Sunday, June 07, 2009

Maybe - Permission or Possibility?

Maybe is a tough word. It means different things depending on who asks and who answers. Kids always seem to take maybe as a positive sign – they thrive on the possibility of maybe turning into yes. After all, if the answer is definitely no, that’s what they would hear. So, maybe is a slip and a slide away from yes.

Things get more complicated as we age. When parents say maybe, it means “I’m still mulling it over because I really have no idea what to do”, while their children are off and running to the starting gate as if it’s a done deal. As adults, we have made many decisions, some good; some bad; some we’re still evaluating. We know that maybe gives us time to weigh our options and make the perfect decision.

Perfect. There’s a word that thrives on maybe-making. Maybe can turn into a life-long habit of not choosing anything, and waiting for permission to live our life. Once a direction is chosen, if it’s not perfect, we question our ability to choose wisely and fall back on a lifetime of maybes for protection. Eventually, someone will make a decision that we might have to live with. If it turns out to be a dud, well, it’s not our fault – we didn’t make it. We’re still in the middle of maybe-lake, floating on our raft, tentatively waiting for a strong wind, and avoiding both blame and any muddy shore.

When we get maybe as an answer, we aren’t asking the right question – even if we are asking ourselves. Maybe is a sign we need to refine and focus the inquiry, but we don’t. Instead, we sit back, get comfortable and wait for permission from the universe to get on with it – whatever “it” is. Even when it’s evident that “it” is the thing that will make our dreams come true, we sit, wait and ponder the possibilities, thereby denying ourselves permission, because what if “it” turns out not to be what we imagined? Does it mean the thing we’ve dreamed and schemed about is a mistake? We don’t like mistakes; they are messy, so we float and keep our feet safely on the raft – clean and dry – and useless.

If we don’t move, we can’t make a mistake now can we? We’ll just patiently wait for the universe to give us a sign; some tangible or intangible inkling that will permit us to take a step in the right direction.

Guess what? The universe doesn’t hand out permission slips. It’s more of a “you snooze, you lose” energy that sustains the spin in the cosmic circle. If you’re waiting too far away, you’ll be cast further from the rotation, sucked in by black holes – like attracts like.

It’s time to launch right into the vortex. Take advantage of the momentum created by the slightest action. Sometimes there is no right direction – as a circle rotates, right becomes left, and then right again. So think like a kid and jump headlong into life’s possibilities – hear “yes”. Or, if that feels too devil may care for your tastes – take my mother’s advice: “Shit, or get off of the pot”. Apologies to those with more refined sensibilities, but she has a point. It’s about movement people – it’s all about movement.