A reader submitted this question and Dawn Hayman answers.
Q: Do you believe that life sends us messages through people or things? Signs, as some people call them. I have received many signs in order for me to prepare myself for the death of a loved one - many messages since April. I could say one after the other. The last one was one month ago. It was a very clear message. I told myself: this is it. Nothing has happened so far. What is this? Is life playing tricks on me?
A: I fully believe that Life, Spirit, the Universe - whatever words you want to use to describe it – is always sending us messages. However, we don’t always recognize when we have received an answer or put the answer into the appropriate context. Many times, we are given information that is about our own personal growth, but then we read it through a context of fear. For example, you may be receiving messages that you need to prepare for a loved one’s passing, but that passing may not be imminent. But the Universe may be sending you the piece of growth that needs to happen within yourself so that you can then process whatever you need to process within yourself for when that time comes.
Frequently, we ask for help, and then when we get it, we run from it. It’s the old adage “Be careful what you wish for, you may get it.” Like a person who says to the Universe, “I hate my job! I need to be doing something I really like.” Soon after, the person loses their job unexpectedly and instead of seeing that as the movement that needed to happen to find something better, they bemoan “Everything always goes wrong for me and I never can find happiness. I am doomed to be stuck in something I don’t like.” When in fact, the path to finding the better job they were asking for was just presented to them.
Many times we see these gifts of Life or the Universe through our own fears. It is a given that we will face the deaths of those we love. Our fears around that are often reflected then in how we read messages that are given to us. If we are afraid of what we’ll do when one of our loved ones passes, and the Universe sends us a message through someone or something that is to convey the message that -“when your loved one dies, you will be fine”- we may actually hear that through our own fear and translate that to - “Your loved one is going to die soon.” In other words, our own fear is blocking us from hearing the actual message.
I have heard people say, “I never get any messages like that given to me.” But I think that is very unlikely. The truth is that Life communicates to and through us constantly. We are not alone in this world. We have guides and helpers all along the way. And when we ask for help, they do answer. The question really is are we listening? Do we hear their answer? And do we hear it in a way that is not mistranslated through our own fears and apprehensions? If we pose a question to the Universe, to Life, to Spirit, we will be answered. But it is also up to us then to listen for the answer.
After our facility suffered a fire in 1993, the Universe was providing us with message after message to move forward and continue on the path. It would have been far easier to quit at that moment. We had lost everything. And there was no obvious, clear path to move forward. But the Universe kept telling us this was a chance for a new beginning. “Trust!” the universe screamed at us.
I remember we were doing salvaging for long hours, for weeks, shoveling through the ash of the ruins of our building that burned to the ground, looking for anything of value to us. There was one particular piece of jewelry that Bonnie was hoping to find. A gold snake pin with several stones that was given to her as a gift and held special meaning for her. We looked and sifted through the place where it should have been but found nothing.
Winter was closing in and I was out working in the ruins for the last time that season. I knew I neither had the strength nor the energy to continue and it was time to move on. But I couldn’t give up looking for that pin. I sifted through one last pile and found nothing. Disheartened, I threw the shovel into a large pile of ash and debris and turned to walk away. I had given up. Just then, a Monarch butterfly started fluttering around my head. Around and around until it became a nuisance. “Pay attention! Pay attention!” it said. I kept walking and was not at all paying attention until it occurred to me that it was December and it was freezing cold outside and there are no butterflies around. The butterfly led me back to the ruins. It fluttered back to the pile where it joined 4 other butterflies all fluttering around and around the handle of the shovel that I had just thrown into the pile. I pulled the shovel out of the pile, heaped with ash, and threw the shovel full into the sieve I had left sitting there. I heard the distinct clink of metal. My heart raced as I ran to the sieve and began brushing the ash away with my gloves. There, in the middle of the ash and dirt, was a shinning gold snake pin. It looked like a jeweler had just polished it. There wasn’t a mark on it. The butterflies all circled the sieve and then back around my head they circled, singing out with joy – “Trust! Believe! Out of the ash you will shine.”
And then, they simply vanished. They didn’t fly away. They were just gone. But the pin was very real in my hand. The lesson from Spirit went deep into my heart. I was done digging in the rubble and now it was time to move on. Time to trust that we would rise beyond the ash, which of course, we did.
Life, Spirit, the Universe, does not play tricks on us, although it does have a great sense of humor and a love for play. But it is not deceitful. “Ask and you shall receive.” That is the very nature of Life, Spirit, the Universe. But the listening to and interpretation of the answers and the journey we then follow is totally up to each one of us. That is our individual journey and our learning experience in Life.
Listen. Trust. Believe. It is a journey that each one of us embarks upon each in our own unique ways. And Life, Spirit, the Universe, is always there cheering us on.