We all live in a hopeful universe which we scan for signs. Almost every day, no matter what time, if I check in at Facebook or Twitter, there is a post telling me what The Universe wants me to know. Lucky for me, these messages from the Universe are all positive and encouraging. I’d be frightened if I read one that said, “The Universe wants you to know that it is tired of your snarky and petty self putting on those red satin Daisy Dukes and Christian Laboutin stilettos and prancing in front of you, causing trouble. The Universe may chase the both of you down the street with a lightning bolt.”
The Universe, lucky for me, has not replaced my conscience. Some days I don’t want to do the work. Some days I want to be lazy. Some days I procrastinate. And I am absolutely sure I should be putting off getting the work done. With a dram more imagination, I’d make up a story that The Universe wants me to sleep in, indulge my indolent side, and take it easy. I could believe it so easily, especially if The Universe added that it wanted me to eat more chocolate.
Then there is the other side of me, the one that grabs me by the ear (this is the very difficult part, me grabbing myself by the ear–very bad leverage) and drags me to my desk to get to work. The Universe is silent on this matter. This is my work to do. If I don’t do it, it won’t get done. I can choose not to do it, but it is no one’s desire but my own.
For years, I’ve said that we create our own reality. I believe that. Keep a gratitude journal, and you will start to see more things to be grateful about. Want The Universe to give you a sign and it will. Just be very careful about the meaning you assign to it. Make sure you know the difference between a pat and a nudge.
Years ago, First Born was a camp counselor. One of the campers wanted to go out in the pouring rain without rain gear. First Born reminded him. “But I don’t waaaaannnt to!” whined the camper. First Born was flummoxed, having been raised by a Mom where that phrase was not an argument and wasn’t brooked.
The phrase became a catch phrase around the house for work that was unpleasant but was to be done without questioning or argument–scrubbing burnt lasagna pans, folding and putting away laundry, writing thank-you cards after a birthday haul. Promptly.
My Universe doesn’t engage in idle chatter much these days. Although, when I see dawn come up with dramatic rosy clouds and those delicious fresh temperatures I am so delighted with, I’m pretty sure it’s sending me a sign that it’s going to be a good day. If I make it so.
—Quinn McDonald lives in several universes at the same time. She is writing a book on the Inner Critic.