I don’t believe that the Universe tests us.
At least, that’s what I always thought I believed – until lately.
And now…now, I feel like that’s all the Universe is doing to me. All while it’s laughing its ass off at me.
A few years ago, I wrote an article about beginning what I called a Soul Project. I loved that idea so much. What could be more important than creating a life that’s aligned with your soul? With giving your Self everything you’ve ever seen in your idealized vision of yourself? There is no greater work.
And then life derails you. As it does.
The trials you start facing are bigger than any you ever could have expected or imagined. And life gives you no other choice than to focus on those around you because it’s a matter of life and death. And suddenly, your little Soul Project seems ridiculously insignificant.
But it was still there. In the back of your mind. Always.
This past fall, I resurrected the idea of the Soul Project. After white-knuckling The Stuff Of Life, I knew it was time to commit to this idea again. If, for no other reason, then I knew I needed to have something else to focus on besides the hard stuff.
I needed to turn inwards. I needed to find the light again.
This time, I didn’t write an article or make any public pronouncements. I simply had a conversation with the Universe.
In our heart-to-heart, I shared my intentions to focus on only myself, exclusive of anything else in my life except my kids. I would take the last 60 days of the year to make the changes my soul had been begging me to make. I was committed with a capital C.
And of course, the very next day, the Universe threw me a curveball and challenged exactly how committed I was to those intentions I set for myself.
The. Very. Next. Day.
Well, I was looking for the light…and I found it. In the form of a bright, shining supernova. A gorgeous, loving soul who reminded me what it was to have fun again. To laugh again. To laugh so hard that tears streamed down our faces with joy.
In welcoming this soul into my life, though, I let go of my commitment to myself. Again. Just like I knew I would. Just like I always have. Which is why I resisted embracing that light from the very start. I have a history of this repeated pattern and I did not want to repeat it again.
But the more I resisted, that bright, shining light persisted. And I gave in.
That light was a catalyst for a million overdue changes that needed to happen in my world, and I will forever be grateful for that. But as supernovas do, after the initial blinding light, there was an explosion or an implosion or…I don’t know what the hell it was. And I was left feeling angry that I gave up my own needs yet again for another and was left feeling like I had the rug pulled out from under me.
I wasn’t just angry at the light for going away after all of the reassurances and insisting that it wouldn’t be like the others and using all the language that speaks to my soul – I was angry at myself for giving in.
For giving up what I knew my soul needed, all because someone else needed something different.
Did I not trust my own soul? Was it my stupid, jerkface ego getting in the way?
I’m always looking for the lesson, so I am hyper-aware of these questions and how they can help me understand myself better. I want to fully grasp what the Universe wanted me to know about myself…how it wanted to help me grow.
After the supernova faded to black, my therapist and I talked a lot about the lessons learned and the commitments I let go, and I insisted to her I wasn’t giving up on them. That I still wanted to focus on them – and I wanted to do it now. So we worked together to create the goals and develop the giant steps I would take (no more baby steps for me), including timelines of when I would begin and how long the initial deep-dive would last. 60 days.
And then the Universe threw me another curveball.
Another bright, shining light.
Another lovely soul who speaks my language.
Another gift who is teaching me about myself and saying all the right things and sharing themselves and diving deep and making me laugh.
And I feel like I am being challenged by the Universe yet again. No, scratch that. I feel like I’m being fucking tested.
Okay, Christy…you said you wanted to create All These Things for yourself last fall and we sent you a shiny ball to distract you and guess what?! It worked! You let go of all those plans you said were important to you. Have you learned that lesson? Have you? Shall we send you another chance to prove that you want all the things you say you want to create for yourself? Let’s try. Let’s send another shiny ball and see what you do this time…
The thing about shiny balls is that they’re so shiny! And I love sparkly things. And when a bright, shining light comes along and shows you their soul and all their sparkly guts and wants you to be a part of their world, who wouldn’t want that?!
I sure as hell do.
And yet, here I am.
Looking at the Universe, who’s looking at me, saying…Well, hotshot?! What are you going to do about this? You like sparkly things and you want more fun and spontaneity in your life…here is a bright, sparkly soul who has lots of fun and is spontaneous goals. What are you going to do?
Fucking bright, shiny balls.
I take a deep breath and check in with myself as the Universe is winking at me. And I know in my soul that it’s not about fear. Could I get hurt again? Absolutely. But that’s not what’s holding me back.
Because I can see the Universe’s real question. It’s real challenge. It’s real, fucking test.
How about it, Christy? You wanna go again? Because we can go again. We’ve got all the time in the world for you to learn this lesson. Again and again and again. As many times as it takes. Can you commit to yourself for just 60 days in order to not have to learn this lesson again? Your soul knows what you need. No one else knows better than you. So…what’s it going to be?
I don’t usually have a hard time saying no to people. I’ve learned a lot about my own boundaries and knowing what’s right for me. But this bright, shining light is sooooooo fucking shiny.
And persistent as hell.
And supportive and ornery and fun and impatient and self-aware and challenging and gentle and conscious and hard and soft and so, so lovely.
So do I think the Universe is testing me?
Without a single doubt.
And does it scare me that I could lose the bright, shining light in the process of honoring my commitments to my soul this time? Absolutely. That’s a real and distinct possibility.
But what’s the alternative? Losing my Self? That’s even scarier.
I hope that bright, shining light is still shining down the road…
But I’m done with this lesson, Universe.
Even you are not the boss of me.
For more self-study, The Urban Howl recommends Tears to Triumph: The Spiritual Journey from Suffering to Enlightenment.
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