The Danger of Overdoing Our Wishes

wish control We are a culture of wishes, a culture of creating and fulfilling them. That is what keeps us going. But no matter how many wishes get fulfilled, we still feel empty inside. Why? Because wishes have a nasty habit of multiplying. We quickly forget about what we already have and we want something else. Having too many wishes not only leaves you hollow inside, but can also lead to some foolish choices.

Actually, in my case, one wish was enough to ruin everything for it was too strong. Those of you who read my book already know the story. As a foreign language student I wanted to spend a semester in a native speaking country. I went there, I fell mentally ill the first month and came back. Despite the shock of having been committed to a psychiatric hospital, despite all the hallucinations and the state of deep depression afterwards, the wish to study abroad was so strong that a year later I went to a native speaking country again. And I fell ill again. Pretty stupid, right?

But that is what wishes do to you. They make you stupid and blind. Both having too many wishes or a too strong wish can be dangerous. Of course there are exceptions. Let’s say one is very ill and wants to get well. That wish could not possibly be too strong. Or someone who loses a job and tries everything to get another one. It is when we are fighting for our basic needs like health or money to make ends meet that we cannot be wrong. All other wishes need a reasonable evaluation.

The method that I find particularly useful in keeping my wishes under control is saying thanks. When I stop, close my eyes in silence and start saying thanks for everything I have, the desire for more lessens in face of things and people that are already there.

What is your experience with wishes? Comments welcome!

Take care,
Helena Smole, author of Balancing the Beast, a book offering a bright view of schizoaffective disorder ˗ bipolar or manic-depressive type

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