If you haven't read Part 1 of My Transformational Journey - The Beginning, take a moment to read it here to set the stage.
At the age of 28, I found myself in a state of emotional distress: I was heartbroken after a breakup, confused about my purpose and relentlessly pouring myself into a job that was draining me. Though I had begun to explore a spiritual practice, my practice was coming from a place of desperation and lack. I was unable (or possibly unwilling) to fully surrender. True to my headstrong, independent nature, I convinced myself I had achieved so much on my own that surely I could "will away" my own discomfort. While I explored spirituality, I found it difficult to accept that listening to anyone or anything might actually be helpful, until - one day - a message came through that I couldn't ignore.
As a disclaimer, this message came to me in a way that may be challenging to some spiritual norms, but I invite you to listen with an open mind.
One evening in early Spring, I returned home from a rigorous hot yoga class - a practice I found to be emotionally and physically restorative - but after class I was always exhausted and dripping in sweat. I found my roommate and several of her friends on the back deck and made a plan to escape to my room quickly without being noticed, but my plan failed. "Come meet my friends," called my roommate. Begrudgingly, I drug my sweaty self outside and sat down to join their conversation.
Though I'd met most of her friends briefly in other social situations, there was one friend I didn't recognize. Her name was Debbie and she was cute, chipper and outgoing; I was instantly drawn to her. I learned Debbie had just moved back after a rough year herself...her boyfriend had died tragically in a car accident. She described her situation with a sense of emotional strength that I admired. She talked through how proud she was that she'd finished school and landed a great internship in the midst of losing the love of her life. As I listened, something came over me; I had an overwhelming "feeling." As she went on she discussed some of the ways she still felt her late boyfriend's presence. This led to her revealing that she'd also visited a psychic-medium, where she had a pretty wild experience. I'd never been to a psychic, so I listened somewhat skeptically, but something about her story tugged at me.
I excused myself from the gathering and walked into my house as my chest tightened and my eyes filled with tears. I had this innate sense that there was something more I was supposed to hear. My inner-voice screamed at me to reach out to Debbie; to hear more of her story. Some nights later, I coyly suggested to my roommate that we invite Debbie back over. Immediately, I pulled her outside and asked her to tell me more about the experience she'd had with the psychic. I revealed that I knew my request sounded strange, but that I'd connected with her story. While I could tell she was confused at my interest, she recounted the session as I asked numerous questions. Though I still found the story to be intriguing, I suppose I was expecting to hear something eye-opening or inspiring. I'd felt sure she was going to provide me with some sort of personal clarity; as if she might share something profound, but nothing surfaced. Disappointed, I made a last ditch effort to gather a takeaway and asked if the psychic had offered any insight into her future. "Well," she said, "she did tell me a few names." Sensing my desperation, she asked for my first name again (most people in the group called me by my last name). "No, there wasn't an Amanda," she said, "There was a (insert a woman's name I can no longer recall) and a William.
My jaw dropped and my eyes filled with tears, "Does that name mean anything to you," I asked. "No," Debbie replied, "but it clearly means something to you." She was right, it did. It was the name of my recent ex; a name that only myself and possibly a handful of other people called him as he often went by a nickname. We spent the next several hours walking around my neighborhood talking. We became quick friends, as we discussed life and our past relationships. For nearly two years, I've been completely unsure as to what this interaction meant; I thought perhaps it might be a warning or a reassurance. I knew there was a reason I felt what I felt listening to Debbie, I knew there was a reason I was driven to hear more of her story and I knew there was a reason she spit out the name of the ex that I'd been obsessing over.
As I sat recounting the story for this blog, it hit me: perhaps it wasn't a message about a relationship or a person, perhaps it was a big wake-up call from the Universe; a reminder to tune into my intuition and listen. What better way to get me to open up my ears than to slap me with a message guaranteed to startle me. Whatever the purpose, after that night, I started listening. I can pinpoint this moment as one of the greatest catalysts on my path to self-growth. Though it's still an ongoing journey, I've come to understand the importance of listening to my inner voice and looking for the moments of synchronicity that are intended to guide us along the way. I've since gotten serious about meditating, prayer, journaling and personal growth.
My practice is nowhere near perfect, but I'm now willing to listen and trust my inner guide. While there may or may not be significance in my story with Debbie, it is a reminder that there are messages and guidance available to us all. We must simply get out of our own way and listen.