Wednesday, July 12, 2017

You can't have the cake!

There's the opening I was looking for.
When us five kids were growing up, there were many times we wished we could have something.  Rather than use the rather crude saying of "Put out both hands and wish with one and poop in the other.  See which one fills up first", we had a little saying.  I don't know where we got this saying, but I have used it on my kids and I still use it today.

You can see the cake, you can want the cake, but you can't have the cake!

No, this is not just about the food category, cake.  Though I am certain there were times when it did involve something as simple as dessert.  We liked to say this line to our siblings, complete with different accents, squeaky voices, hand gestures...whatever drama seemed applicable for the situation. That way, every time we said it, it was like the first time we came up with it.  And you can use this saying for just about any situation.

Next time someone starts with "I wish...." (and you know with absolute certainty that whatever is being wished for, ISNEVERGOINGTOHAPPEN) roll out your best Italian accent and drop that line. It is basically the kinder, gentler (and sometimes even humorous response that says, "that ain't never going to happen".

But the best part of this line is in the fact that you aren't TELLING them (which tends to fall on deaf ears) but more you are generally speaking of what you believe to be true.  This allows reflection on the other person's part - and may result in them reaching that same conclusion on their own.

So much energy goes into "wishing" sometimes.  One of my favorite quotes by Helen Keller comes to mind when I find myself focusing too much on what is not.

When one door of happiness closes, another opens; but often we look so long at the closed door that we do not see the one which has been opened for us.

At any given time, we are only experiencing an "episode" in the great TV show called life.  When an episode stands alone, we are missing out on the context of impact for the life as a whole.  And unfortunately, we can't fast forward to where our understanding finally intersects with our acceptance.

And sometimes all we want to do is understand.  But in reality, many things happen in life that we will never understand.  The best case scenario is to work towards acceptance.  This does not indicate agreement or because we even want to.  It allows us to quit staring at a door that is closed...and look around.

So for me, I will continue to scan the room for openings, even if I shut that door myself!

Until next time,

Your pal,

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