Friday, August 03, 2007

Reaffirmation from the Universe

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While I believe that there is no such thing as a mistake but rather a series of experiences, that doesn't stop me from wanting divine confirmation, reassuring me that I made the right decision with something I want to accomplish. Don't we all wish we knew what the ramifications of our decisions would be like, ahead of time, especially when the outcome was uncertain?

No matter how many times you've taken a chance and went with your instincts, you're still going to experience some level of "wonderment" (I just made that up), wondering whether the decision you made was going to lead you down the path you envisioned for yourself. Ever been there? Me too.

Many of you are aware of events that led up to opening the manuscript of THAT'S RIGHT STEPHEN! to the readers of Adversity University for feedback. This is the result of a decision I made a week ago or two after a friend introduced me to someone who recently self-published and did a very nice job of it. The outcome of that meeting inspired me to push through my fears and make a firm decision to self-publish, rather than waiting for some literary agent to see the potential of the book.

When I got home after the meeting, I was so pumped up and went out to the balcony to have a cigar to celebrate (I'm always looking for an excuse to light up). I had with me a notebook and pen along with a glass of ice cold water. While I was enjoying the cool summer breeze, contemplating the turn of events, I turned and looked at a large green plastic chair that was propped against the wall on the far right side of the balcony. I was reminded of a silent conversation I once had several weeks earlier, "God, show me that you are watching over me. I would like to see you sit on that chair sometime."

Suddenly I was visited by the most beautiful blue butterfly. It swung right by me, almost touching my forehead. It startled me at first because I hadn't seen it come my way. When I realized what it was, I knew I was experiencing a close encounter of the spirit kind!

Intrigued, I watched it for several minutes. It flew around the vicinity of the porch, flying to and from where I was sitting. It seemed to be singing, flying gracefully in a carefree manner. Satisfied that this must be the place where things were happening, it proceeded to land right on that chair! Mesmerized, I stared at it, trying my hardest to lobby forth telepathic thoughts. It responded by flapping its wings.

Then it flew away. Thinking it was gone for good, I went inside and went straight to my computer in the other room. As I was powering it up, the butterfly came right back and landed on the screen of my bedroom window, a mere 2 feet from where I was sitting!

It reminded me of an experience Wayne Dyer once had when he was out for a morning stroll on the beach in Hawaii where he maintains a home. He had an even better story to tell. A butterfly actually landed on the palm of his hand and sat there for several minutes! Wayne somehow managed to take a snapshot of it and put it on the cover of one of his books.

Afraid that the clacking sounds of my keyboard would scare it away, I simply sat there, transfixed at its beauty. Sensing an opportunity to really see what it looked like, I inched closer and saw that it was washing its hands. Gratitude washed over me like a tidal wave. While I wasn't exactly gushing tears, my eyes got a little wet.

Rubbing my eyes, I realized I had better get going with the work that was ahead. Slowly and tentatively, I pulled up the manuscript and began to work. CLACK, CLACK, CLACK. To my surprise and delight, the noise didn't bother the butterfly. It seemed to be telling me in a matronly tone of voice, "Please continue on with your work while I wash my hands for supper darling." For the next twenty minutes, my eyes alternated between the keyboard, the computer screen and the gorgeous blue butterfly. I was in heaven.

While I was working, I was also preoccupied with the arrival of a friend who was due to be stopping by any minute for a brief visit. From where I was sitting, I could see people coming and going, in and out of my apartment building. As soon as I saw him arrive, I got up to buzz him in, thinking the mere act of getting out of my chair would scare it away. It didn't.

Making my way over to the door, imagine my surprise when I saw out of the corner of my eye the butterfly making a textbook landing on the balcony! Apparently it was not done with me. It must have sensed that I was no longer sitting at my desk and wanted to spend a few more minutes of quality time, making sure I knew this wasn't some random fluke.

Then it flew out of sight, never to be seen again.

Since that fateful visit, a number of doors began to swing open including the wonderful response I got from the Adversity University community with offers to help with the manuscript among other things including but not limited to an unexpected offer to send the final version to a well known publisher for consideration!

If the visit by the butterfly and the resulting outpour of assistance from the AU community wasn't divine confirmation, then I don't know what it was. But I do know this:

When you "make up your mind" about something, you set the universe into motion. Forces beyond your ability to comprehend--far more subtle and complex than you could imagine--are engaged in a process, the intricate dynamics of which you are only just now beginning to understand. ("Conversations with God" by Neale Donald Walsh)
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Blogger CaliforniaTeacherGuy said...

Divine confirmation that we can actually see is something that we all crave. Sometimes we get it, sometimes we don't. Jesus offers this bit of counsel to those of us who seldom get tangible evidence that God is at work in our lives: "Blessed are those who have not seen and yet believe" (John 20:29).

3:28 PM  
Blogger Stephen J. Hopson said...

That's right. Sometimes you see the confirmation, sometimes you don't. However, if you are open and aware, you're bound to see some signs around you. For instance, when I was waiting for a sign to move to Ohio (from Michigan), I suddenly began to see UHaul trucks passing by me every time I went for a drive! Had I not been "aware," I might not have seen that or at the very least, I might have chalked it off to "coincidence."

5:20 AM  
Blogger Wendy said...

WOW Stephen, what a beautiful story that is. I am a firm believer that animals (even insects!) can often serve as divine messengers - just like people can! I couldn't even begin to count the number of experiences I've had that closely resemble yours with the butterfly. Sometimes it's birds, sometimes a chipmunk, sometimes a snake (eek!) but I value all of them so much because they always teach me something profound and beautiful. Wendy

10:48 AM  
Blogger Stephen J. Hopson said...


Isn't it amazing how we are given an opportunity to double check our decisions through nature's creatures? Wouldn't it be awesome if everyone saw these creatures as messenger vehicles? All we have to do is open our eyes and look!


1:28 PM  

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