Fear is the cheapest room in the house.  I would like to see you living in better conditions.


The results of writing my first letter to the Universe were amazing.  Even two decades later, I’m periodically moved to offer up thanks.  So it’s hard to explain why the experience didn’t prompt a whole string of epistles.  I’m chalking up the two decades that passed before I penned a second, just a couple of days ago, to an ingrained resistance to asking for help, especially on behalf of me-myself-and-I.  That and the  fear that I couldn’t fully know what I needed.  The fear that, in the long run, a “gimme” would lead  to unforeseen complications, disappointment, regret.

When I wrote that first letter, our family had, for many months, made countless forays into surrounding neighborhoods and suburbs to find a house to replace the one we’d outgrown  — only three of us able to sit at the tiny table against the kitchen wall, my teen daughter less than enthused about still sharing space in her bedroom dormer with my writing desk, file cabinets, a floor loom and me.

The hubster did his paper work next to the pile of laundry in the unfinished basement, the cellar a black hole for not only the detritus of our lives, but a ghost whom each kid had seen on a couple of occasions.  Not a cherubic Casper, but a creepy geezer whose appearance always sent them hightailing it up the stairs.   We agreed that we couldn’t be sure that renovating the basement would send the spook packing.  And we also agreed we couldn’t bear to expand by cutting down the magnificent old maple at the back of the house, beneficiary once of love offerings from the neighborhood kids at a party we’d hosted to honor the tree.

Most of the candidates that were within our budget required a huge amount of work to refurbish.  Others were unsuited to our needs or just plain ugly.   I finally stopped looking, though daughter-and-dad continued making the rounds of open houses.  I suppose I wanted to make a show of doing something and announced I’d write a letter to see what the Universe could deliver on our behalf.  It was an  exercise described in a book I was reading and the guidelines were simple enough:  Relay a request for something that is one’s heart’s desire.  Be as specific as possible, providing details of what one hopes for.  I didn’t visualize a particular house, but I did mention qualities I’d love in any space  — beauty, whimsy, innovative design, a place to write, that kind of thing.

I was to focus on what I, the sender, desired, but I cheated a bit, including features I knew family members hoped for.  Another rule was that the sender needed to engage in the willing suspension of disbelief.  One was not to worry about “how” the desired object or situation could possibly manifest.  Let go, was the advice: Be sure to not only put the letter out of sight, once completed, but out of mind. I set a date by which the house should materialize, signed the letter, and let it disappear under a pile of papers.

I didn’t even think of it, a few months later, when an acquaintance phoned to say he’d jogged past a FOR SALE BY OWNER sign by a house that, for some reason, he pictured our family living in.  I reluctantly went to give the umpteenth prospect the once-over and instantly fell in love. Barely past the entry, I gushed to the owners, “I have to live here,” as my mate reasoned that any bargaining leverage had just gone down the toilet.  We both celebrated the privacy afforded by the surrounding woodland, how the house managed to be both whimsical and beautiful, the ingenious design by the architect– and, my astonishment growing, the fact that it also was within our budget.

However, the owners were selling the adjacent woodland as a separate parcel, with an access road to be built close to the front door of this existing house.  We were definitely not keen on the idea of any honkin’ cars or Harleys moving through our front yard, day and night.  No other potential buyer seemed so inclined either. We waited, hoping the owners would eventually decide not to divide the property.  More than one friend told us we were crazy; urged us to nab the wondrous house before someone beat us to it, but oddly unperturbed, we stood our ground.

At last, defying all logic, the sellers decided to throw in those woods with the house for an insanely low sum.  To our dismay, they also put the sale in the hands of a realtor who found lots of interested buyers willing to bid significantly higher than we could, even given our advantage, as original prospects, of exemption from the added realtors’ fee. 

Ultimately,  to our astonishment, the owners opted to sell to us.  We were the family their daughter thought should have the house they’d loved as much as we clearly did.  We were still pinching ourselves on the day in mid-July when the sellers, already living on the East Coast, faxed us documents to finalize the deal.  I was packing for the move when my forgotten “letter to the Universe” surfaced at the back of a desk drawer.  I reread the request — one fantasized feature after another having become real, not to mention ones I couldn’t have dreamed up.  When I saw the deadline I’d penned, my heart skipped a beat.  It was the exact day in July we’d signed the faxes, making the dream-house ours.

I’ve spent subsequent years affirming my intentions, convinced that “energy flows where attention goes,” but the other day I went a step further. I picked up a pen, ready to clarify, once and for all, the direction to go with my writing, welcoming any and all impossible-to-ignore signs related to whether to continue work on my current manuscripts or to move on to another book that intuitive friends insist is in my future.  I made a request from the heart to write what I’m meant to write… and, doing so, to make a difference in readers’ lives.  Tucked the letter into the back of my current journal.  Felt the impulse to acknowledge this move in a blog post, but, again, to consign the letter’s existence to a cobwebbed corner of my mind.  I recognize that this ritual is as much about trusting the Universe as it is communicating with All-That-Is.

Do you have such a letter in you, begging to be written?  An added perk:  no postage is required.

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  1. Jennifer Says:

    Love this. Totally.

  2. This is a great story, Tunie. I reckon I should try writing a letter to the universe (I’m actually looking for the exact same thing you were).

  3. Lisa Says:

    Wow, love that first quote! Wonderful story!

  4. Andy Webb Says:

    When I was a lad my parents went through a very drawen out divorce. My mother packed my older brother, my younger sister and little old me into the car and we drove to my grandparents in Bedfordshire, where we would live for the next 3 years. My grandfather was a very sultry and stern man, very set in his ways. Life in their small 3 bed bungalow was pretty unpleasant, I can tell you. Each night I’d pray to go back to Woodbridge. Back to my school, my friends and the life I knew and loved. Back home. I prayed with absolute intensity and fervor each and every day, picturing my home and friends very clearly in my head.
    After what seemed an incredibly long time for one so young, we’d returned from a weekend spent with my dad. My mother, looking slightly flushed and a little red around her nose and mouth introduced us to her new boyfriend. He was the father of two kids we all knew very well. His late wife had died quite recently, a close and dear friend of my mum. Chris and my mum had been seeing eachother for a while and had fallen in love. During the Summer holidays we all moved back to Woodbridge, just around the corner from our old home. They married a short time afterwards and our new family (now of 5 children) moved to a larger house just around the corner. My old home I had lived in before my parents divorced 3 years earlier!
    God, The Universe? I really don’t know or can appreciate the power at work.I only know that through fervent wishing and silent prayer my dream came true. There is a power that we can all tap into if we reach out and simply ask. A letter to the universe seems like a fine portal to this power.

    • tuniemb Says:

      Yes, how to unravel the mystery inherent in such experiences? I can’t help but think in such instances of the oft-used quote of Mike Dooley, author of Infinite Possibilities: “Thoughts become things.” (So think the good ones!). Thanks for sharing yours!

  5. fred Says:

    Where do you send your letter??? I need to send mine urgently…

    • tuniemb Says:

      I’m no expert, Fred, but I do know that trust is very much involved in this process of simply tucking away the letter (not mailing it) and then, as much as it’s possible, forgetting all about it in that desk drawer or at the back of the shelf. Your expression of urgency makes me think that such “letting go of the outcome” may be difficult for you as you seem desperate for a solution, this very minute. I imagine that you are pursuing additional methods of realizing your goal, however, so why not add this one to the mix, writing a letter with a sense of openness to miracles and trust in the Universe and playfulness in the process. Nothing ventured, nothing gained. I’m recalling that Jim Carrey, the actor, did something similar many years ago when he was dirt-poor and an aspiring actor. He wrote a check to himself for a million dollars, not in a mood of desperation and doubt, but with a belief in a benevolent Universe that could deliver him his highest good. He’s told that story numerous times over the years, clearly persuaded that, once again, the act of faith, the act itself, can have consequences beyond our imagining. I wish you your highest good in this, Fred.

  6. dave ward Says:

    I am just sitting down to write my letter to the universe and thought I would google “how to” and read this post.

    Inspiring. The exact date. I have heard of this before and now it is time for my letter.

    The one thing I would add is to be thankful. Thankful for what you already have and have experienced, no matter how much you didnt want it to happen at the time. (in my case thankful that my wife had an affair so I can now sail the world with my new partner).

    But also thankful for the things that you truly desire to happen, eg I will be saying thank you for bringing me the boat we desire at the right price. And set that date. That is important. You get what you ask for and if you ask for help looking, you will get help looking, not finding!

    Hope this is of help.

    Off to be thankful that the the rest of my life is as I wish it to be.

    • tuniemb Says:

      Ah, yes. All-important gratitude for what already is… and for the outcome desired, AS IF it has already manifested (though, to be honest, I let the Universe deliver what is for my highest good, rather than counting on my own limited view of what is best for me). You seem to already have that down, Dave, given your present perspective on the seemingly unfortunate experience toward the end of your marriage. I do express gratitude each day, either mentally or in my journal, for at least ten blessings in my life so that I’m aware that the thing hoped for is not the only key to happiness. Thanks for sharing your thoughts… a good reminder.

  7. barrettsmb Says:

    What a find, rather gift. This is a timeless post. I relate to that resistance to ask for help, especially for oneself. Everything inside of me now says, “It’s your responsibility.” I read your post dismissing rules and got an insight. Had I not checked the dates, I’d have guessed your blogged this week. Your writing and message is timeless, like Spirit’s messages.

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