I have a necklace with a ‘wish’ inside; a dandelion seed to be exact. It’s beautiful, and I have made an actual wish while holding it. My wish was…wait, I can’t tell you, or it won’t come true. Isn’t that the way wishes work? Well, what if I told you that you are already living in the wish? What if I told you that your adversities will become your biggest triumphs? What if I told you that every birthday candle you blew out, every wispy dandelion you caused to drift in the air, every penny (when we still had them) you tossed into a fountain, didn’t make magic happen? What if I told you that you are already living in the wish.
I can’t take credit for the phrase, “already living in the wish”, my friend said it one night as we travelled a dark road to be speakers at a 12-step meeting. We talk about life a lot, (I love those talks), and after I taught him what, “as the crow flies” meant (that’s a side-bar), he remarked about how much of a gift it was to share our recovery stories with others, and how wishes don’t need to ‘come true”, because we are already living them now.
This phrase reminded me of a tool I learned when I was a patient at the Homewood Health Centre for my treatment of PTSD and alcoholism, called reframing. Simply put, it refers to viewing the world covered with light, instead of darkness. Now let me be clear, this is not an easy task for many! And sometimes it can be physiologically impossible to do so if you suffer with depression; I know this because I have suffered with depression for many years (gratefully it has been in remission for quite some time now), and when I was in this phase of my life, nothing could convince me that a smile wasn’t fake. Nothing could teach me how to ‘look on the bright side’. In fact, while I was in depression mode, if someone said to me, ‘look on the bright side’, I would have needed to restrain myself from punching them in the throat. The bottom line is, I am completely aware that sometimes it’s impossible to see happiness when the world is draped in a cloak of sadness.
However, sometimes we fail to see any positivity in this world even if we don’t battle with a clinical illness. Sometimes we don’t see that we are living in the wish. We stop trusting the universe’s brilliant ability to put exactly what we need in front of us. Caught up in daily doom and gloom, we stop letting our gut lead the way, and we in turn we travel down a road filled with wishes that don’t ever seem attainable. What I have learned from contemplating, ‘living in the wish’, is that my life right here, right now, is the wish. And that every mountain I have climbed has allowed me to see a new horizon. Every tear I’ve shed has washed away pain. Every sleepless night due to my PTSD has brought me to my role of being a City Councillor and has made me a better mom. Why you may ask? Well, because I have learned resiliency through these moments. I have learned how to feel my emotions and trust that they will always pass; good or bad. I have learned that I can demonstrate that recovery is possible, and that our wishes are coming true as we speak.
So, right now I challenge you to have faith that the universe is holding your hand. I encourage you to put a new frame around your sadness, and to trust that there can always be hope in any tribulation. I have swam in the deepest darkest waters of sadness, and I am so grateful to see that those difficult times in my life were my wishes slowly coming to fruition. Like a lotus flower blooming from the mud, my granted wishes were always there, they were just difficult to see sometimes.