If you’re looking for a sign – this is it.
People see the world not as it is, but as they are. As Melissa McCarthy once said: happy people don’t walk around calling other people freaks. Happy people say: “Hey! Nice skirt!” It’s a simple way to put an important truth: the way that you interpret the world and the events in it relies almost entirely on who you are and how you think.
Take for example, the fact that what when people describe what they don’t like in others, they are actually describing themselves. Or the fact that your brain is actively and constantly working to find information that affirms itself, and filter out the rest. These tricks of the mind – usually referred to as confirmation bias – can make anything seem deliberate. We unconsciously seek information out and then ascribe meaning to it.
The real truth about seeing “signs” is that people often only look for them – or think they are seeing them – when they are uncertain. When people are certain about what they want to do, they usually don’t seek them out.
This does not mean that “signs” aren’t real. They are very real. It’s just that there isn’t an external consciousness guiding you into one direction in life or another by the virtue of some completely random happenstance that seems to align with a question you’ve been grappling with. To assume that would be to disregard free will, as well as a fundamental fact about human psychology.
However, the fact that signs are basically information we unconsciously select to affirm preexisting beliefs (rarely will you hear someone cite they saw “a sign” telling them to do what they didn’t already want to do) doesn’t mean they are useless.
Think of the world like one giant inkblot test. What you see in the random chaos actually tells you everything about who you are, what you want, and what you should do.
Consider the fact that you probably haven’t sought out “signs” regarding whether or not you should be in a relationship when you’re already in a happy one. It’s only something you do when someone isn’t cooperating or committing to you. You already know the relationship isn’t working, and want something outside of you to tell you otherwise. You probably won’t seek out “signs” that you’re in the right career field if you’re feeling fulfilled at work. You’ll only look for them when you want to leave and can’t rationalize it any other way.
Here are some of the most common ways people see “signs,” and what they really mean:
1. Repeating numbers, like 111, 222, or 333.
These are called “angel numbers,” but it’s really your brain’s way of communicating with you. If you have an association with the numbers 333, you will start seeking them out without realizing, and your brain will draw attention to them every time they are in your peripheral vision. You’re not seeing them more, you’re just noticing them. However, what matters isn’t why you’re seeing them, but what it means to you.
2. Seeing quotes or messages that seem to perfectly describe a situation.
The crazy reality of human nature is that you can basically see any quote that even somewhat relates to a part of your life and through projection, convince yourself that it is speaking directly to you. This is also how Tarot and divination works. It’s not about what you pull, but how you think that information relates to your life.
3. When they find someone or something that is a perfect match, or within a series of aligned events.
This is probably something you have experienced: you’re young, you meet someone, you are absolutely certain that they are your soulmate because their brother was born on the same day as you and you like the same music and you finish each other’s sentences, and there’s no possible way all of that is random. Except… there is. And it is. And it doesn’t actually mean you’re meant for each other. It doesn’t mean you’ll be able to make your relationship work.
Now, on the other hand, here are some actual ways that you receive “signs,” that most people ignore, or don’t want to deal with:
1. When someone has a consistent pattern of negative or abusive behaviors and you see enough of it to consider yourself warned, but stay in the relationship regardless.
2. When you have a consistent uneasy feeling in your gut, but rationalize your way out of it because you’re “just being crazy.”
3. When you’re anxious and depressed in your life, and instead of assuming you were born with some kind of imbalance, don’t start to think of the circumstances and situations that you may be naturally, healthfully responding to, and how you could adjust them so you aren’t so unhappy.
4. When your job or career seems to flow effortlessly.
5. When the job or career to which you aspire isn’t flowing effortlessly.
6. Reoccurring thoughts or irrational fears that are actually metaphors representing real, legitimate fears you haven’t been able to rationalize yet.
7. Feeling like you are constantly receiving “signs” that you’re supposed to be with someone who you are not at all with.
8. Relying on seeking out signs to affirm your decisions without acknowledging why you are so shaky about them to begin with.
The reality is that these types of “signs” are the real, actual way you communicate with yourself. They are important, and they shed light on crucial aspects of your life that you may otherwise be totally blind to.
“If you obsess over whether you are making the right decision, you are basically assuming that the universe will reward you for one thing and punish you for another.
The universe has no fixed agenda. Once you make any decision, it works around that decision. There is no right or wrong, only a series of possibilities that shift with each thought, feeling, and action that you experience.
If this sounds too mystical, refer again to the body. Every significant vital sign – body temperature, heart rate, oxygen consumption, hormone level, brain activity, and so on- alters the moment you decide to do anything… decisions are signals telling your body, mind, and environment to move in a certain direction.” – Deepak Chopra
When you begin to feel as though you are seeing a lot of signs, or like you need a sign, ask yourself these two questions:
1. What do I want the sign to tell me?
2. What do I believe the sign is pointing me toward?
You have the answers already. You know what you want already. You know what’s right and what’s wrong and when you are afraid to accept the answers you already have, you will start reaching to something outside of you to convince you that it isn’t so. But it is.
If you’re looking for a sign – this is what you’ve been looking for all along.