Although I rarely practice law anymore, these past months I’ve been trying to help my cousin purchase his family’s dream home in New York. My cousin and his wife have one child and another on the way. Because of my emotional attachment, it has been difficult dealing with the many bumps and challenges of this transaction. Yet I believed that I could get this deal done for them. It became so important to me in part because my cousin had been very sick at one time and the opportunity to buy this home seemed like a new beginning for him. In my mind, I actually started to believe that my cousin needed this particular deal to happen for his happiness and well-being. My cousin does not have a lot of money and this house would be stretching it but affordable. It was located near his job and in a good school district. Yesterday we got word that the bank wouldn’t lend them enough money to get the deal done. I was so upset and feeling very down last night about the news and I was only able to sleep a few hours. As I woke up this morning, I realized that I was feeling down not because they didn’t get the house; I was down because I had slipped out of Maybe.
The minute I started to believe my cousin needed this particular home for his happiness and well being, I had doomed myself to stress, fear and disappointment. No matter what had happened, the house did not hold his happiness. I fell out of Maybe because the bank’s rejection destroyed my high hopes and I interpreted that to mean my cousin’s dream of owning a nice home was no longer possible and what I wanted for him and his family could no longer be attained. In reality, however, all that really happened is that life was not fitting into my plan, or my story for my cousin’s life. Once I opened my heart to Maybe again, I realized that there are always many more possibilities than the one we envision.
Just like I did with my cousin’s scenario, it is easy to slip out of Maybe on a daily basis. How often, for instance, do we believe that we need to get a particular job or promotion for our lives to be going in the right direction? Or that a particular stock must go up for us to be financially secure, or that we need to land a particular client to further our careers? How often have we yearned for a certain person to like us so we can be happy? Story after story we tell ourselves, reinforcing the belief that life must unfold in certain ways to guarantee our well-being and success. Logically, most of us would agree that there are many ways to achieve a particular goal, but emotionally we fail to live with this knowledge in our daily lives. When the emotional attachment to our stories defies logic, we fall into a trap. And stay there, and stay there.
For me, when I returned to Maybe, I realized that Maybe there are other homes to buy and other choices my cousin can make for him and his family. As my cousin and I sat with all these possibilities today, our inner wisdom began to guide us to other ideas to qualify for the mortgage or to find another home. In fact, there is a cheaper home down the same block that he had not considered because he thought it was too small. We figured out today that Maybe it’s not too small after all. We know we don’t have all the answers to help his situation, but we are open and hopeful that we will find his family an affordable home, good schools for his children and ways to reduce my cousin’s stress. In the land of Maybe, his options have no limits.
So today, try to list all the inner stories that you keep thinking what must occur in the future for your happiness and well being. Do these stories about what needs to happen next in your life make you stressed or unhappy and are you losing sleep? Now think to yourself: Maybe. Maybe this event will happen, or Maybe there is another way to achieve your goals or Maybe there is something else out there for you that you can’t see right now. Let Maybe allow you the room to breathe and stretch and open up to all that is possible.
Let Maybe give you ground to stay hopeful until you find your way!