The Universe Says “No” Sometimes

The dream first. I was standing in a tall building, looking out over the mountains in Phoenix. A voice behind me said, “This is a higher calling.” I looked around, and I was standing in a room of packing boxes. A poetry book was on a box next to me. I’d probably been reading it.

The next morning, I wrote down the dream, and indulged in an ancient kabbalistic meditation on the creative spirit. Then, to work. And hard work it is, writing my new website. I’m on the third draft, and the webmaster is trying hard to stay polite and the account executive is probably going home to stick pins an a voodoo doll of me. I don’t blame her. But I won’t put up a website that isn’t well done. So. It’s hard work.

The phone rings and on the other end is a poet whose books I’ve read and whose writing and teaching I admire. A wonderful conversation later, I discover he teaches a course that sounds as if it were designed for me. Two years and I’d have a certification in healing through poetry. I want to do that. It sounds perfect. It matches the dream!

I check into the price, and it is more than I can afford. Way more. Of course, the price is worth it, that’s not the point. But both of our cars are more than 12 years old, one of them has more than 200,000 miles on the odometer. The family room needs a new floor. The carpet, even when clean, looks like a plowed field waiting to be seeded.

Sometimes the dream is not a sign.

Sometimes the dream is not a sign.

It seemed like a good time to turn over the problem to the Operating System of the Universe. I went back to work. OK, I may have mentioned it whined a little on Facebook. I should have kept my fingers concentrating on the website.

The emails began to trickle in: “Jump and trust. The money will show up as you fly.” “The universe will provide you the money. Sign up!” “This is an investment in the future, just do it.” “The dream was a sign! Go now and the money will come.” “Write a love letter to money!” Oh. I’m not big on blind trust. I noodle some numbers, and nope, it’s just not feasible right now. That happens, too. Even in an enlightened universe. Sometimes the Universe says, “No,” even if you have a dream.

1354416871_4777_tantrumThe next step was also interesting. “You didn’t try hard enough.” “You didn’t trust enough.” “Maybe you didn’t deserve it after all.” “You are playing small.” “Write another love letter to money.” Wow, so if the universe doesn’t deliver, suddenly it’s my fault. What happened to blind trust?

I have a few days left. Maybe the Universe will write me a check. But if it doesn’t, I’ll have to be disappointed. There is nothing wrong with disappointment. It does not reflect on my character, my will or my ability to manifest. It simply means that something I wanted it out of my financial reach. That happens. Even to deserving people.

Tomorrow there will be more webwriting, but mostly workbook writing. Sometimes the Universe helps you by letting you deal with loss and then move on.

Quinn McDonald trusts in the Universe, even when the answer is “No.”

20 thoughts on “The Universe Says “No” Sometimes

  1. Maybe there are alternatives to taking the class. Will a certificate be valuable anyway? Perhaps the journey you embarked on with the thinking about the class is part of your process and the start of your solution?

    • The certificate will not make anyone hire me who cares about administrative details. Because I have read everything this poet therapist has written and because I get his newsletter, this is exactly the course I want for deepening coaching skills and creating more interesting writing classes.

  2. Usually I read all the other responses before I write my own but not this time . . . the parallel is just too damned weird.

    I’m looking at $5000 ( about US$4000) worth of Diploma in Art and Creativity next year, maybe $2500 for the certificate this year and what it comes down to is this . . . Do I want to explore the dream? And only I can answer the question and go through the doubts because I know that everyone will say “you go for it” when they may not have the courage themselves and can hardly say (at least publically) “no don’t, it’s too big of a risk and /or you don’t have the raw talent. [ ]

    So there, and my car is in the same state as yours and although I have newish carpet do you think I will care about the state yours if/when I visit? No, because I will be visiting you and expecting a hug or recognition, lots of laughter and lovely meal from Cooking Man.

    Discount the other stuff . . . ask yourself if the dream is worth pursuing . . . that’s what I’m asking myself.

  3. Quinn:
    It is too bad you cannot take the course right now. Please know that you have already healed with poetry. You have healed and helped with your words of encouragement, advice on plain thinking, extraordinary wisdom and examples of self containment, discipline and hard work.

    Sometimes jumping when you are afraid to is about overcoming fear, and therefore the jump promotes growth and wisdom and personal belief in ability. But when you have measured the drop carefully, and determined that you cannot grow wings fast enough, or large enough to slow or stop the fall, its best not to jump.

    Are there alternatives? Do you have to commit to the entire course and its associated costs right now? I am sure you have explored all avenues, this part of the comment is for those who jump without thinking and then complain about sprained ankles.

    • There are a lot of pieces that don’t fit–right now. I”m patient. I’m so pleased to hear that some healing has already happened. And yes, it is the author of that poetry book I love so much.

  4. If it was meant to happen now you would eagerly sign up with no reservations. No negative feelings is a positive sign that it’s meant to be. So, not yet. Not yet does not mean never. It just means not yet.

    Keeping my fingers crossed and saying some prayers that one day it will be the right time for you to take this class.

    In the mean time, keep writing, keep learning, keep sharing, keep teaching, keep growing. 🙂

  5. It’s easy to tell someone else to jump blindly and just have faith (the net will appear, right?). I bet all those people would be a bit more cautious if it concerned themselves. I believe in taking calculated risks, the point being in the calculating as in: it has to be really thought through and reasonably doable. To just jump blindly and hope the universe will fix things for you is just plain stupid and asking for trouble. We need to take care of ourselves first. If you can’t afford something that is not a matter of faith or the universe, it’s a very practical down to earth fact. You cannot have everything you want. You. Just. Can’t.

    The universe ows me nothing, it’s as simple as that. Sometimes it provides wonderful opportunities and sometimes it provides horrible things. That’s just life and it happens to all of us, no matter how much we believe or what we believe in. I ‘believe’ in the eb and flow of things and if this time is not a good time, another thing will come along in the future where your circumstances will fit the opportunity offered. It is often very smart not to jump in the deep end, especially if you don’t have a parachute. 😉

    PS Jody’s comment really touches me. I get so tired of (and pissed off at) people blaming other people for being sick or in bad circumstances or just unhappy. If we were all fully responsible for our bad health or our bad luck or our bad anything then all the people suffering through sickness, hunger, poverty or war must be big time losers indeed. I don’t wish that kind of treatment on anyone.

    • I’m tempted by magical thinking, as much as anyone. And I agree with you strongly, that if it were the advice-givers decision, they may not be as fast to jump. There is a lot of magical thinking in the world, some of it kickstarts innovation, some of it allows you to fall flat on your face. That’s why I agree with your risk assessment. If this class were within my reach, I’d sign up. It if were close to my reach, I might risk it. But it is way out of my reach, so I will take the disappointment and . . . continue to write poetry and see what comes of it. Again, when you are making meaning, that is the important part of creativity.

      And I also agree with you that the universe owes me nothing. It is a test of my evolutionary skill to see if I can use opportunities and avoid pitfalls. I do not believe the universe itself rewards or punishes me; in fact, I believe we create much of our own universe–at least our vision of it.

      And Jody’s comment just broke my heart. How can we ever become a compassionate nation with big goals if we blame people for diseases we don’t fully understand. Yes, we are responsible for taking care of ourselves, but we can’t prevent every disease.

  6. Thanks for this! When I intend things to happen and they don’t,sometimes it is really hard not to take it personally. And culturally we are programmed to blame. As a cancer initiate I cringe when I hear people criticizing other people who are actively dancing with disease regarding their lack of success in beating cancer. Really? How sad is that that we feel the need to blame and shame someone who is doing their best to live the life they have been given.

    • Of course we take it personally! Our feelings are hurt, and no one likes to deal with disappointment. Brene Brown writes quite a bit about resilience, which I find fascinating. The blame part makes me nuts. And my heart hurts when I think of people blaming others for being sick. And I’ve seen a LOT of that. Almost like the Middle Ages, when disease was a punishment for bad deeds. We are a warrior culture, and not always in a good way. So when there is a “battle” and we are not the victor, well, then, we were weak. We are losers. There is so little middle ground. That’s how come I am against people thinking of dealing with cancer as a battle.

  7. Perhaps another way to look at it is that you are fortunate to have choices in your life. New carpeting/flooring, new cars or a class? You get to choose!

    • I like that idea! We always get to choose. Very few people can have everything they want, when they want it. First, I am going to have to pay taxes. I didn’t keep good records, so I owe. Always a good reason to get up in the morning–there are things to do and things to pay for.

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