March 25, 2024

The Difference Between Wishing for Something & Discovering our True Destiny.

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Sometimes I’m amazed how I can turn on a movie and its themes and messages can perfectly sync up with things I’m working with in my life.

This weekend, I watched Lindsay Lohan’s latest Netflix movie “Irish Wish,” and while it’s no Oscar contender, it was a fun story and had a message I found quite stirring about the difference between wishing for something versus discovering our highest destiny.

The premise of the movie is as such:

Lohan’s character, Maddie, is a book editor travelling to Ireland for the wedding of her friend and best-selling author, Paul (who she has secretly been in love with but was too chicken to ever tell him). Visiting a magical altar, she makes a wish that she was marrying Paul and *ta-da* she wakes up in an alternate reality where, indeed, she is the bride.

But the question is this: is her wish truly what’s best for her?

From here on out, spoiler alert!

Maddie has a serious case of rose-coloured glasses when it comes to Paul, who is good looking, wealthy, and charming. Except he doesn’t really see her for who she is and has also been taking advantage of her as she practically wrote his last book that became a huge best-seller.

At first, Maddie is over the moon that her wish has come true, but slowly she starts to realise that this alternative life might not be in her highest interests when it comes to love, work, or her purpose.

What ensues is a comedy of errors where Maddie finally calls off the wedding at the altar and says to Paul and the guests:

“I just think that if you’re going to go through with something like this, like a wedding, and a marriage, and a life, that it should be with someone you love, not just someone you wish for.”

Sure, there is a sexy British photographer who is obviously set up to be the one she’s meant to be with, but I felt this message was about so much more than romantic love, for Maddie and for us as the audience.

It’s about the difference between wishing for the idea of something versus having clarity and pursuing what will actually make us thrive.

In the last 10 years, I’ve had so many of these experiences in different facets of my life, from romantic partners to friendship groups to my career.

When it came to applying for my graduate studies and choosing my career a few years ago, I was so sure that I wanted to go into theatre directing and acting. I was good at it and found a lot of creative fulfilment in it. However, it all came to a head when I decided to fly overseas and audition at three top drama schools in the U.K., a tough and highly competitive process. When I got three rejection letters back after putting so much effort into the process, I was crushed.

“How could the thing I wished for so badly not come true? How could the Universe do this to me?!” I thought.

Except, getting rejected forced me to look long and hard at my wish and whether I really loved theatre enough to keep pursuing it. After a lot of internal examination, as well as looking at the reality of working in that industry and what it takes to make it, my answer was no—I didn’t love it enough. I wished for it for a lot of reasons, but they weren’t good enough to make this my life’s career.

I ended up flying across the world again, this time to Australia, to get my master’s in journalism and pursue a creative path I’ve always wanted deep down: writing. These days, I couldn’t imagine doing anything different.

They say “be careful what you wish for” because our decisions can change the course of our lives.

Too often we can wish for things without taking the time to truly investigate whether something is really for our highest good, including investigating our own hearts.

Of course, we might need to go down a certain “wished for” path for a while to see the reality of it. But as Maddie said, we need to be intentional about our big life decisions and paths.

Throughout the movie, we can see how Maddie starts to sense a bigger destiny for herself—one that is beyond her wish—and that’s why she calls off the wedding. She senses her destiny as a writer, and not just an editor, a destiny with a partner who understands and respects her, a destiny where she stands up for herself and takes charge of her life.

And I think when we decide to move beyond looking at partners, careers, and life through a wishing lens, we can sense our own destinies too.


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