Are Your Wishes Dangerous?

Dangerous Wishes. Photo Credit – Flickr: srqpixThe darkness behind my eyes terrified me. Best to keep them open.

Lights on. My parents just a quick call away.

I didn’t think about any of that three days ago.

It was Friday the 13, and like any curious third-grader, I wanted to celebrate the day (and the weekend) by watching scary movies with my best friend.

After school, we jumped in the backseat of her father’s car and nervously asked if we could rent Friday the 13th when we got to the video store. To our shock and jubilation, he said yes.

High fives. Giggles. Our manic gestures projected that we had just won the lottery. We kept repeating how cool it was to “watch Friday the 13th on Friday the 13th.”

While I enjoyed viewing the movie—still high from the excitement of doing something that was reserved for older kids—I couldn’t sleep that night. Or the next night. Or the next night.

It was my turn to learn the trite lesson “be careful what you wish for.”

The movie infiltrated my 9-year-old brain, and I had to deal with the repercussions of watching violence intended for a mature audience.

Before I watched Friday the 13, my desire to see the film was pretty simple. Kids who got to watch horror movies were the lucky ones. I wanted to fit in that category, so I blindly jumped into the deep end.

I couldn’t see from my limited perspective that it may not have been the best idea. I assumed that watching such a movie would make me cool, and that’s what I wanted.

As adults, we’re faced with similar decisions that affect our wellness.

Everybody wants something.

When was the last time you heard someone say how everything is wonderful just the way it is?

You’re probably more familiar with complaints, excuses, insults, If Onlys, and envy.

Even though we’ve lived a greater number of years, we are not immune to wasting energy wishing for something that isn’t right for us.

Smoke and mirrors always make “what other people have” and “what other people do” look shiny and pretty.

Wishes are dangerous when we are ill-equipped to handle the unintended consequences of getting what we think we want.

Factors that make us ill-equipped include:

  • an attitude that finds new problems within the realized wish
  • a lack of appreciation for the realized wish
  • failure to utilize the benefits of the realized wish

Also, the wish may just make us unhappy. What’s right for other people may not be right for you.

Fulfilled wishes do not always turn out the way that we expect, and prematurely fulfilled wishes are more likely to erupt a new sea of heartbreak.

If I had waited until I was older and ready to watch Friday the 13th, I may not have been so scared and traumatized by the experience.

So, what do you do? How do you incorporate revision into your life if your new vision likely presents new obstacles?

Next week, I’ll outline no-bullshit steps that dissect the trite concept of “being happy with what you have.” Sign up to get free goodies as soon as they’re published.

How to Overcome HeartbreakStefanie Flaxman is the creator of @RevisionFairy and author of a new book about heartbreak.

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