"When we are lost in the woods, the sight of a signpost is a great matter." ~ C.S. Lewis
"I'm trying to shut up and let the angels speak to me and tell me what I'm supposed to do." ~ Patrick SwayzeSometimes the Universe can try and try to get our attention and we just don't get it. We become too immersed in ourselves and overly fixated on the pathway. Yes, this can happen. Life as we know it as parents of addicts and those in recovery can be hard, with current times and events exacerbating feelings of despair and discouragement. As a result just when we think we're turned on and tuned in, all we've really done is to drop out of life.
In the end The Universe just can't take it anymore. It will never give up on us any more than we will give up on our children, and it just might get impatient, even annoyed.
Yes, after multiple attempts to draw us out of ourselves and back to the life we need to live to survive, the Universe, our Great Creator, might throw a barrage of positivity and inspiration our way just to see what happens.
Will this snap us out of our self absorption or just piss us off?
It is, as with everything else, up to us, is it not?
This happened to me recently. Not that I had succumbed to despair or hopelessness. I had simply ... stalled.
Recently, over the span of a couple of days I noticed The Universe had had just about enough of me and my inactivity and complacency. It came after me with an annoyed persistence. Even I couldn't help but notice:
Day One: I had finally scheduled the doctor's appointment I had been putting off and very very early the day before, I stumbled into the clinical lab to have my blood drawn. The phlebotomist was cheerily welcoming, almost off-putting. I wasn't there for a morning coffee with friends after all. I was there to have someone stick a needle in my vein and draw blood for the full range of tests my doctor would need to confirm I was operating on all cylinders.
Digression warning: I love that word as it is associated with blood tests. There's no drawing involved here, no crayons and paper are provided. They're sucking, siphoning, pulling, four vials of my essence from my arm - but I digress ...To put it mildly, this draw-er of blood was my first hint that something special was afoot for the next two days. This was a Dickens-like "you will be visited by three ghosts" moment. The woman was spiritual in a walk-the-walk sense, so much so I actually thought to myself, "Normally I would say, 'thanks but no thanks' but this time, let's hang in here and see what happens."
I can't even remember exactly what she said, but her messages, her signposts, were originating from somewhere outside the little room where countless arms had been presented for piercing and countless souls had been given the choice to receive or ignore this woman's grace.
"Are you a minister?" I asked.
"No, I get that a lot," was her response.
I left the lab a bit lighter of hemoglobin, red and white blood cells and platelets, but buoyed and receptive to what The Great Creator would soon place squarely ahead of me along my pathway.
Day Two: My first visit would be in the form of our lead marathon trainer, coach and sensei, who is a brilliantly buoyant motivator and angel-mentor for all of us crazy enough to think we can actually train for a marathon much less finish one. Each week she posts a video of our instructions for our Saturday long-slow-distance (yes - LSD) runs. She reminds us of important things like at which park or trail the run is being held, the mileage, how to pace ourselves and the importance of these slower weekend events with 250 of our closest friends. This time, she threw in a zinger. She mentioned the importance of writing down at least three gratitudes each day in a notebook or journal.
Are you kidding me?
Of course, a proper mindset is key when attempting to run a 5K, 10K, half marathon or marathon, whatever your goal or ability. I've seen how negative attitudes can destroy a runner half way through a long run or even worse on race day. But I hoped her ah-ha-moment-like endorsement of something as Zen-ish as this didn't fall on deaf ears. It certainly didn't for me. Her reminder [directed by The Universe squarely at me] was a message meant to shake me out of my complacency. It was totally unexpected, but knowing this person as I do, I should have seen it coming.
I have since been hyper vigilant about writing down my gratitudes.
The doctors appointment went well. My counts were all better than good, each one a signpost telling me to continue on my journey to eat better, train better, live and love better. And this time my internal medicine doctor didn't tell me not to run. She seemed pleased, almost delighted by my health. [Signpost saying "CONTINUE ON =>".]
The last angel I was given witness to on the second day was one whom I had met months before but hadn't seen in quite a while. She is a third-grade teacher in a local school district who can infuse a room with positivity as soon as she enters. This gift from the Great Creator walked up to me and gave me a huge hug - never did THAT before - I believe, simply to ensure I had not only gotten the message, but that the message had been received, internalized, and not leaking out of me somewhere.
I got the impression after this last encounter The Universe was no longer impatient with me. I got it, finally. The annoyed persistence had paid off.
I am back now. I saw - no I SEE!
And just in time too. I've got things to do, including a marathon to run next month.
"Gratitude can turn common days into thanksgivings, turn routine jobs into joy, and change ordinary opportunities into blessings." ~ William Arthur Ward
"It's not about what it is, it's about what it can become." ~ Theodor Seuss Giesel