Wednesday, November 28, 2012

When Did Maybe Become No?

The other day my yoga teacher was talking about “maybe”.  She said to allow your body the “maybe” of going there.  Then she pointed out that as soon as she said “maybe” did we clinch our teeth a little?  Is “maybe” a negative word? What does “maybe” actually mean? It is an adverb that means, “perhaps; possibly”.  But we all know that maybe means NO!

So when did maybe become no?

As a child, we hear our moms say “maybe” all the time. 
“Can we go to the park?”
“Yipee! Mommy promised that we can go to the park!”
“I said maybe, we’ll see.”
“Yipee! We might go to the park!”
As a mom, I say “maybe” more than I should.  I learned years ago that it would get the kids to stop bugging me if I delayed an answer that I didn’t want to give.  “Maybe” they would forget about it later.  I think it is that constant exchange between parents and children that solidifies “maybe means no”.  But when does it happen?
There is a scene in the movie “Finding Never Land”
J.M. Barrie: [watching George react to the knowledge that his mother is seriously ill]
Magnificent. The boy is gone. In the last 30 seconds... you became a grown-up.
There is a moment when we lose that child.  I think it is that childlike faith that all children have.  In Peter Pan, it’s the lost boys fighting pirates with no fear of dying and believing in fairies.  If you go to a kindergarten class and ask the children, “Who can speak Japanese?” every child will raise their hand.  They “can” speak Japanese if they learn it.  When did we stop believing that we could speak Japanese?  When I was little, my brother, Bob (who is 15 yrs. older than me) and his friend, Jim, used to play catch with me.  Literally, with me, they would throw me back and forth.  I always loved it! “Throw me, throw me” I would squeal!  When did I lose the faith that if I was thrown, I would be caught?  When did I stop trusting?

The Bible talks about having a “childlike” faith.  God reminds us that we should all have that kind of faith.  We should squeal to God, “throw me, throw me” and trust that God will catch us.  For now, I’m going to work on ”maybe”, every time I hear it, I’m going to replace it with “perhaps; possibly”.  I’m going to TRY to stop using it with my children when I actually mean “no”.  I’m going to try and have faith and hope like Lloyd in Dumb and Dumber, “So you’re telling me there’s a chance…Yeah!”

I'm living on the eighth day, right now!

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