The When: When I am ready to hear the answer.
Sometimes it is immediate.
For example, my dear Sister-in-Law was visiting. We were standing in my living room and I looked up at her (she is wonderfully tall) and I said, “I wonder why I am so short?” The answer popped into my head and out of my mouth. “So I can learn to stretch.” In the chances I take, in trying new ways to live, eat, think and explore who I can BE.
She asked out loud, “I wonder why I am so tall?” Her answer popped out. “So I can learn to bend.” Be flexible, less rigid in her opinions, change her own status quo and explore who she can BE.
That was an extraordinary moment in both our lives. We are both question askers and prayer sayers. We believe in asking for divine guidance as well as protection and healing for our loved ones, ourselves and our world. As intelligent and well educated women (she is a professor), we also know we often have the answers within ourselves, if only we would dig a bit and ponder.
However, on this day, it was ding, ding, ding, light bulb above our heads, IMMEDIATE. And profound. And felt like it came from outside of our selves. Or more like when you ask your Inner You a question and your Inner You answers in a familiar voice that you know is more than just YOU. Maybe it’s all the collective wisdom of a lifetime, or of many lifetimes, speaking up. Whoever or whatever the source, you know the answer is the TRUTH.
Sometimes it takes years for the answer.
I used to accept this long lag time between the question and the answer. Now I realize that the answer can be immediate, BUT I HAVE TO BE LISTENING! As I look back, I see I simply wasn’t paying attention. I wasn’t ready to hear the TRUTH. Or, as Jack Nicholson shouts, “ You can’t handle the truth!” For me to hear, I needed to first grow more, or stretch or bend or expand my willingness to change.
The How: Whatever it takes to get my attention.
Sometimes my answers come as words I hear with my inner ear: “Yes. No. Not now. To stretch. Turn right. Don’t get into that car.”
Sometimes my answers come as words I hear spoken out loud by people I know: “Is your son OK? Want to talk? Let’s take a walk! Stop doing so much and just relax!”
Sometimes my answers come as words spoken or written by strangers:
“Car sounding funny? Call (blank) mechanic. Need some money advice? Speak to (financial planner) today! Thinking of going out? Take an umbrella. The heart that knows how to bow down and say sorry is the heart that loves the most (Anonymous).”
These answers appear in the books I am reading, a movie on TV or in the theater, an ad in a magazine, my daily Mary Engelbreit calendar, Facebook postings, a random song I hear, a poem I finally read that I have ignored for years, or a quote from a favorite author like Vonnegut. In other words, when I am NOT actively searching for the answer, it amazingly appears in something I am actively interested in. Yes, Professor, I know this is not correct sentence construction but I like the way it sounds. And yes, I like certain words like Soul, Truth and Love capitalized. I claim Author’s Privilege.
The next question to ask is, how many times has the answer already been given or sent or spoken, and I ignored it? Probably bunches. The Universe is patient. My God or angels or guides know they have to keep throwing the answers out there until I am ready to hear or see or understand. Sometimes, for me to notice, it literally has to be “sparkly.”
And my reaction to the answer is quite visceral. I get a chill or goose bumps. My heart races or I catch my breath. I break into tears or laughter. And then I holler, “Thank you!”
Thank you to the Universe for loving me enough to never give up on sending me the answers to the questions I ask.
Thank you to all the friends, strangers, writers, artists, actors, publishers, and producers who accepted being vessels
for the Truth I was seeking.