This has been a tough one for me over the years because I've been conditioned to listen to so much negative chatter in my head that I often can't tell if it's truth or fiction talking.
Like when I was married to my sex addict husband, but was still clueless about it, I heard (repeatedly): I wish my husband would get killed in a car accident.
Ah, a clue...that I successfully ignored for several years.
But in hindsight, that awful, persistent statement that emanated from deep within me turned out to have cause. Monumentally so. But at the time, I just passed it off as me being a horrible wife who thought terrible thoughts. Had I been more enlightened, or tuned into the cues my body was trying to signal, might I have taken notice, and asked myself why I would want my seemingly wonderful husband flattened by a car?
That is the million dollar question, isn't it?
As I began to put faith in my little voice that always packed a punch o' truth, I've learned how to decipher it from my own paranoia. Usually. It's just damn hard sometimes because the voice is so quiet, like a well-behaved child who is easy to ignore. My mind bucks with tantrums, criticism, and judgment so it often gets my attention first. But when I listen, truly listen to the still, quiet voice that feels nice and kind and far more informative than my head, I have been guided to better decisions and happier moments. It often surprises the hell out of me.
The other day at my 12-step meeting I grabbed my usual dollar bill from my wallet when the collection basket traveled around the circle, and I distinctly heard: grab the five.
Out of my old, tarnished habit, I ignored it. Mostly because I'd been giving a dollar a week for months; why change that now?
When the basket landed on my lap, I heard it again: if you want to live abundantly, practice abundance. I quickly exchanged the one for the five and dropped it into the basket. It felt like I was letting go of my last nickel, but I'm constantly learning to trust my voice over my head, so I let it go.
Is it any coincidence that 24 hours later I received cash in the mail that paid for dinner out with the girls, then I won a hundred dollars that “coincidentally” covered the cost of the massage I had just hours before?
I think not.
I still have to stretch, surrender, and stretch again just to keep the faith that money will show up, but guess what? It always, always has. As a kid, as a college student, then as a newlywed. It has shown up as a single mom without a job, and as a single mom without a job and three kids in college.
But it hasn't just shown up in time to pay bills—it has been there all along, allowing me travel and fun and play with my family. It comes in the form of jobs, mostly, but I've been so magically blessed with dollar bills streaming in from odd sources, that I've learned (er, um...I am still learning) to trust the flow even when I don't have a steady or predictable income.
As I learn to walk the tightrope of life, trusting that I will either successfully walk without falling, or fall—believing that the proverbial net will appear—it always has. And when I acknowledge the kajillion times I've been cared for—even abundantly so—I forget how to swallow as my heart swells two sizes.
Yeah, faith is like that.