I can’t say with confidence that I believe in an easily definable “God.”
That’s why I often talk in terms of “The Universe,” because I think there’s some divine intelligence that’s bigger than me and maybe there’s some cosmic order to our World, but beyond that I’m hesitant to make guesses.
So that makes words like “fate” and “destiny” hard to use in my vocabulary. Though, I’ve had just a few things (like the story below and this) happen in my life that seem too layered and meaningful to be simple coincidences. There are some other forces at play.
When I was 14-years-old, shortly after my dad got sober, we took a family trip to see if we could find more connections to our Irish ancestry.
We traveled to the most remote locations in western Ireland. Some places were completely untouched by modern civilization. While driving down a long, mostly deserted road, we saw a woman crossing our path. She had a pale in hand and explained that she was returning home from feeding her sheep.
We were lost, as we often were on that trip, and asked her if she knew where the town’s cemetery was located. She responded with a question:
“What name are you looking for?”
My dad replied, “Ridge.”
The old woman enthusiastically exclaimed, “I’m a Ridge!” and proceeded to invite us into her home. She gave us tea and produced a large book of facts that she had collected about Ridges’ over the decades.
Mary Ridge was largely responsible for equipping my dad with the knowledge of where his family came from. This was a very crucial time in his new sobriety, and though it went unspoken, I think this experience gave the whole family hope—and it came at just the right time.
If I were more open to the Universe’s signs, would I be receiving messages like this more frequently? Or would I start making scenarios into something they’re not, so I could always feel secure in my beliefs?
It seems dangerous to get dogmatic about subjects that are truly unknown to the human mind. It also feels inauthentic to teeter between believing and not believing.
How does one decide what to believe? Usually it’s rooted in the belief system we were taught growing up, or an attempt to move in the complete opposite direction of the beliefs we were raised with.
I have made an effort in adulthood to really sit and explore what I know to be true.
What I’ve found I can believe in without question is Love.
When I choose to act and respond with love, I never regret it. And if this life is all I get, I want to be a good person for the sake of being a good person—not so I can be rewarded after I die, but so I can feel really content with how I lived.
Our spiritual and religious leaders throughout history chose to live this way long before they became the spokesperson for a movement. They likely chose love out of gratitude for the privilege to be alive, healthy and able to communicate. Why not put those gifts to good use?
Divine coincidences may happen from time to time to simply remind us that there is something bigger—to help us feel connected when we’ve lost our way. And beyond having a great, goosebump-producing story to tell for years to come, we can accept that there are many unknowns and choose to live our lives with love.
That’s something I can genuinely believe in.
Love elephant and want to go steady?
Author: Megan Morris
Editor: Emily Bartran
Photo: Author’s Own