Tuesday, August 16, 2011
Can you accept good fortune or do you wait for the bottom to fall out?
Albany, NY: Spring, 1978. I was 20 years old, living with my 23-year-old husband, Chris, and our beautiful baby, Christopher, who had been born in February. At that point, I was not yet pregnant with Courtney. Or maybe I was and didn’t know it; Courtney arrived in March 1979.
We were paying $220 a month for a very nice 2-bedroom apartment on South Allen Street near St. Peter’s Hospital. Besides food and clothing, housing was our only expense. We didn’t even have a car—Chris took the bus every morning to Bruno Machinery, where he worked in the warehouse. I remember he took home $108 per week.
Then one day he called with good news. He’d gotten a raise, a huge raise. He’d now be taking home close to $150.
I got off the phone and cried. I couldn’t believe it. This is too good to be true. Instead of jumping for joy, I became consumed with the fear that in only a matter of time, something would happen to spoil our good fortune.
Stupid, huh? Doesn’t the universe want only the best for us? Don’t our angels rejoice when things go our way? But forget that spiritual shit—Chris was a hard worker. He deserved that raise. So why not accept the inevitable?
Last weekend Mike and I set up the living room in the 4,000 sq. ft. Beverly Hillbillies mansion we’re renting. It’s coming along beautifully, and as I stepped back to admire our work, I had a flashback of my fear from more than 33 years ago.
This time I shooed it away. We deserve this. We work hard; we’ve been working hard for years. We’re educated people in our 50s with master’s degrees from smarty-pants schools (Stanford University and Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute). And hell, the rent is less than what each of us were paying separately. We chose this place. We created this life for ourselves. Our angels are rejoicing and so should we.
We are; we rejoice and give thanks. I walk around that place and think, Thank you, God… Thank you, God… Thank you, God. There’s nothing wrong with being grateful, but what a shame it would be to let fear spoil our happiness.
What about you? Can you accept the wonderful things that come your way without a bit of fear? Do you truly believe you deserve good fortune? Tell me your story!