Sometimes you just have to listen…

There’s so much noise these days.  We’re assaulted with constant input.  It’s understandable to want to shut down, but sometimes you just have to listen.

That’s where I am now.  Forced to stop and hear what the cosmos has to tell me.

It began last weekend.  I went to a story salon, a gathering of women to listen to other women share their words and their experiences.  One of the authors who spoke was Meredith Maran.  I thought I had little in common with Meredith but she intrigued me; her story intrigued me.  I bought her book “The New Old Me: My Late-Life Reinvention” and read it that weekend.

She wrote of change.  Change that startled, devastated, destroyed, rebuilt and motivated.  Sound familiar?  How about your mother dying while you’re half a world away unable to be there for her or your house burning to the ground or your husband dying from cancer?  I mourned my mother, rebuilt my house and held my husband’s hand as his life ebbed away.  I didn’t take time to process any of it.  I had to get on with my life, my job, had to finish my home and take care of all the BS you have to deal with when someone is gone – down to figuring out how the heck do the sprinklers work – the little things you don’t think to ask about as you are planning for the “after” phase.

Meredith wrote about reaching out to the universe for strength – admitting what you need and being brave enough to ask for it.  Someone I’ve known for many years from work but am not particularly close to told me about a friend of his.  This friend was dealing with his own devastation, I didn’t ask particulars,  so my work friend planned a weekend getaway to distract and promote healing.  After dinner on the first night he asked if the friend wanted to return to the hotel or see if there was a show they could go see.  The friend took out a coin and there at the table, tossed that coin in the air, caught it, looked at it and said, “let’s go back to the hotel.”  My friend, asked, “what just happened?  Did you let the coin decide?”  His friend explained that when things had gotten so bad that he found it hard to even get out of bed, he started letting the coin decide minor choices.  It freed him from worrying about the day to day tasks.  He let something else decide.  He listened to what the universe was telling him to do – he trusted.  I saw the wisdom and the relief in letting go of every choice, every step – in not carrying the responsibility of every decision.

The last message I received was from the film “The Last Word.”  It is a story of living a fearless life, a true life, one with meaning.  It is about being authentic and embracing who you are.

I had allowed myself to turn up the volume to the point of not hearing anything but noise.  I avoided silence so I wouldn’t have to listen to myself, to the questions, to the regret, to the fears. I’m ready to turn down the volume and embrace whatever it is I’m supposed to hear and to toss the coin and take whatever steps I need to discover and accept the true me because it is never too late.

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