I’ve heard it over and over again, “All the signs are telling me to give up, Antonia. I worked really hard, I had the passion for it and something keeps getting in the way. The universe is telling me to stop.”
Is it really?
Maybe. I mean, I don’t know what the universe is trying to tell you. But, have you really understood the signs and the direction they are pointing you to? Or, are you projecting your own conclusions and misunderstanding them?
A couple of weeks ago, a 32 year old Colombian woman asked to speak to me about a problem that was keeping her up at night. She had decided to quit her job to go back to school and get her degree. “It’s been my lifelong dream, Antonia,” she said. “My parents couldn’t afford to send me to university. So, I started working and saved enough money to pay for my own studies. But now, my economical situation has become a little complicated. I am able to live but can no longer afford to pay for transit to get to the University which is a two hour walk from my home. In Manizales, I don’t have the option of getting a part time job and I have courses on Saturdays. I am six weeks from getting my degree and am faced with having to give it all up and go back to my old job. I have enough money for this week but, that’s it. I really want this degree and worked so hard to achieve it but, this is probably a sign that I made a big mistake and need to face reality. I have my dream job already waiting for me once I get my degree and up until now, I’ve been excited about it. Please, can you tell me what I should do? I really don’t see any other option besides quitting school and going back to my old job.”
Again, I am not speaking on behalf of the universe but, before we call it quits and conclude that this is what the universe is telling us, do we really know this to be true or, are we perceiving it and making our own conclusion from the conditioning of our upbringing and beliefs?
You see, one thing that we may not realize and overlook is that
The universe does not think like us, does not speak like us and does not work for us the way we would like it to.
In whatever we want to achieve, we will come face to face with an obstacle or roadblock that may seem impossible for us to remove and have a clear road ahead.
If we stop and look at why we conclude that we’ve come to end of the rope, it may very well be based on a picture we created in our mind of how our journey would be. We probably crafted and painted that picture with the knowledge and beliefs that we accumulated from either our upbringing, a past experience, comparison to others and so on. From that knowledge or belief, with which we come to believe to be truth, we conclude that the universe is working against us.
Let’s take this woman’s example.
She had been raised to believe that walking as a means of transport was only for a lower class of people. Having to resort to walking basically determined your success for the future. So, when walking turned out to be the only solution to her situation, she concluded that she was being given a sign to give up.
This reminded me of my own experiences of having faced many roadblocks and bumpy roads, in which I too interpreted as a ‘calling it quits’ stop sign. Funny thing is that I later realized that yes, they were meant for me STOP. However, it did not actually mean stop and call it quits. It was more like, stop, look both ways for oncoming traffic and then keep going to your destination. At times, it meant stop, you’re at a railway crossing, and you need to wait for the train to pass before being able to go safely. Oh, but the wait! If you’re like me, the waiting is like a torture and we completely miss what it’s really telling us,
Again, the universe doesn’t give love by giving us what we think we want. Ultimately, it is always giving us love through our everyday challenges in relationships or careers to open our eyes, ears and hearts and learn what we need to learn and get clear on what we really want. But, we interrupt the universe, don’t we? We respond with, “HUH! Are you kidding me?” And, we step in and try to control things to the way we want them to be, even things we have no control over.
Have you ever been in a conversation with someone who keeps cutting you off and interrupting you? How does it feel? Don’t you just want to tell them, “Will you shut up and listen to me for a moment!” By constantly bringing in our opinions from our past knowledge, this is what we are doing. So, the universe steps aside and says, “Well okay then, if you think you know, go right ahead.” The thing is, it doesn’t give up on us and keeps trying to get us to LISTEN.
If we would just stop, wait, be still and LISTEN.
Listen without our own conclusions as to the way things should be, we would understand them from a new perspective. It doesn’t necessarily mean calling it quits. It may actually lead us to a place we knew nothing about and a brand new beginning.
Getting back to the woman and her question, “What should I do?”
You probably guessed my answer, right?
Yup, I told her to LISTEN!
Instead of searching for an answer of what she should do, I asked her to stop and really pay close attention to the situation itself. The answer would reveal itself in the situation.
It took a while but, she finally realized something very important.
“I don’t have to quit my courses, Antonia,” she said, “I can walk to the University. You know, the reason I’m in this economical situation, is because I spend quite a bit of my money doing stuff to fit in a certain status and class. The same reason why I felt walking was not a possible option. I’ll be honest; I wanted to get an easy answer, not one that involved a two hour walk. I figured if I’m working on pursuing my dream, the universe should be making it easy on me. But, I see now, that the universe actually used something that was precious and dear to my heart to challenge me. The universe is not telling me to quit, it’s giving me a valuable life lesson.”
Is there an obstacle or roadblock which seems impossible for you to remove to bring your dream to life? STOP and LISTEN beyond the reasoning of your mind, it may be supporting you in bringing your dream to life.