I’m the kind of person who believes in signs. No, not the kind that litter roadways. I believe in the kind of signs that guide and direct a person through life. It sounds silly and adds a touch of fatalism to things, but it’s how I feel all the same.
The universe exists in patterns: small patterns graduating out into larger patterns then dwindling again in an ebb and flow that we don’t really understand yet. Our brains pick out those patterns in experience, input, and thought, and turn them into perceptions and constructions of both the self and the surrounding environment. Have you ever learned something new that fascinated you, and for a short while that idea seemed to pop up in other areas of your life? This is a natural inclination of the brain, and I believe we should pay more attention to it in our day to day. You see, patterns and signs are everywhere and learning to read them can help to guide you through life. You may not know exactly what’s going to happen next, but you will gain the ability to suss out when major changes might be coming your way.
Lately, I’ve been struggling with my direction in life. I have a lot of ideas I’ve been working to implement, and they seem to grow larger every day. Lately, I’ve looked at my plans and simply felt inadequate in my ability to actually implement any of them. It got to a point where I was completely unsure of what to work on, what direction to take with this blog, or when to implement some of the other projects I’ve been working on behind the scenes. I kept plugging away, becoming increasingly muddled, not working as productively as I usually do, and began noticing that others were already implementing some of the ideas I’ve been working towards–something that made me feel worse about myself (though good for the other people).
I’ve been here before, standing at the crossroads and unsure what direction to take. Everyone has at one time or another. The thing about being at a crossroads is that it’s never just an internal struggle. Usually, there are external factors at play as well. While I felt completely down on myself, old friends began to pop out of the woodwork and back into my life (I’ve had more out-of-state visitors in the last month than I did in all of last year). Philosophical discussions were had, good memories shared, and important ideas added to my thought process.
As I said before, while muddled I continued to plug away at everything and hope that a clearer direction would begin to form. I was set to publish a post on another blog, in the middle of re-working a now outdated business plan, completely unhappy with this blog and my novel, and fully aware that I had no idea what I should be doing anymore. Then my phone rang, and my very upset mother asked me to come home because my dad wasn’t doing so well. Long story short, he has Rheumatoid Arthritis and had been having a reaction to his medications that his doctor believed to be a virus. He had become severely dehydrated, and my mom simply couldn’t get anyone to help. His primary doctor kept sending him home saying he’d be fine soon. He almost died. Twice. The second time, his doctor decided not to be a complete tool and cleared him to be admitted to the hospital for observation. We couldn’t do this without his doctor clearing it because the health insurance wouldn’t pay for it otherwise. America,yeah!
Anyway, I found myself at home for one of the most stressful weeks of my life. My mom and I ran back and forth between my possibly dying father and twelve children who kept demanding to know “where Mr. Dan?” The bedroom I slept in was right next to the bathroom, and I was awakened several times a night to my dad violently up-chucking. Sleep deprived, on my third cold for the month, worried for my dad’s life, and knee-deep in kids: it was on helluva week.
Through it all my mom and I managed to keep our wits about us (well, mostly), my dad got through everything okay and is doing 100% better. I didn’t see the value of this experience right away, but I knew that it had value. After all the dust settled I began to pull the lessons and signs from the experience because I’ve learned something throughout my life: when it seems like you’re getting face-palmed by karma you are actually being taught. You are being shown things you might have missed, you are being made aware of situations, you are being groomed and strengthened. I’d spent all of this time feeling inadequate, but I know now that I can handle any situation. It’s funny how, with everything I had to go through with my Grandpa in December, I didn’t realize this before.
Certain things that happened throughout the week made me realize a lot about myself and why I’m held back by certain emotions and insecurities. I began to see more clearly the path ahead, and to feel more confident in walking it. I know that my parents have their own lessons to glean from the experience and, while I won’t pretend to know what those are, I do know that it is all related. Many people think of Karma as meaning “what goes around comes around.” Karma doesn’t mean that you do something bad so something bad happens to you: Karma refers to the ideas of cause and effect, the universal law of action and reaction. So, Karma is not a disciplinarian so much as it is a teacher. This means that, when it seems as though you are being face-palmed by Karma, you are not being punished. Karma is using cause and effect to show you things about your life, your self, and the world and people around you. I’ve wondered before if Karma would have to slap people across the face if we were better at reading signs.
So, if everything seems to be falling apart around you do not look on the situation as if you are a victim. Look at it as though you are being promoted. Life is a roller coaster. We spend a lot of time building up to things only to be suddenly whipped around a curve and into a new view. Learning t o read the signs doesn’t mean you will always know what is coming, but you might be able to recognize the bends and dips before you go flying through them and to interpret their inherent lessons as well.
Art, A Bloggers for Peace Post, Becoming a Writer