Wishing in Action
Serendipity is one of my most favorite things in life. I find that the more I wake up to joy and live more fully and intentionally, the more that serendipity surrounds me. I don't know if my actions cause the synchronicity, or if it already exists and I'm just more aware of it. Either way, it fills me with joy and wonder. Does it matter if the chicken or the egg came first? They're both here now.
As I wrote in my journal yesterday afternoon, I found myself longing for something that I've been seeking for a long time. As I wrote about it, I found this phrase forming in my mind: "I wish...." My hand hesitated a moment before writing it. I almost changed the wording and wrote "I need..." or "I'd like..." or "I want...." Those phrases seemed more familiar to me than "I wish." But I felt compelled to wish. I briefly wondered why the idea of wishing, rather than wanting or needing, struck me as so significant.
Several hours later, I read this post on Boho Girl's blog which led me to this entry from Megg, explaining that yesterday was an ideal wish day. Apparently, some people believe that "cosmic forces" were lined up to make yesterday a powerful day for wishes, with the most powerful time for wishing being between 3:18 and 3:22pm. It was 3:16pm when I stumbled upon this. I immediately pulled out my journal again and made a list of my most fervent desires.
Does that sound kooky? Cosmic forces and what not? But here was a piece of serendipity and I decided to embrace it, kookiness and all.
Since writing in my journal the first time yesterday, when the word "wish" jumped out at me, I've been wondering about the nature of wishing. Is wishing merely an idle and empty pastime? What is the difference between wishing and wanting? Wishing feels more whimsical, something done in the dark on shooting stars, or with coins tossed into fountains, or on stray eyelashes blown from fingertips. Is wishing childish? Can wishing for something make it happen?
The cynic and realist in me says, "No."
But my hope-full spirit says, "Perhaps."
Of course, there are factors (known and unknown) beyond our control. And I'm aware that pursuing your dreams is easier when you have resources like clean water, plentiful food, safe shelter, financial security, and supportive loved ones. But when our basic needs are met, can we largely shape the reality in which we live?
Was yesterday really a more powerful day for wishes than other days? Can the hope and energy of thousands of people work in harmony to make any real difference in the fulfillment of our dreams? I don't know. But I think that wishing may be much like faith: being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see. And like faith, wishing without action is dead.
What if by wishing more and whining less, we'd be more inclined to take action to fulfill our true nature? If we allow ourselves to dream as well as to pray and to act, can we work hand-in-hand with God to become our true selves and live our true lives?
Do those old adages really ring true? I always thought that "God helps those who help themselves" was merely propaganda for the Protestant work ethic. And that "You reap what you sow" was just a warning to behave ourselves. But what if these cliches touch on something deeper?
So I made my wishes yesterdays. The paradox is that I must simultaneously move toward them and wait for their fulfillment. Living a joyful, intentional, spiritual life is full of such paradoxes.
More and more each day, I'm okay with that.