Wednesday, September 9, 2009

God will probably strike me down for this

I grew up surrounded by Catholic guilt and Irish pessimism. The Catholic in me was always wary of doing or saying something that might require me to confess to God (wouldn't He know when it happened?) while the Irish in me was concerned the mere mention of something going my way would incur God's wrath.

Who are you, mere mortal, to think positively? Don't you dare get too big for your britches or I will smite thee...

Or however God talks. Is it Olde English? Seriously?

It's amazing that we humans worry about saying the wrong things. Somehow, our words - the utterances of a mere mortal - will influence the forces of the Universe. That's incredibly self-centered! If I tell a friend something I hope will happen, one of my fondest desires perhaps, why would its mention cause the Universe to provide the opposite? Is the Universe so vindictive? So immature?

And if that's the case, that the Universe could be manipulated simply by saying one thing out loud, doesn't it stand to reason that we could use reverse psychology and speak aloud those things we don't want to happen?

Hmmm...our Universe is pretty simple-minded, huh?

I was reminded of this recently when I was having coffee with a friend and fellow writer. We are both very similar in temperament and share the belief in "careful now, don't say that out loud if you really want it to happen." Yet, where has it gotten us? By not saying what we want to the Universe, have we gotten it? No. And if we say the opposite, does that net us our goal? Uh, nope. So then what is the lesson we have learned? Generally speaking, that giving voice to our hopes and desires has no effect on whether we achieve them or not.

So then...why not be positive? Why not tell people what we'd like to achieve? Why not share with them bits of news that might develop into something big and cool - or might not. So what if it doesn't happen? Does it take anything away from us personally? Would a friend think about us, "Oh, I can't believe Leigh told me about that possible movie deal when it didn't eventually happen. Who does she think she is?" Unlikely. The friend would probably commiserate and say, "Hey, it was cool that you were even considered."

It's 9/9/09. Does the Universe know this?