On the Message

My life is my message.

Mahatma Ghandi

If you believe in signs, there are things you see everyday that may be meaningful. These could be a butterfly as a message of hope, a dragonfly as the spirit of a loved one passed, images in clouds, hearing a song with particular lyrics, reading a particular passage in a novel that seems to mimic a real life scenario, and so on. Now, I started off this whole blogging venture writing about one particular sign, the butterfly, after a really terrible evening in my life, so it should come as no surprise if you know me that I do not dismiss such things, no matter how illogical they may seem, out of hand. At the basis one could perhaps think of them as waking dreams—where we are consciously or subconsciously bringing meaning to things or events to help us through something in our lives. If you are more fanciful as I often am, you might ascribe meaning to them in a universe where we know so little of how things work as a way to find relevance in times that so often seem arbitrary, meaningless, and chaotic.

Last week on my morning walk along the beach, I came across some palm fronds in the surf. I felt that tingle of awareness as I walked closer to them, as the shape triggered recognition in my mind. They looked like a fish. Not any fish—reminiscent of the symbol of Jesus. Now I call myself a Christian as I was raised Protestant, but I am truly more spiritual (think Buddha, the Gita, etc) and I do not practice Christianity. I believe we all should find our own beliefs, and I respect all faiths. Isn’t that part of our journey? Earlier that week I was in touch with a very old friend of mine who has tremendous faith in Christianity. She is the kindest, warmest, most generous and forgiving person I know and I admire her strength in her convictions very much. I won’t go into details of the sad news she relayed, but I told her I was there if she needed to talk, and I was thinking of her and her family and hoping for the best. At that time it would be a few days before any resolution was known. But that morning, as I saw this on the beach, I was compelled to take a photo and send it to her and ask if she had any more news. More as a message of hope to my friend who was hurting, for I believed that this particular image had significance to her.

Sometimes, a sign isn’t a message for us. The message is for someone in our lives. Perhaps this person is facing a difficult decision, struggling with a problem, or just needing a lift from the rut they may be in. You may not even know what or why this message is there. Just the who and a prompt to pass it along. As one of my good friends once told me, there’s more to life than meets the eye. As a scientist who has spent her life studying the world, I agree. I used to think I was silly, and ignore these events. But as I have become in touch with facets of my own life’s journey, I find myself more open to “going with the flow,” accepting that there are these things which don’t make sense, but just ARE. The more I open myself up to the unknown, ironically the more I feel I am coming closer to knowing. Another old friend and I talked recently about our paths in life, and how do you know you’re on the right one? I’m still mulling over an answer to that (for example, is it being on the right path or you being the “right” person on a path? How much is internally driven versus externally derived?) and I probably should seek out the knowledge of some ancient philosopher who has answered this all ages past. Why reinvent the wheel? But perhaps it’s not the answer that is important, but the journey to that answer even if it’s already known. As such, no leapfrogging to it by reading a text will suffice. Only the experience, traveling on that path. And what do you know? Another old friend, whom I find to be a sort of spiritual guide in all this, sent her weekly reading a few minutes later. On Pisces rising. Another famous fish symbol. Her message was about looking under the surface, swimming free, letting go of control which is often an illusion. All these are issues I’m struggling with in my life. So maybe, this sign was for me too. After all, I admire dovetailing. The universe probably knows me well enough to know that too. And if you get seemingly random texts or messages from me out of the blue? Maybe, just maybe I’m sending it because I got that feeling. The one that says—pass this along. Only I might not say that. After all, I don’t want you to think I’m looney, right?

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