My Four Wishes

Wish One

The Source Of All Things brought me four wishes all my own.

I wished for company. I did not know what 'company' was like, but I knew I wanted it. The Source brought me friends who threw me under the bus at the slightest provocation, enemies who taunted and abused me and lovers who soon tired of me. I knew I did not want these things, so I withdrew and thought. I withdrew and thought for a few years. I thought about the definition of a good friend and came to an understanding. I came to know that I wanted friends who would talk and listen, help and accept help, and share of themselves. People came into my life who became my friends. At first, my friendships were flawed, but as I came to understand friendship better, I made better friends. Today I do not have a lot of friends, but the friends I have are awesome.

I came to understand that there are few true enemies in this world. Most people want to have a good life and don't want to negatively affect others. There are many, however, that feel bad about themselves and try to make themselves feel better by hurting others. I came to understand that I ultimately have control over whether I am hurt or not. If external validation is unimportant, then external rejection also becomes unimportant. I learned to ignore negative people and pay attention to positive people. Today I have mostly positive people in my life. They make up my community.

Love was a rocky road, but I am loved. I have a loving wife and family and I have friends who love me, too, but I learned that even this is not enough. I learned that I must love myself. The love I have for myself will always be with me, as long as I live, no matter what. Now that I love me I am free to love others without neediness. I can give and receive love that is pure.

I feel I got my wish for 'company'.

Wish Two

The Source Of All Things brought me four wishes all my own.

I wished to be a musician. I did not know what it meant to be a musician, but I liked to play music, so I thought it would be nice to play music all the time. However, during the process of becoming a musician my desire to play music somehow got mixed up with my desire to excel at something. I started to measure myself according to how much "better" I was than some other musician. My ability as a musician became synonymous to my self worth.

I learned that this road always leads to disappointment because relative musical talent is a subjective judgment. Music one person may love, another person may hate. I found that I could only derive happiness from making music if I enjoyed making it and if someone - anyone - enjoyed listening to it. I found that judging my music against the music of others always led to sadness.

I learned that enjoying one's own music is a choice. I have heard and seen that although a musician may not be technically superior, they may intensely enjoy their musical experience. Choosing to enjoy making music has made the experience much more joyful for me. A joyful musician is able to transmit their joy through their music. People enjoy music made by a joyful musician.

Performance, I learned, is a two-way street. The musical performer outputs emotion encased in sound. The audience receives this emotion and reacts emotionally. The emotional reaction of the audience is transmitted back to the performer. This powerful cycle can be ecstatic when synergy is achieved between audience and musician.

Somehow, by ways and means I do not understand, I was transformed from a musician who was seeking performance opportunities into a musician who is sought by performance opportunities.

I feel I got more than my wish.

Wish Three

The Source Of All Things brought me four wishes all my own.

I wished that I was not poor. My father worked hard for his money so I thought that was how money is to be made. I liked working hard. Soon more and more work came to me, and it kept coming to me until I was working ten or twelve hour days. My father was skilled with his hands, so I became skilled with my hands, too. As I became more skilled, I made more money, but I was, alas, still poor.

Yet I was equivocal about wealth. I wanted happiness more than I wanted wealth. I wanted to play music and be loved more than I wanted wealth. I had these things. In some measure it seemed that I had to sacrifice them in order to pursue wealth. Also, I had a problem with people I perceived as "rich" using their wealth as a force to improve their own situations at the expense of others. I did not want to be like that, but I did not want to be "poor", either.

I saw that people who owned businesses worked almost as hard as I did, but made much more money. So I thought that this was how money was to be made. I left my job and started a business, and after a few years I found I had doubled my salary. I was still working very hard and had no time for music. The kids were asleep when I left for and when I returned from work, and I certainly had no time for friends. I became angry and resentful that I had to work so hard just to provide for my family.

The economy took a downward path and business dried up. I let my only employee go and worked twice as hard to find new business, but nothing seemed to help. I began to despair, and came very close to losing everything, but at the brink of financial annihilation I got a job. Gradually I crept back to solvency. I felt betrayed by my failed dream of having a successful business, but I worked conscientiously at my new job and got raises. After a while we were doing okay.

I felt that there was nothing I could do to further improve our situation, so I made the best of what I had and stopped worrying about it. I was grateful to have a job that paid for health insurance for my family and a decent wage.

Fortunately we bought our home in a place where the real estate market had resumed growing and continued to grow. Whereas at our lowest financial point our home was worth less than the mortgage we owed, its value bounced back and grew. Although we were stuck there for a decade longer than we would have preferred, by the time we were financially able to move, the value had increased enough to afford us the larger home we needed and yearned for - not a palace, but a condo with enough rooms so that my wife and I could have our own bedroom.

Today I do not have any real problem paying my bills and I have equity in my home that I can draw on at need to pay for my kids' colleges. I am not wealthy, but I have no great want for money. My family is well provided for and we feel safe and secure in a terrible economy. We are not rich, but we are not poor.

So I feel I have gotten my wish.

I learned that nothing is a guarantee for wealth: neither skill, nor talent, nor hard work. If all players at a poker table count cards, it's back to luck who might win, if you believe in luck. Personally I believe that everything happens for a reason. I believe I still have a lot to learn about wealth.

Many people I know live by the idea that "The Lord will provide." It seems to really work. In a way, I believe the same thing. I have faith that the universe will unfold exactly as it should.

Wish Four

The Source Of All Things brought me four wishes all my own.

I wished I was good at sports. I am not blessed with a body that is predisposed to excelling at a sport, but many things came to my aid. I was brought exceptional coaches and precise examples to guide me, but I was lazy and stubborn and did not heed them. Nevertheless I excelled at track as a sprinter and ran several races at every meet, including the 100-yard and 440-yard events, and the 440-yard and 880-yard relays.

Although I enjoyed the sensations of physical exercise, I could not accept the system of male hierarchy that seemed to be in place. Hazing that my peers laughed off made me angry and resentful. I enjoyed being part of a team and doing my best, especially when I did well; but I hated it when I let my teammates down by performing badly, and I hated the violence in the locker room that seemed to follow practices for no reason at all.

When, through hazing, I was humiliated by my peers, I was brought to face the source of humiliation: stories of anxiety and regret in my head. Forced to confront these stories, I turned first to martial arts and then to meditation to find the balance I needed to be happy. Finding this balance through these activities and the help of others, I learned that I was responsible for my feelings of humiliation. I could then forgive and forget my childhood oppressors and move on.

In addition to martial arts, I sought non-competitive sports or sports in which I could participate alone, such as skiing and cycling where I could fill my need for physical exercise. I learned that I very much enjoy the personal speed of these sports, wherein I can go fast with very little in the way of a vehicle. During hard financial times I gave up skiing, but I still enjoy cycling very much, and of course I still practice Kung Fu. As I get older, I am looking forward to learning Tai Chi.

As a cyclist, I bike in at least one fundraising event per year, usually the Cape Cod Getaway (CCG) event for the National Multiple Sclerosis society. The CCG is a 150-mile, 2-day event. This year I am also biking in the Grand Fondo 100-mile, 1-day event for the Tour de Cure, a fundraiser for the American Diabetes association.

I am very happy that I can still easily bike long distances. I guess I consider myself good at cycling. So I would say I got my wish.  But I learned that it is not nearly as important to be good at a sport as it is to enjoy doing it and to enjoy the physical, mental and spiritual health that it helps one to attain.  

Wishes

We make wishes all the time. What we concentrate on, visualize clearly and have faith in, we eventually get. So be careful what you wish for!

I have found that the key to getting what we wish for in life depends primarily on faith and circumstances, and to some degree, effort, although without the faith that our effort will bring forth the desired result, it is almost entirely wasted.

In the words of the Rolling Stones,

"You can't always get what you want ... but if you try sometime, you just might find ... you get what you need."

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Comments 7 comments

Truckstop Sally profile image

Truckstop Sally 5 years ago

I loved this hub and your explanation of each wish. I wonder about #2. What is your musical talent?

Out of all of your wishes, I can most relate to #1 -- Company. I am very comfortable in the skin I'm in . . . and there is always someone coming for dinner or to stay a night or two.

Thanks for sharing! And I'll keep wishing on those stars!!


Tom Rubenoff profile image

Tom Rubenoff 5 years ago from United States Author

I did not actually say I had talent, Truckstop, but I think your question would be answered by my telling you I play the trombone. :)

Comfortable in the skin you're in. That's the way to be! Thank you


Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 5 years ago from United States

I really like this hub which probably required a lot of thought over time to know exactly what was the most important wishes in your life. At least it seem this way with regard to friendships which are so important as we all want to be loved. In your comments you mentioned being comfortable in the skin you're in and I think that is fundamental to having joy in your life and peace. If we don't love ourselves that we don't have much to give back to the ones we love and you explain that very well. Voted/rated awesome.


Tom Rubenoff profile image

Tom Rubenoff 5 years ago from United States Author

Thanks, Pamela :)

The key to seeing one's wishes fulfilled is gratitude. When I am grateful for the blessings in my life I am happy. To paraphrase a Chinese proverb, "Relaxation is who you are; anxiety is who you think you should become."


Micky Dee profile image

Micky Dee 5 years ago

Nicely done as always Tom. Great thoughts to ponder.


stars439 profile image

stars439 5 years ago from Louisiana, The Magnolia and Pelican State.

I love the way you use logic in your thinking. Your mind is interesting. Thanks for sharing, And Thank you for the honor of becomming my fan, after I became yours. GBY


Tom Rubenoff profile image

Tom Rubenoff 5 years ago from United States Author

Thank you, Micky Dee!

Thanks, Stars! Yes, interesting is what I would call it. It's always thinking. I think it was designed as the best toy ever! Thanks again

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