Monday, June 17, 2013

Guidance vs. Reason

Just because I've been on a conscious spiritual path for over thirteen years now, doesn't mean I still don't question whether what I am hearing is really Guidance.  I think it's especially easy to veer away from that Divine direction when people we know and love, people we trust and respect, begin offering input that is logical, rational and has merit, but is different from the spiritual Guidance we are thinking of acting on.  I also think that if we have any fear at all around the decision we are thinking of making, we can convince ourselves that their human approach is the better direction for us to take, even if the signs we've noticed have indicated otherwise, simply because of that fear.

After I received the opportunity to rent my house to someone, and made a mad dash to Nashville to look for an apartment, that's what happened to me.   My son and my realtor in Nashville both brought up logical, rational, reasonable questions and issues that allowed me to  begin to doubt my belief that the option to rent my house was God's answer to my challenges to selling the house. 

The funny thing is, I even got confirmation on the way down to Nashville that this was the right thing for me.   Usually when I make that drive, I see hawks everywhere.  Hawk has been a spirit guide for me for a very long time, and when I've needed confirmation that what I was hearing was Divine Guidance and not something else, I've often asked God to show me a hawk, with very specific instructions on how I wanted that hawk to appear, so I'd know that when the hawk showed up, he really was a messenger from the Divine, and not just any old hawk who happened into my field of vision.

For instance, when my mother passed away and I had to make a very important and difficult decision about her affairs, I was driving to Nashville and talking to God, asking for Guidance.  When I heard the message, because taking the step the Guidance indicated would mean initiating a process that I knew was going to be challenging and emotionally draining, and maybe even life-changing, I told God that if this truly was what He wanted me to do, He needed to show me a hawk, a big hawk, sitting low on a fence, in easy view as I was driving, and I wanted that hawk to be looking directly at me, so I knew it was His hawk.  Not five minutes later, a huge hawk was sitting on a wooden fence rail, right next to the side of the road, looking directly at me.  In fact, as I drove past, it tracked my passage with its head!  What more confirmation did I need?

Of course, being human and wanting to make absolutely sure, I then said to God, "Well, just in case that was an accident, could You bring me one more?"  God's response was:  "Are you kidding?  I just gave you exactly what you asked for, and still you doubt?"  I didn't get a second hawk.  I went with what I was given, and made the decision according to the Guidance I had received.  And although what ensued from that decision caused me deep heart ache and months of being in limbo, I absolutely know it was the right thing to do.

During my drive to Nashville to look for an apartment, I didn't see any hawks at all.  I didn't even ask for any.  But what I did see was four separate herons, flying across my field of vision, one at a time, over the first three to four hours of my journey.  Now if you're not familiar with herons, they are water birds, and tend to be most frequently found around bodies of water.  So to see one  along the drive between Pittsburgh and Nashville, where very few bodies of water are even visible from the highway, is rare enough, but to see four?  I carry a pocket-sized version of Steven Farmer's book, Animal Spirit Guides, in my glove compartment, and after seeing the second heron, decided that maybe God was offering me a message regarding this trip, and promised myself I would check out what the book had to say about herons the next time I stopped.


Being the occasional victim of brain farts, as I often refer to lapses in my memory, it was only after  I saw the fourth heron that I actually remembered to check the book the next time that I stopped.  Farmer's book is laid out alphabetically, and tells you what it means if a particular animal, bird, or insect just 'shows up' in your life.  When I checked the entries under heron, the very first sentence said:  "You've approached the opportunity before you at a leisurely pace (moving to Nashville), but now it's time to grab it and go for it with gusto." !!!

I read those words in the parking lot of a McDonald's where I stopped to use the restroom and get an iced tea, and when I read them, I doubled over in laughter, laughing so loudly and with so much 'gusto', that the folks in the car next to me couldn't have looked at me any more strangely if I had burst into chanting.  I was absolutely positive after reading that passage that this opportunity was nothing less than Divine Providence at work.

And then I got to Nashville and allowed Jason's questions and the realtors concerns to strip away my knowingness of how God works in my life.  God doesn't usually show up as the voice of reason.   He isn't logical and rational.  He is a God of magic and mystery, and often times the Guidance that He has given me has made no sense whatsoever to those around me.  And yet, when I've trusted what I've heard and acted on it, things have always worked out.  Always.

Since I've returned from that trip, I've talked to the guy who wants to rent my home and gotten my questions answered.  And yes, there is risk involved in this solution.  There is absolutely no guarantee  - from a logical perspective - that I won't end up in a bigger hole than the one I'm already in because of the condition of my house (as Jason so succinctly put it), if this all goes haywire, but what does come with an iron-clad guarantee?  Nothing that I know of.  However, I do know that each and every time I've had the courage to follow the sometimes crazy, off-the-wall Guidance that God has blessed me with, my life has been better over the long term because of it.  So I've made the decision to rent my house and make an offer on a place in Nashville.

Interestingly enough, after I made the decision to go forward with the plan, but before I had confirmed that with the rental guy, or shared my decision with anyone else, I had an interesting and affirming Reiki session with Tony Tam Sing (a gifted Reiki master in Apollo, PA).   

During my session, Tony 'heard' that I needed to check out eagle and snake as animal totems, and see what insight they had to offer.  When I looked up eagle in Farmer's book, the very first entry was:  "There's an opportunity for you that you're considering, and it would be best if you take advantage of it soon."  Are you laughing yet?  I did, when I read it. 

When I turned to the page for snake, although the first two statements confirmed other messages Tony had given me during the session, it was the third statement that once again affirmed that I was making the correct choice about my house.  It read:  "You're about to resolve a long-standing issue, one that has required a great deal of your attention, by seeing things in a new light."   I have been giving a lot of energy and attention to the situation with my house, but the possibility of someone taking over my house, with all of its issues, on a rent-to-own basis, had never occurred to me until this gentleman showed up in my life. 

God never stops showing us the way.  He wants us to know He is watching over and guiding us.  Even when the good intentions of others, and our own fear, may give us reason to doubt, He just keeps repeating the message.  We just need to tune in and trust.