My enter key on my keyboard has been broken for about a year now. It makes it pretty impossible to use paragraphs and simple commands become much more complicated. Of course at first, I took it personally and tried to think about what it meant: am I holding myself back? Am I not “entering” my life? Am I completely off track and not able to move forward, go, press enter? It’s easy to take personal responsibility for things that are out of our control; because down here in reality, in computer years, my laptop is old and showing its age. On weekends it’s used at the juice station at Carthage Must Be Destroyed so it’s now permanently just a bit sticky, despite how much plastic wrap I faithfully wrap around it. It also has castor oil remnants in it from when castor oil baths were a thing in my household. (Google them, I highly recommend!) I once spilled coffee on it when I was trying to make a coffee and check my horoscope at the same time (turns out multitasking doesn’t work.) It’s been chucked in a bag and carted back and forth on a bike and many times on a plane and in between dropped probably a few times more than I’d like to admit.
I bought this laptop after my old one was stolen while I was staying with friends in 2012. I had just decided to move out of home again and not only was my laptop taken (in broad daylight) my bike also got stolen from the same apartment building – probably by a different person, but who knows. Without a computer or a bike, not only could I not do the university assignments I had due for the Masters I had just decided to enrol in; I also couldn’t enjoyably or easily get to campus, or work, or anywhere. At the time, I worried it was a message that I shouldn’t have moved out. That I shouldn’t have enrolled in the Masters. That I was doing the wrong thing.
When I’m unsure about something I’ve chosen or a decision I’ve made; I notice I start nervously looking for signs that either validate my choices or tell me that I’m wrong. It can get a bit obsessive. I know it happens more when I feel insecure or scared about what’s going on in my life. When I feel good, the dog can eat the trash, it can rain on my parade, the lift can be out of service and none of it really bothers me or makes me think about what the deeper meaning might be. I can easily shrug it all off as interesting quirks of life.
It’s the same with people too. When I feel insecure or negative about myself then I start thinking about what other people must think; believing they have these negative opinions of me and that they can see and agree with all my insecurities. But when I feel good, I either don’t care what other people think or I am more aware of the fact that people are in their own heads, thinking about their own stuff and not too worried about old Heidi.
So how do we stay in the good feeling where we know everything is ok, we’re ok and life is just well life. I think for me it’s about learning self worth. That decisions I make are ok – whether they are right by anyone else or not. It’s about learning to stand strong in your core, with your values and preferences, whatever they are. Even if they turn out to be “wrong”, whatever that means. I think you can spend lifetimes looking for signs; but it can get a bit dicey when it starts looking like seeking validation. We project on to the universe this power over us; believing that some other force knows better than us. In that is created this hierarchy where we become lower or lessor; where we don’t know enough and need to be taught, or schooled. I don’t think that kind of thinking makes you feel better about yourself, I think it actually can leave you feeling worse. Same with people, we can put other people’s values or opinions above our own and believe that they know better for us than we know for us.
To learn self worth (and I think it is something to learn), you have to start with the belief that you know yourself best. Better than your friends, your family, better than any unseen force. You know yourself best. From there, decide; do; act. Learn to trust your intuition. More than that, learn to trust your joy because that’s the best indicator. Your joy, connected to your heart is divine. It’s as pure as pure can get. There’s no difference, no power imbalance, no separation. If you are happy doing something then in that moment you are 100% where you need to be. And when you feel unsure or uncertain or scared, be kind. Because in those moments it can be even harder to know that you can still trust yourself, your decisions and your values.
And as for signs and synchronicities and weird occurrences; I like to think of them as more gentle and magical than faulty keyboard keys. I don’t think there’s judgement in universal guidance. I don’t think the universe tells us we are doing something wrong; or that our decisions are wrong. It’s there to support us in our decisions and actions. It’s there to help us learn to trust ourselves.