FMM 6 28 13
Lots of signs
“I hope that someone reads my message in a bottle” ~ Gordon Sumner aka Sting
In nursing we call them vital signs, the numbers that give us an idea of the state of our health. If they don’t fall within certain parameters, or if they vary from one moment to another, we can draw conclusions about what is going on inside. Do we pay as close attention to the signs around us? The look of the sky warns us that it may rain. A traffic update before we leave home can help us choose a better route to work.
Unfortunately there may be other signs, other hints that are not as easy to recognize. Sometimes we travel very far down the wrong path before we recognize that we made a wrong turn. Some of our health warnings are subtle and may go unnoticed. Hypertension is known as the silent killer for just that reason. Your body quietly adjusts to your new numbers, and you may not check out that headache that has been bothering you. Or you may have no symptoms at all, but the damage is already done.
The disease of addiction often shows many signs, but both the sufferer and those around him may choose to ignore them. It is often said that an addict has to hit bottom before they can halt the slide and turn their life around. For those who watch the signs and don’t know how to help, the spectacle can be truly distressing. You may hear the cries for help, but how do you convince the one screaming, if they are not ready or able to accept assistance?
Other signs we only recognize in hindsight. When we reflect and think of all the messages the universe tried to give us we hit ourselves on the head, amazed that we were so blind. Some of us go completely the other way, seeing everything as signs, being paralyzed from truly living because we are seeing harbingers of doom in every black cat that crosses our path. Or we try to win the lottery by translating crazy night time dreams into winning numbers.
Somewhere in the middle lies the answer. Balance is all about staying calm and centered in a crazy world, open to signs and opportunities without being overwhelmed by the noisy chatter around us. You will find that if you can maintain that inner tranquility you will be able to ignore the false signs, and hear the true message that is just for you. That still small voice that tells you whether you are doing the right thing or the wrong thing. That conscience that pricks you when you have not been as kind as you should have been. That voice of reason that reminds you don’t always have to be pulled into unnecessary drama. Meditation is one way to find that inner peace, that stability amidst a turbulent world.
This week I received a message from my father, who died over 2 years ago. He didn’t ‘dream me’ as we say in Jamaica, nor did he appear to me in a vision. I received a card from my mother, and inside it was a note she found that he had written to me some years ago. My mother is the letter writer, but she would always try to make him add a few lines at the end. He usually deferred to her, happy with whatever she had written. But once in a while he would treat you to a few sentences.
This note must have been written before dementia took most of his clarity and wise philosophy, although a misspelled word and a tremble in the handwriting hints at things to come. We had always begged him to write his sermons down formally, so that my mother could type them up. She has his notes, in his distinctive scribble, but they don’t compare to the breadth of his rhetoric, his lyrical way with words. He was a story teller more than a writer.
That simple note brought tears to my eyes (mek wata come a mi yeye), and has made me more aware of the signs around me. And though I may still miss or even misread them, I am trying to hold still in the midst of the storm, and hear the messages that are meant for me.
This Friday morning I hope you receive good messages, and understand their meanings. And if you hit the lotto – may your winnings bring you joy! Take heed to the signs of your body and your mind, and address problems before they turn into life-threatening catastrophes. If you are sending out signals that are not being received, maybe you are not being clear. Ask, and it will be given to you.
May you have a peaceful Friday and a wonderful weekend.