“What do you wish for, Mummy?”
My daughter is waving a sparkly silver wand in the air. She’s ready to grant me any wish with her magical powers.
“I wish you’d get your shoes on,” I say.
“No, Mummy. A real wish!”
“Peace and harmony for the world.”
“Mummy…” She’s exasperated. She wants me to wish for a beautiful dress, or a real magic wand, or real fairy wings. Those are the three things she always wishes for.
I envy her. Her imagination puts any dream at her fingertips. Magic fairy dust makes her dolls fly through the air (with a helping hand). Bathwater transforms into tea when scooped into toy cups. So much faster than putting on the kettle.
I never know what to wish for. There are wishes in my heart I can’t tell her. I wish we were more financially secure. I wish I didn’t feel tired all the time. I wish the conflict in my life would just go away.
But those are grown-up wishes. Not the kind of wishes that work with a magic wand.
Back in 1992, Dr. Wayne Dyer wrote a book called Real Magic: Creating Miracles in Everyday Life. In it, he urged us to believe that magic has less to do with fairy godmothers and magicians than it has to do with beliefs.
Believe the world you’re living in is cold and cruel, and you’ll see evidence everywhere to support that belief.
Believe the world you’re living in is full of possibilities and everyday miracles, and you’ll see evidence everywhere to support that belief.
We get what we look for. The world is big enough and complex enough that it will support any belief system, no matter how crazy.
So believe in the world you want to see. It makes no difference to the world, but it makes all the difference to you.
Sounds great, right?
Like most people, I find it much easier to focus on the bad stuff. Things go wrong on a daily basis, requiring my attention. I don’t have time to think about the smile on my daughter’s face when she woke up this morning, because I’ve got to sort out this issue here and that problem there.
Drama and crises sweep us up. We devote hours to friends going through difficulties while ignoring friends who are happily going about their lives. If everyone were happy and content, then we wouldn’t be needed. And being needed feels as close to being loved as most of us can get.
Let’s be honest:
Happiness is kind of dull anyway.
Hollywood movies aren’t made about happy people. The most exciting stories have the most conflict: inner conflict, interpersonal conflict, global conflict, even intergalactic conflict.
No wonder we actively go looking for problems. A dash of danger spices things up. We transform into heroines, racing to save the world.
If we saw a real magic wand, we’d trample over it in our rush to get where the action is.
Getting everything we ever wanted only sounds good in theory. Real life starts when we don’t get what we want. Because then we set out on a journey to make it happen.
Most people don’t want miracles. They want to work hard for their dreams. They want to take personal credit for their achievements. If what they wanted was just given to them, it wouldn’t mean as much.
But then I look at my daughter. I look at myself. And I wonder:
Which of us is happier?
Which of us has more energy?
Whose life is full of more possibilities?
It’s not me.
Definitely not me.
I begin to wonder what I’ve sacrificed by being so realistic. By wishing for more time, more money, and more energy over magical powers of manifestation.
If Dr. Dyer believes there is real magic in the world, then why not believe it, too? Why not look for the good in the world rather than focusing on the bad?
It takes courage to choose boring old personal happiness over the intensity of drama’s roller coaster. It certainly isn’t as cinematic.
But it could just be the start of a miracle.
“What do you want me to wish for?” I ask my daughter.
“How about a beautiful blue dress?”
She closes her eyes and scrunches up her face. “Alla-kazoo, alla-kazaam, make Mummy a beautiful blue dress as fast as you can!”
Her eyes spring open. “You look so beautiful! Do you like it?”
“I do,” I say, pretending to twirl in my blue ballgown.
“Would you like a crown to go with it?”
With one wave of her magic wand, I am a princess. She magicks herself a pink ballgown and her own pink crown, and we sweep through the house, fairy dust settling on every corner.