Do you believe in signs? I want to believe in them more than I do; the logical side of my brain is always lurking, seeking a rational, non-metaphysical explanation to the occurrences at hand.
I like M. Night Shyamalan films. I think the man has interesting ideas. His execution is off at times, and sometimes his films are truly abysmal – yes, The Happening I’m talking to you – but occasionally he gets it right. Signs, for instance, was quite good, my personal aversion to Mel Gibson notwithstanding. His character, a lapsed minister, shares these thoughts about signs midway through the movie:
“People break down into two groups. When they experience something lucky, group number one sees it as more than luck, more than coincidence. They see it as a sign, evidence, that there is someone up there, watching out for them. Group number two sees it as just pure luck. Just a happy turn of chance.
I’m sure the people in group number two are looking at those fourteen lights in a very suspicious way. For them, the situation is a fifty-fifty. Could be bad, could be good. But deep down, they feel that whatever happens, they’re on their own. And that fills them with fear. Yeah, there are those people. But there’s a whole lot of people in group number one. When they see those fourteen lights, they’re looking at a miracle. And deep down, they feel that whatever’s going to happen, there will be someone there to help them. And that fills them with hope.
See what you have to ask yourself is what kind of person are you? Are you the kind that sees signs, that sees miracles? Or do you believe that people just get lucky? Or, look at the question this way: Is it possible that there are no coincidences?”
(Apologies if you’ve read this here before; I like it so I’ve used it more than once.)
I want to believe in signs. I struggle, however. I rationalize. So, imagine my frustration when signs keep smacking me in the face.
I have a spiritual side despite my logical bent and in support of it, I have several practices I partake in. For instance, I like to occasionally dowse with crystal pendulums. I also regularly draw rune cards.
Over the past seven days, I’ve drawn the rune Uruz in the reversed position five times. I’ve had this happen once before; I drew Laguz seven days out of ten. It took me longer last time to get on board with the universe. I did better this go around. By the time Uruz came up the third time, I was resigned to looking into the matter more closely. I can take a hint.
The rune for Uruz symbolizes strength. It is a rune of terminations and new beginning, of growth and change. When it’s in the primary position. The reversed meaning is a little less pleasant. Among other things, it can mean being closed off to new opportunities, stuck in your ways, and resistant to change.
We like to think we’re doing the best we can. That we’re giving it our all and trying our hardest. So, the suggestion of “stuck in my ways and resistant to change” got an immediate “hell no”. I didn’t like that description at all. I’m open-minded. I’m adaptable. I make changes.
Okay, not really. I make surface adjustments like reducing the amount of diet Pepsi I consume, eating more vegetables, and quitting smoking. The underlying structure, however, is resistant to change. I have a lot of requirements regarding how things “need” to be. Deviations stress me out. They bring on anxiety and panic attacks.
“Stuck in your ways.”
Self-realization can be annoying.
The fact that the suggestion stung rang a bell. We tend to get defensive when things hit too close to home.
The rune card suggested it was time to engage in some “serious thought about the quality of your relationship to your Self.”
It’s possible that I cater to the bullying aspects of my nature too much.
I may be letting anxiety assume a bit too much control. I’ve argued in the past that’s it’s okay to cave to the small demands. It’s okay to make minor accommodations and adjustments to stave off an anxiety-based problem. I may have to rethink that position or modify it somewhat. I appear to have allowed anxiety too much control.
Like most mental illnesses, anxiety is escalatory. You give an inch; it takes a mile. I was aware of this but thought I was mitigating my accommodations by holding the line on the big issues. Unfortunately, the signs suggest otherwise. I look at how I’m doing in my thoughts and actions verses six months ago, and I’m forced to realize that I concur with the universe; big surface changes notwithstanding, in certain areas I am quite stuck in my ways.
The glory of insight. Unfortunately, it leads to “what now”? Changing my daily routine, breaking old habits, and adopting new ones is good but it skips over some of the big things that I let get in my way. I used to challenge my anxieties more. Now I’ve structured my life to cater to them, big and small.
What next? That takes courage. I’m going to have to deal with things I prefer to ignore. I’m going to have to get uncomfortable.
The bits that are hard to change hurt to think about. It makes me uncomfortable in my chest to think about my anxiety and the anxiety-based behaviours. I don’t want to let go of the reigns and controls. It feels like unmanageable chaos. But you should challenge what you resist. I can hear various therapist’s voices repeating that mantra along with another perennial favourite: lean into the discomfort.
To that end, I’m going out with friends next weekend. I have set up my life so that “out” isn’t something I do very often anymore. I convinced myself it was a choice. That’s only true if you’re able to do the opposite. I’ve avoided calls to join my circle out in the world for some time.
“Closed off to new opportunities, stuck in your ways, and resistant to change.” Apparently, that’s true. But I will go out even though I don’t want to. I will push through the discomfort. I will rethink some of my life designs.
After all, at some point I’d like to start drawing different cards.
Do you follow the signs?