Signs: How Do You See Them?
With everything that’s going on in the world right now—the virus, the economy—our flow state is filled with an abundance of uncertainties. From my experience working with BaZi and Feng Shui clients, people normally don’t manage well during uncertain times, especially when the unknown has a much greater effect impacting one’s livelihood, relationships, and health. Living in the unknown stirs up fear, anxiety, nervousness, misgivings, and at times, panic.
It’s natural. We all feel it.
By that same token, most thrive when they can rise above it. Knowledge, awareness, and preparedness are the most commonly used key words managing fears. However, it is exactly in these moments when faith becomes the vital tool to block potential damage that can arise from mental and emotional stress.
The idea of faith is interesting. At least to me it is. Most automatically associate faith as the act of believing in a God or a higher power. Sure, that’s correct, too. I believe in God. But faith is a universal human emotion, even if you do not believe in a particular religion. Faith, like love, fear, and anger, are in us all.
Today, people are being called to cultivate a stronger sense of faith. Faith is the antidote to fear. With faith, it is the conviction that you believe things will get better, things will work out, and that even in the bleakest of moments, there is hope.
Do you have faith that it will?
My husband and I are movie buffs. We hit up the cinema once a week to catch the latest great show. And we do it all up—popcorn, snacks, chocolates. The movie experience is something we share. But with the recent shutdown of mass gatherings, we are grateful we can still create the movie experience in the comforts and safety of our home.
The other night, I asked my husband if we could re-watch the movie Signs. This is probably one of my all-time favorite M. Night Shyamalan sci-fi movies. It’s a quiet but deeply profound film with a lot of subliminal messages. There is a scene in the movie that has always moved me. And for all the right reasons, it is even more fitting now.
The scene is played out between the two brothers, Graham (Mel Gibson) and Merrill (Joaquin Phoenix) after realizing the hostile aliens have landed on earth. I’d like to share with you the intimate conversation between the two characters. And for a moment, I want you to imagine Graham, Mel Gibson’s character, is speaking to you, and how you would respond.
MERRILL: Some people are probably thinking this is the end of the world.
Graham turns his sleepy eyes away from the screen to Merrill.
GRAHAM: That’s true.
Merrill looks his brother in the eyes.
MERRILL: Do you think it’s a possibility?
MERRILL: How can you say that?
GRAHAM: That wasn’t the answer you wanted?
MERRILL: Can you at least pretend to be like you used to be? Give me some comfort?
Graham thinks it over.
GRAHAM: There are all different ways you can tell that there’s someone really there watching out for us. You see signs. Sometimes they’re little ones. You think of someone. The phone rings. They’re on the phone. Sometimes they’re big, like fourteen lights hovering over Mexico City. Sure, there are a lot of people watching this who think this could be a bad thing. But there are a lot of people watching this, who think it’s a miracle. A sign of God’s existence. It’s all in how you look at things Merrill. What you have to decide is what kind of person you are? Are you the type who believes in miracles and looks for signs or are you the kind who believes things just happen by chance?
Merrill is deep in thought.
MERRILL: I was at this party once. I’m on a couch with Sara Mckinney. She was just sitting there, looking beautiful and staring at me. I go to lean in and kiss her and I realize I have gum in my mouth. I turn and take out the gum. Stuff it in my paper cup next to the sofa and turn around. Sara Mckinney throws up all over herself. I knew the second it happened. It was a miracle. I could have been kissing her when she threw up. That would have scarred me for life. I may never have recovered.
Merrill looks at the TV screen.
MERRILL: I’m a miracle man. Those lights are a miracle.
GRAHAM: There you go.
MERRILL: So which type are you?
GRAHAM: Do you feel comforted?
GRAHAM: What does it matter then?
There are indeed two types of people in this world. After reading that scene, do you relate more with Merrill or Graham? Are you like Merrill, who keeps the faith that everything happens for a reason and sees signs of miracles even in the grimmest of times? Or are you like Graham, whose pragmatic views of the world make things seem too real, too deductive, and that everything that happens is simply left to chance?
In these trying times, we are all called to internally reflect on our faith—or on what we believe in—and decide how we will choose to show up: like Merrill or Graham. Personally, I think a little faith goes a long way. Be well, be healthy, be positive!
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