Just Receive, Baby

In my quietest dreams and tiniest downtimes, I asked to forget. For the visceral memories to fade into the doorframe and make space in the doorway for something new to enter. After forgiving myself and accepting the present as I knew it, I asked for a reason to find peace.

My dear friend Jesse (a man of confident indifference, ruckus silence, indulgent minimalism; he once said of himself, “I never do anything half-assed or modestly” and applies this to song-writing, TV watching, walking to BART, or chasing after me when I have forgotten my phone), is the sort of person I wind up lazily picnicking with while we discuss what we were, who we are, how we’ll go forward, and where meaning lies. And he believes that the answers to all of these lie both wildly out of our control and completely in our control by way of the universe.

The universe gives us what we ask for, Jesse often tells me. If you’ve asked, just receive, baby.

Why are we standing in our own way? I’ll ask him.

Because we are all scared of greatness. We all have good hearts, and we are afraid of what it means to use them. We have love, and words, and passion – and we’ve accepted to exist as society asks us to because we grew up with people who cared about us. But we can be more than that. All we have to do is accept it. We just have to ask. 

If we’re allowed to ask the universe for things, is it then in turn allowed to ask us for things? I asked Jesse once, my feet draped over his lap.

Jesse: Yes, but you are the universe. So you can say no. 

So I asked, first tentatively and not quite believing it or wanting it. And then I asked with confidence, like a puppy who realizes a bark can be heard.

Please dull those senses, please give me a reason to forget, to get out of the figure-eight mind loop I feel confined to. 

Of course, one scary thing about asking the universe for anything, is what you receive may not be quite what you expected. And this case was no exception.

A plane ticket to Austin presented itself. All signs pointed to PERFECT. The ticket was perfect – it just got me to a new place mentally through a way I never saw coming. As Austin unraveled (teaser alert, stay tuned for that story soon) I wanted to shake my fist at the universe and yell, Do it MY way, universe! But that’s not how the universe works. And really, the universe gave me what I ultimately needed: a reason to forget. And once I stopped fighting against a series of events I had no control over, I was finally able to see that.

While mulling over what I’d gotten, letting the anger simmer away until there was nothing but laughter, I wrote this: Dear universe, I trust you because I trust me.

I hate to break it to myself, but along with wearing cow-print earmuffs for a long time, I’ve been following it up with a cheetah-spotted hand-muff that doesn’t allow me to accept what is being offered. (Damn these animal-print, faux-fur accessories!) In other words, I haven’t taken what keeps being offered. I continue to ask, and I continue to get, but I don’t often receive.

But Jesse is right. It’s partly because I am downright terrified of what it means to accept. When you get everything you want, you suddenly have something to lose. And yet…maybe losing is actually one of the better things that can happen to you. It makes the space in that doorway. And it means you lived.

Just receive, baby.