That depends on what it is we want and with whom we are making the request of, doesn’t it? We’re all aware that nobody can intuitively know what we want/need to be happy. We know people can’t read minds. Yet in some cases, we’re NEVER gonna ask directly, simply because it’s awkward and scary.
However NOT in this case:
Me: Kids, I want you to clean up this kitchen before I return. I’m not going to be happy if I come home to this disgusting mess!
Can you imagine my resorting to dropping a hint because it’s too uncomfortable to ask?
Me: Children, it sure would be nice if somehow while I was at the gym, the birds and forest creatures from Snow White scurried about doing these dirty dishes while singing “Whistle While You Work!” Gosh, I wonder how I’d feel to see a surprise like that?
In the latter example, I came home to our front door left ajar, a parakeet flapping around the kitchen table, and a squirrel licking the cake batter from a mixing bowl left in the kitchen sink. Oh well.
Let’s try another:
Me: I have been writing this humor column over a year now for your magazine and I’m aware that readers tell you I’m their favorite. I feel my value is worth more than you’re currently paying me and I’d like a substantial raise.
Me: Last night I had a bizarre dream that readers picketed your publication with signs saying “Bring Back Stephanie’s Column!” after it disappeared because the amount of $$ I make doesn’t cover my electric bill and my power was turned off so my computer wouldn’t work.
In the latter monologue, I received a laptop battery pack.
And last example:
Me: This is a new dress I’m wearing, and I took great pains putting my hair in an up-do so it wouldn’t be sticking up in a million different directions (like usual!) and I was hoping to hear you liked how I looked tonight.
Me: What a coincidence! At the wedding tonight, the parking valet, the doorman, the bartender, the DJ, the waiter, the justice of the peace, and even the groom all told me I looked gorgeous and wished I was on their arm tonight. But there was only one guy I really wanted to hear that from…
In the latter example I was marched up to the garbage man in the parking lot who sheepishly wolf-whistled at me after my boyfriend prompted, “Well?? . . . ”
By now you may be catching on that anything I ask for inevitably backfires on me. First of all in a relationship, I shoot myself in the foot before I even do the requesting because a little voice in me says, “Well…if you have to resort to asking, it’s not really coming from his own mind/heart so it’s going to be forced and contrived, and not sincere. It only counts if he thinks of it himself.”
Poor guy! Can he ever win?
But what about looking at this proverbial “Ask and you shall receive” philosophy on a larger scale? We’re talking God, the Universe, a Higher Power?
For years, (like everyone!) I desired certain things . . . to meet my true soulmate, to have a baby, to get a Hollywood agent to represent my writing, etc. I had no problem (or ever felt awkward!) asking for these things by way of prayer (don’t worry, I also prayed for sick people!)) or using the Power of Manifestation that everyone talks about these days.
But then something ironic happened. I met folks who had received their hearts desires and were absolutely, positively certain that it wasn’t because they had put in requests or tried really hard. In fact, they claimed it was when they STOPPED wanting these things that everything finally happened in their favor.
Yep, my best girlfriend tells anyone who listens, “When I took my online profile down and gave up on dating, I was rear-ended by my handsome soul-mate driving a garbage truck” (I guess he graduated from wolf-whistling to fender benders!)
And my sister-in-law loves to tell the story about accepting that she couldn’t get pregnant. But the moment adoption proceedings began, she was puking in the kitchen sink (I guess there was no squirrel in hers!)
Aha! I would use this theory to my advantage. But instead of just stopping my efforts and nonchalantly moving on with my life, I would do one better. I would fool the Universe by acting as if I did NOT want the thing I really REALLY wanted. Are you following this? Do you believe you can trick the universe? I did!
I sent this letter:
Dear High Powered Hollywood Agent,
I’m so grateful you’ve never responded to my many requests to peruse my blog, check out my novel, or called about representing me in a movie deal. I mean can we be real for a minute — what kind of life would that be for me? I don’t have time for nagging fans and paparazzi. Look what happened to Princess Di! You’re doing me a favor by ignoring me. Don’t even think about reading me on Huffington Post. Stay away! You’re banned!
Stephanie D. Lewis
It worked! I was gleeful when I saw his name in my email inbox. Seriously — 137 attempts had been made to contact this man previously and none of them elicited any response or acknowledgement. Eagerly I clicked on his message.
You’re very welcome. And to reciprocate, you are now also officially banned from coming anywhere near my Beverly Hills office. See attached restraining order, you nutcase.
Ugh….really? Sorry God. I’ll be returning to the power of prayer tonight, if you’ll let me back into your good graces??
Readers: Do you ask for what you want? If you’d like to read a more serious article (of course that would probably mean I am NOT the author!) on how to accomplish this in healthy ways, just go HERE.
PS. I really want you to leave me a comment … so will you?