In any quiet moment, we can look down the road we are on and see the direction we are going. I think we neglect to do that all too often and end up surprised by the destinations we reach. It need not happen.
There are no surprise destinations on highways. Signs not only tell us where we are headed but how long it takes to get there. We want to know and we look for the signs.
Life itself has signs all along the way. But we are often trying to ignore, rather than acknowledge, a clear message.
Some of us prefer to select our signs in such a way that we will not see the full picture. If we truly want to monitor our weight, a scale is a scientific measurement, whereas peering into a mirror for a neck-up glimpse can be deceptive. Life offers us many aids for predicting what lies ahead; we just have to be willing to focus on them.
We ignore warning signs at our own peril. Staying with a partner who is physically and/or mentally abusive is a living sign of a life of misery. Dropping out of school is seldom a path to riches. Believing someone with a track record of lying leads to self deception. Allowing a child to boss us is a walking/talking sign of trouble.
Life itself has signs along the way.
But we are often trying to ignore,
rather than acknowledge, a clear message.
Many signs in life are more subtle, but they are there. So often it is easier for others to read our signs more accurately than we do. People who love us may offer us gentle hints, guiding us toward or away from people, behavior and decisions they see as beneficial or dangerous for us. Our job is to receive and consider the advice we are offered. It is easier for friends to stay silent so we need to pay attention when they care enough to speak up.
There is a saying that I have found to be true again and again: When the student is ready, the teacher appears. If we are beginning to hear similar strains of a topic addressed in various ways, there is a reason it is in our consciousness.
We can learn to recognize obvious signs first, training ourselves to simply pay attention. Signs are always present.
Jean Loxley-Barnard has been a writer all her life and studied both sociology and psychology at George Washington University where she earned a B.A. Her company, The Shopper, Inc., encompasses all the Loxley-Barnard family publications - The Shopper Magazines and Doctor to Doctor Magazine. She has been in the advertising, consulting and publishing business for 38 years.
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