Shannon and I have been noticing a series of 1's, everywhere in the past few months. On clocks, our phones, menus, license plates, watches, you name it. What started as a "hey that's weird, I noticed that the other day too," has turned into a full-throttle, "okay, what's going on, this is weird" kind of thing.
Everywhere. All day. Seriously.
After some asking around and a few not-so-serious Google searches, it appears to be pretty common that angelic messages are coming through to us. In asking a colleague of mine what this might mean, she mentioned that usually messages are coming from a specific individual. But given the fact that neither of us have the sense that one person is trying to get a hold of us, and because their occurrence is so persistent, it may be a more general message coming from, well, you know, "the top."
Right. Okay, so now what?
When I stop and think about it, I've had some strange dreams of late. One of which that stuck with me over the past few days. Indulge me while I indulge you in my head for a few minutes.
I was in the basement of some big building. Like a warehouse or older industrial complex. There were neon lights and lots of people, although they were off in the distance. I was jammed up against a wall with what seemed to be two other people, and we were all helping to prop up an old man. I couldn't get a good look at his face, but he was wearing what seemed old tattered business clothes. A shirt and tie kind of thing, without the sport coat. He had the classic bald spot with some receding hair on the sides, a set of astutely nerdy glasses, and I remember his face was covered in sweat.
My "friends" and I were losing ground as he kept slumping down further, and as he did so, every bit of him got heavier. With one person on each arm and myself holding his legs, he looked at me and moaned, "I just can't."
In my dream state I remember thinking, "we'll that's an odd thing to say," but in reality, that would be a perfectly normal thing to say in a situation like this. It just felt odd in the dream. I don't know about you, but whenever someone looks me directly in the eye in a dream, the message goes straight into me. And in going back to ponder this dream, I've asked myself, "is this me, someone I know, a relative?" And the answer has been no every time. So who, or what, could it be?
Getting the message was no problem. I've been burning the candle at both ends for about 3 years now. Helping my parent's business navigate COVID. Potentially selling multiple times. Finally converting over to an ESOP, and all the while learning how to run a company from a completely different position instead of my HR perspective, all while guiding regularly, volunteering on two non-profit boards, working my property....I could keep this list going.... It's been 3 years of 10 hour days at work followed up by late work into the night, either on my day-gig or my side gig, lots of blue light and fitful, sleepless nights.
In short, I've noticed the burnout hit. All self-inflicted I readily admit. To illustrate this, I recently had a good talk with a friend who asked me how I was doing, and I candidly responded with, "I don't see my family, and I don't even travel for work. I leave bits of my soul in everything I do, so how do you think I'm doing?"
It's a wonder Shannon hasn't left me. Seriously. I'm not above it to admit that the number of behind closed doors breakdowns has been pretty frequent, this year especially. She keeps me laughing at myself, and so that helps. But for some reason, it seems the universe tests you when you try to make changes for the better. Things and obligations pop up, posing impossible scenarios to you that make you feel as if you can't make those changes.
Oh, you'd like to pull back to 4 days a week? That's nice, how about 5 complex problems all at once come along that no one else can solve, and they're all important. Looking to simplify your commitments to people? How sweet, we need you to be here, tomorrow, or people will freak out. Ha, you'd like to organize your home office? Shoot, how about you wouldn't even know where to begin, because you can't begin because you're at an after-work event 4 days a week. Wanna wait until the weekend to get things done? Nope, good luck peeling yourself off the couch because you're so exhausted.
All this comes as I've embarked upon a journey of reducing certain medications that I've always felt were prescribed to me incorrectly. I'll just come out and say it. I simply experience the world differently, such in a way that would make most medical doctors grab their Rx pads, immediately. But this isn't the point of this exercise. Back to the dream.
Could the figure of the dream be...my body? Eh. I mean, I'm not the steel muscle-bound punk rocker of my mid-20's any more, but I eat right and spend a lot of time in the forest out back and take it easy when I possibly can. So, maybe not that. How about my family as a metaphor? Eh, not so much either. And so I've been thinking about this over the past few days. Then, while driving home the other day, it hit me.
Maybe I haven't allowed my guardian angel to do its thing. It seemed to feel right, in a hunchy sort of way. I had to laugh when I realized this, because for some reason, I was drawn into buying this really cheesy deck of Angel messages cards a few months ago. Shuffling through it, I was almost embarrassed that I'd spent money on it. After all, who would take me seriously if I referenced a deck of cards with angel pictures on them and overly sappy incantations?
But the other night, I had a fire out back and while I was in the dark, with the whispering of the crackles and nothing but a headlamp on for light, it struck me that there was so much detail in these drawings that I hadn't noticed before. Much of it had to do with wispy "light" moving in a through the figures in a visual way that was deceiving to the eye at first. The angels themselves, in what appeared to be corny poses at first glance, now demonstrated the intention of each card. Now, the pictures struck me as art that someone had envisioned and put much painstaking effort into creating.
That's what I always say to people who can't fathom art. "Well, you didn't make it up. Did you?"
My heart was open to receive in this suddenly enlightened moment. And as my memory of that dream resurfaced with night adorning its cloak around my shoulders, that tired old man in the dream seemed to calm down as the dream went on as things progressed. He gently took our hands as offered, gathered himself, set his feet upon the ground, adjusted his glasses and walked away up a flight of stairs that suddenly appeared off to the side.
Sometimes, you do the oddest of things that you can't explain, like buying a $20 deck of Angel message cards, somewhat in a subconscious way, while you're connecting the dots that you're seeing 11:11 everywhere, all day, for months. You have dreams, and they sort of jar you out of your self-imposed rut, as they dust the cosmos off your shelves. You drive home from work, realizing that all is simply a mirage, and that you don't owe your success, money, health and luck to a number of worldly things.
Rather, all is quite possibly riding on this razor thin, and often overlooked edge of something otherworldly, vast and good.