a single poor, struggling person in the world. Hunger and war and global warming and killer pandemics would not exist. No-one would need to work and there would be no heart-break. Wait, that’s heaven. So, I’ve come to the conclusion that “manifesting” in this, its simplest form, does not exist. We as humans are too fragile and broken and greedy for it to work. Let me explain
I have had some epic fails with getting exactly what I wished for and now, for the better part, I am very cautious about voicing my wishes. Instead, for now, I am much more vocal about exactly what I do not want. I’ve found knowing exactly what you do not want to be a lot easier than knowing a little bit about what you do want.
For the longest time, and particularly at the time of reading The Secret, all I could wish for was somebody to love me. Incredibly sad, I know. I wished my deepest wishes while staring at the midnight sky with silent tears streaming down my cheeks. At times, so choked up that I could not even utter a word and I wished for the universe to just hear my deepest feelings. I wished from a place of being broken and hurt. I wished from a damaged spirit. I wished without regard for me and where I am and where I need to go and what I need to do. I wished without thinking. You see, I made it abundantly clear to the universe that I just want someone to love me. I even went as far as saying I don’t care what he looks like or if he has money or a job. I didn’t care if he was jealous or possessive or had a terrible sense of humor, as long as he loved me.
Well, let me tell you. I got that, and so much more, the one relationship after the next and at the end of each relationship, I stood screaming at that midnight sky, angry, frustrated, and with another bit of hurt added to my already scarred heart. This continued for the better part of my 30’s. until, eventually, I had enough and I sat down and made a list. No, not a list of what I want, but a list of exactly what I DO NOT want.
My list went something like this:
I don’t want just another cheater – He must be faithful, loyal, and committed to making “us” work
I don’t want another lying, stealing, drinking, drugging SOB with way too much baggage and issues
I don’t want someone who is so self-absorbed, that I have to fight for his attention. I want him to listen – really listen
I don’t want someone who pretends to care, I want him to have compassion and understanding, and patience
I don’t want another loser who is trying to prove his manliness, I want him to be secure in who he is and his place in the world
I don’t want short-lived memories that only last a week or month or two; I want a lifetime commitment and hard work and dedication
I want him to believe in my God
This list was written in rage and frustration and, for the life of me I could not figure out why I could never meet someone like this. I had a real “woe me” pity party with myself and the universe and about 3 bottles of wine
The next day, hung-over and exhausted, I re-read this list and tossed it aside. If I remember correctly, I actually thought to myself that this guy does not exist. Being my dramatic and emotional self, I proceeded to take a vow of celibacy and promised myself a life without men, a life without love. You can read about that here and here
Still the penny did not drop
Then 2 weeks later, the universe answered. It took me a while to realize that I have met someone who ticked all of these boxes, and even longer still after that to trust that this is the real deal. I got exactly what I asked for on that list created in a wine-induced sobbing rage. The universe answered and now, 4 and a half years later, he still ticks all those boxes and so many more that I never even thought about.
So what was different about this “manifestation”?
I don’t know. I suppose it could be argued that my wish was painfully specific; it was raw, open, honest emotion fueled by the clarity of what I did not want; it was focused on growth and healing and a future – not just a superficial “I love you, but I’m gonna go screw around now” thing
Those who do not believe in the law of attraction could argue that this does not count as manifestation as I wished and promptly discarded it as impossible and left it alone. For manifesting to work (according to The Secret), we have to work at “it” – whatever “it” may be for you. I did the complete opposite. I practically dared the universe to not give me what I want when I laughed off the list the next morning. Perhaps that is the secret – I stopped meddling and pushing and interfering and just left the universe to do its thing.
I don’t know what the answer is
I do know now that it is much more important to know what you do not want. Looking back, I know that we need to be very careful with what we wish for. I know that universe knows better than we do: what we need, where we need to be, and how we will get there. I know that we can not wish from a place of hurting. I know that we can not wish from a broken spirit.
I also know that everything happens for a reason. We may never know or understand the reason. We just need to trust it, and that is probably the hardest part of all.
And then, when finally we wish from a place that is about being a better version of you, then the magic begins.
So for now, my wish list to Santa (the real one – don’t get me wrong, I still wish for a holiday and a ton of work too) will be for continued blessings and love and good health; for me to be open to whatever guidance I need, to be the light in someone else’s darkness; for acceptance and peace