{ Sunday Soliloquy } Wishing

posted in: Personal, Sunday Soliloquy | 6

“Mindfulness is simply being aware of what is happening right now without wishing it were different; enjoying the pleasant without holding on when it changes (which it will); being with the unpleasant without fearing it will always be this way (which it won’t).”

– James Baraz

There is a well known song in the Disney classic Cinderella about wishing. There’s another in Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. In fact wishing is a theme in an awful lot of fairy tales and fables. We all have them, we all make them, some might be trivial, others are quite large and important in our lives and become the focus of our every day.

And there is nothing wrong with that. It is healthy to have dreams and goals and to aim for them.

Wishing - Woodland Path, Center Parcs

Where wishing becomes potentially problematic is when it becomes the norm. Dreaming things were different can become our daily routine. Every morning you wake up, open your eyes and immediately wish you didn’t have to go to work today, didn’t have to get the kids ready for school, didn’t have to do whatever it is that you are committed to that morning. You get up late thanks to your wishing causing lethargy, and as a result wish you didn’t have to rush every morning to get to where you need to be. Your wishing continues on your commute – you wish there was less traffic, you had a better coat, that you had time for breakfast before you left the house so you didn’t get to work hungry. Throughout the day you continue to wish you were somewhere else, wish the work was more challenging – or easier, wish your boss was less ‘mean’, wish you had time for a proper lunch break so you could eat something healthy and then exercise like the awesome people you see while you rush to the shop for a sandwich, wish you got paid more, wish you were on holiday or had more holiday days or more money to spend so you could actually go on holiday, wish it was home time. Then at home time you again wish for better traffic, a shorter drive, that your house was clean so you didn’t have to do chores, that you had a chef to cook your dinner, that you had more energy so you could go to the gym ‘like everyone else’, that you could stay awake beyond 9pm, that you will actually get a good night sleep tonight.

When wishing is so constant that it takes over our thinking from dawn until dusk we end up extremely unhappy. We are unhappy not because life is horrible, but because we are not living in the real world – we are living in some strange world of non-acceptance. We end up dissatisfied with life and suffer greatly as a result of our unending wishing.

Sound familiar? Are you somewhere in this cycle of constant and unproductive wishing? I have to admit I know I get like this sometimes.

From now on, notice when you are wishing. Rather than wishing being a consistent unwavering yet unconscious act, it must be a conscious thought process based in reality. Living in the present – being mindful – isn’t necessarily about liking or agreeing with how things are for you at the moment, it is about the acceptance that this is the way things things are right now. Once you are being mindful and acknowledging your wishing, you are then much better placed to do something about the things you want – either by making changes to your life, or by realising that what you have already is pretty good and making the most of it.

Life is all about the journey. Feel free to wish. But live in the present.

Inspired by the BEDM topic for today – wish lists.

6 Responses

  1. Shybiker

    *sigh* So true. You don’t know how true.

    Every day of my life I awaken wishing I was female. And every day I’ve had to struggle with the reality that I’m not considered a woman. For decades, this wish corroded my life. Eventually it turned me into a philosopher. Realizing that my wish wasn’t going to come true, I pondered what happiness is, what power society has, and how I can survive in a life that isn’t authentic.

    I followed your advice — I lived in the present and made the best of my actual alternatives. I learned to accept being treated as male, learned to find joy in such a life. I did. Not the full measure of joy, but enough to keep moving forward.

    My addendum to your wise words is to not relinguish our dreams. In time, opportunities sometimes arise that allow us to get closer to them. I’m experiencing one of those chances now. Your philosophy kept me alive until now, so I’m grateful for it.

    P.S., I want to hear how you feel wearing a maxi-dress!

    • Splodz

      Hey Ally and thanks so much for your honest reply. I am so pleased you have found ways to both be mindful of your daily reality as well as finding ways to enjoy your wishes.
      And the addendum duly noted – I completely agree; our wishes, our dreams, are there for the taking, and we should strive for them if we can. Focus is good. Using what we wish for as an excuse to be unhappy now is not.
      I’d better find a short-person’s maxi dress!!

  2. Kezzie

    Yes, brilliant post Zoe!!!!!!!! You are so right! We are discontented if we are so stuck in our dreams that we ignore what is in front of us and can be made the best of!x

    • Splodz

      Thank you 🙂 I definitely believe there is nothing wrong with dreaming, but we do indeed run the risk of ruining what we already have by wishing it were gone

  3. Kids of the Wild

    Ah yes, I can relate. Really well explained too. I often end up rushing around in the morning from lying in bed wishing I’d had more sleep!! (Bit of an insomniac.) A viscous cycle ensues. Mindfulness is definitely the way forward.

    • Splodz

      Thank you. It’s so hard, but it is so important. It’s the main reason I insist on a walk at lunchtimes – that fresh air and natural light helps me to breathe and take stock.

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