I recently had a spate of things ‘going wrong’ with my house and the things in it. The floor in my corridor, which had always had a severe dip at one end of it even when I first moved in about 11 years ago, has, over the years, distorted so much so that for a few years now the nails that are supposed to be holding it up have been clearly visible above the flooring, and glimpses of the weeds outside can be seen through the resultant gap.
To be honest this hadn’t really worried me all that much. I knew that my landlord didn’t plan to spend any money on the house because of its age, and that they had said they were planning to knock it down when I moved out. The floor had never felt particularly unstable, and as long as I was careful not to snag my clothes or, worse, my bare feet, on the nails, I didn’t really see it as too much of a problem; more an idiosyncrasy of the house.
Then, a couple of weeks ago the floor in the room next to it began to make ominous noises when I walked on that side of the corridor to avoid the deepest part of the dip in the middle. On the same night the sliding door at the end of the corridor also began to play up, and was so difficult to move that I was afraid I might accidentally trap myself in the toilet and bathroom area that lies beyond. I had visions of myself naked and in distress having to climb outside the bathroom window to let myself back into the main part of the house.
Living far away from my home country and the support of family members, the next morning I duly called my pottery teachers, (one of whom is also a wizard with wood and had looked at it a couple of weeks previously and said he’d see what could be done), and explained the situation to them. He said he would come by that week and, in the meantime, I started to tread more gingerly, not wanting to make the situation any worse or, as he had indicated might be a possibility, fall through the floor.
I didn’t really think of it as anything more than a structural problem with the house, and maybe a sign that I had left things as they were for a bit too long. But then, the very next day, two of the wheels broke off the bottom of the cheap plastic drawers I used to store my computer-related things in as I moved it very slightly to one side as I had done hundreds of times before.
Now I was listening. I’ve been putting my attention on reading the signs the Universe sends me, and it seemed that the combination of these two things could be an indication that there was something wrong with my ‘foundations’ and that I wasn’t supported enough or building on solid enough ground.
I’ve been on a journey the last year or so of coming back into relationship with my soul, so I didn’t think it was that. I felt like I was building on more solid ground than I had in a long time. So what was the Universe trying to say to me? I wasn’t sure; but figured it would all become clear in time.
Sure enough, my teacher arrived on the Wednesday morning, complete with concrete blocks and thick and sturdy looking pieces of wood, and squeezed himself under the house to take a look. His verdict: there wasn’t enough room under there to get the materials in and raise the floor from beneath as he had hoped to do.
Briefly, I felt my heart sink. I didn’t feel quite up to the task of looking for a new place to live just yet, but didn’t want to live in a house that was considered unsafe.
Then he continued: the corridor was actually far more stable than he had originally thought. There was, in fact, a whopping great beam that ran right down the center of it; and the only reason the floor dipped was because when they constructed the house some space had inadvertently been left between the beam and the flooring. That dipped part in the center of the corridor was actually the safest place to put your weight on. He even jumped up and down on it energetically a few times to show me.
Now I had my message: I am more supported than I can ever know. I have been supported all along. I’m supported now. And now. And now. And all it takes is a slight shift in perception to see it.
This rang true for me at last.
Despite a fantastic network of friends here, I have sometimes felt like I can’t ask for the support I feel I need, practical and emotional, because it feels like I might be putting them out too much. While most of us have some sort of issues with our family, at least in more cases than not we know that they can be counted on to be there for us and support us in someway if we need them. With friends I believe we often exercise a bit more restraint; not wanting to burden them with our problems when we know they have enough of their own things going on.
Until I, very recently, got my permanent residency, I hadn’t felt safe or secure in my right to be here in Japan either; fearing each time I renewed my visa, in case I somehow didn’t meet the conditions this time round.
And yet I now knew, with a conviction and certainty that surprised me, that even though I might not have seen it before, the Universe has been supporting me all along.
This has been particularly transparent this last year, as I have walked the path of awakening; gradually becoming more and more aware of such things.
When I was feeling trapped and stuck in emotional pain, along came a seminar on releasing your emotions and letting go. I decided I needed a new closet for my bedroom that was short enough to let in more light from the window behind, and my friend in the village asks me does anyone need two chests of drawers she has recently removed from her mother’s house. I noticed, again, in what bad repair the bookcase in my living room was and decided a new one needed to be procured, and a friend who is clearing out her office space has one that is the perfect fit for the very limited space I have. Even this week, I realized I needed to get some bins for the shelves that replaced the plastic case, and my good friend just happens to have two that she no longer needs.
And when I look back at my life, I can see that I have always been supported, even before I really knew that that was what it was. Succeeding in getting on the JET program and coming to Japan despite a dreadful, dreadful interview. In the past somehow always managing to surround myself with people who like to cook for me, at least enough that I’m not going to starve and go hungry despite my own, until recently, very limited cooking skills. Talking to the one person in the village who could tell me who I needed to ask to introduce me to the landlady so that she would be open to letting this house, when I had been told by others in the village that it was in no way an option.
The ways in which I’ve been supported are multifold and I could go on and on. All it took was a slight shift in perception to begin to perceive it.
I have now started to give thanks for this support as I notice it; to affirm that I’m receiving it; and to invite more of it in by giving thanks in advance for all the support that I will be given that day. As I incorporate these practices into my daily life, the support continues to flood in. I am more aware of it than I was before and notice it for what it is. I am truly grateful for all the goodness and abundance that has been given me. And I open my arms wide to receive more. I know that I’m standing on a solid foundation of support from none less than the all mighty Universe, and that however much I might feel like I’m balancing precariously on thin ice at times, all it takes is a slight shift in perception to see just how completely taken care of I really am.
Everything we have comes from and is given back to the Universe. I like to think that the Universe delights in our appreciation of its gifts, just as we delight in a small child’s excitement at and appreciation of his or her birthday presents. What can we be thankful for today? How are we being supported? When we open our eyes to these things, we realize just how beautiful and miraculous life is – life itself being the most precious gift of all.
(More on the plastic case in the next post).