be careful what you wish for

A guest post by Roo Mulligan

There is a saying, “be careful what you wish for because you just might get it.” When I was a child we used to tell a little story and sing a song that illustrated this saying. The story went like this:

Once there was a boy who was walking through the forest. He came upon a leprechaun dancing around in a toadstool circle, completely unaware of the boy. The boy captured the leprechaun who proceeded to beg and cry for release. The leprechaun promised the boy 3 wishes if he would let him go. So the boy released the leprechaun and started dreaming of all that he could wish for with his 3 wishes. He immediately wished for a pot of gold and poof it appeared at his feet. He wished for 100 more wishes and thought himself so clever. Knowing he had many more wishes he decided to take his time thinking about what he really wanted. He started to walk the path home and since he was so excited he started to sing. He sang a song that was a popular commercial jingle at the time. “Oh I wish I were an Oscar Meyer Weiner…” and poof, he turned into a hot dog.

This story has been on my mind lately because it is a silly example of what I believe to be a true gift we have been given. Jesus tells us in the Bible, “ask and it is given.” When we pray or ask for guidance, the answers come to us. It is up to us to recognize those answers.

It may come in the form of lyrics to a song that you hear on the radio. Maybe your answer is an ad you see in a magazine or contained in a conversation you overhear. Sometimes you may read the answer in a book or a character on your favorite TV show ends up in the same situation and comes up with a solution.

There are many ways your prayers are answered but the answer comes in quietly and not obviously. Most likely you are not going to hear a booming voice from the sky tell you exactly what you want to hear. You have to open your eyes and your mind to receive the answer.

Given that our requests are always answered, we need to be aware of how we are asking. I have recently been through a series of difficult situations. My mother was very ill and lived far away from me. I was working 2 jobs and trying to complete my Master’s program while working an internship as well. I have a family that needed and wanted my attention and I suffered a bulging disc in my back that caused intense pain and required physical therapy for 6 weeks.

I found myself praying for the strength to get through it all. My prayers were answered (as they always are). But here’s the kicker – how do you know you are strong? You only know you are strong by getting through difficult situations.

When you are confronted with a problem, a situation or circumstance that requires fortitude, you step up and deal with it. Afterwards you realize how strong you really are. So, by asking for strength I was presented with more difficult situations to show myself how strong I really am. I didn’t want any more difficult situations.

I felt like I was floundering and suffering already. The last thing I wanted was more to deal with. With each new dilemma I prayed for strength and something else would compound on top of it. I have come through it and realize I am superwoman strong. I also realized that I will never pray for strength again. I won’t pray for peace within. I won’t pray for health. I won’t pray for love because I do not want the opposite of those things in order to see that I have them already.

What I will pray for is a deeper connection to God, or universe and for the ability to accept whatever is given to me. I will practice gratitude and seeing all that is good in my life and I will focus on the little things that make life worth living: a smile from my child, the sun peeking through the clouds, flowers blooming on the hedge outside my door, a phone call from a friend, soft, clean, fresh sheets on my bed.

We don’t need to pray for strength, we already have it. We don’t need to pray for love, we already are love. We don’t need to pray for happiness, it already exists within us. If we are given three wishes we shouldn’t try to be clever and wish for hundreds more. We need to appreciate what we already have, live in the moment of now and know that all we need we already possess.

About the Author

Roo Mulligan is a certified fitness specialist and a Confidence Coach with a Master’s in Counseling. She specializes in incorporating fun into our health to increase our energy and bring joy into our lives. Learn more about Roo on her website, or find her on facebook at

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