The “I wish” Watchman

I have hired a Watchman to keep an eye out for I wishes.

His name is Bill.

He’s got a big job ahead of him. I wishes are everywhere.

I wish it was sunny. I wish she had more interest in art. I wish I hadn’t eaten all that cake. I wish there was no oil spill.

I wishes are about as useful as banging your head against a brick wall and wishing the wall was soft and not so brick-y.

They also shield us with a kind of immunity against responsibility. I can wish the wall was soft and not take it upon myself to stop banging my head against it. I can wish there was no oil spill and avoid my part in contributing to the overall economy of fuel, or deny my ability to help recover from the spill by offering my time or money.

In his book A Gradual Awakening, Steven Levine states, “Wanting things to be otherwise is the very essence of suffering.”

I wish phrases are Watchman Bill’s tip off that head banging is occurring. Suffering is occurring.

In Yoga, this involves the practices of both Aparigraha (non-grasping) and Samtosha (contentment). When we let go of the way we want things to be versus the way things really are (Aparigraha) it becomes possible to touch the “suchness” of the moment as it is with complete openness (Samtosha).

Don’t get me wrong, I think wishes have their place. I still wish upon the first star. I make a wish every year at my birthday. And I pray and use intention daily. But these are ways of releasing hopes and dreams into the world, not head banging brick-y wishes that fight and contest reality.

Now, I don’t want any violence (Bill’s trained in martial arts, so I think he’ll use the momentum of the opponent or whatever it is they do). As he apprehends I wishes, he’ll just kindly escort them out. He can always call the Cowboy for backup if necessary.

Bill does contract work and is available if you’d like to hire him to watch out for your I wishes. Though, I think I have enough wishing to keep him very busy.


3 Responses to “The “I wish” Watchman”

  1. 1 JennaFrancisco June 1, 2010 at 8:50 pm

    This is very reminiscent of one of the points at Book Club last time. I really needed to be snapped out of my I wish pattern and talking to you all about it really helped. I’ve been practicing more gratefulness for things as they are and more present-moment awareness. Good luck with Bill, but I doubt you’ll need him very long. :-)

  2. 2 Liz June 1, 2010 at 9:18 pm

    Bill sounds like a bad friend. Lets throw rocks at him.

  3. 3 amy June 3, 2010 at 2:58 pm

    this is marvelous! what a wonderful idea….thank you for sharing it. I will be hiring my own Bill today.

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