Yesterday I was driving along and feeling a bit bummed out because the lunch rush wasn’t as busy as I wanted it to be. Then the song ‘Alive and Kicking’ by Simple Minds came on the radio and I cranked it up (I was in between rides so I was alone in the car). And as it got to the end, I said the following out loud:
“Dear Universe, if you’re trying to tell me something, I’m listening.”
Now I’m not a card-carrying member of any religious denomination and I’m not one to get too heavily into the inner workings of the Universal Powers-That-Be. But if asked, I am a believer in a higher power. And every so often, I think we’re given a glimpse or a look into that higher power and it feels good when it happens.
Personally, I don’t subscribe to the idea of a higher power with God as a bearded old white man sitting on a huge throne playing favorites, hurling shit onto people at random, or being impossible to please. To me, God is a force of good energy that people can tap into because I feel more at peace and free of fear and sadness when I pray for others in need. I tell God I’m fine and that I’ll always figure something out sooner or later. I ask Him instead to help out people in real need, people who are hurting and feeling sad and lonely.
I’m forever grateful that my parents didn’t raise me with a strict interpretation of religion because I think would have turned out even more messed up than I did. My mother was raised to think having an original thought was wrong and that she was never good enough. Instead, she raised me to believe having original thoughts was not wrong and that I was good enough for her.
For me, I believe in not just thinking good thoughts and doing good things all the time, but doing that in addition to reaching out to people in pain and acknowledging their pain. One of the worst things I’ve ever gone through along with millions of other people is feeling like my pain wasn’t worth acknowledging or talking about. When we bury that in silence it can fester like an untreated wound and with some people, that can result in some serious damage up to taking themselves out of the world altogether.
There is NO nobility or need for suffering. It happens but it’s not something worthy or noble, or any bullshit like that. If someone is suffering you do something about it, especially if you’re in a position of power and authority to do so. This is what pisses me off so damn much about the people still in Congress and the White House who haven’t done jack-fucking shit about people dying from COVID-19 and all those who’ve had their economic livelihoods kicked out from under them.
Whenever I begin to feel down and the Universe sends me a pick-me-up, I’m eternally grateful. And I wish those pick-me-up’s on other people who need them. Because to me, the Universe wants you know it’s okay to feel down but that you don’t have to feel down forever. Nor do you have to feel scared and alone. And you don’t have to fear some made-up image of God being a random vengeful spirit that you have to appease constantly. Because I think that’s a human invention and it’s never worked for me. Instead, I’ll tell people it’s okay to feel the way you do but realize that emotions are like the oceans that cover seventy-percent of this planet: there are tides that come and go, storms that come and go, and huge moments of stunning beauty and clarity.
I think my mother felt like her moments of joy and happiness were stolen, and that she paid for them with misery she didn’t need to feel for as long as she did. I’m forever grateful she didn’t raise me like that though even as a child I could sense her reserve when we were doing something fun or something that made her happy and calm. I promise to honor her memory by not letting moments of joy and happiness feel stolen, but are just a part of life itself along with the darker and sadder moments, too. Because one of the biggest things I learned in my life is the Universe likes balance.
So Dear Universe,
Thanks for sharing moments of clarity and joy with me, for the pick-me-up’s that come in many different ways, and for being there with me when it’s dark and cold in my heart and soul. In return, I pray for others to have these moments of joy and clarity, and comfort in the darkness.