“Vision is the art of seeing what is invisible to others.” ~ Jonathan Swift.
Three is a magical number. Don’t ask me why. We all know that things happen in threes: deaths, births, weddings. In art we have triptychs – a set of three paintings created to hang together. In medicine you can have syndromes with a triad of symptoms. I was once pregnant at the same time as two sisters-in-law (in fact 2 of the cousins were born one day apart). If two bad things happen to you, you look for the third (or break a glass to end the stream of bad luck). Haikus and tercets are poems designed with three lines. In fact, the Haiku even dictates the number of syllables each line should have (5-7-5). Try it some time, it is great fun!
It appears that the human race is by nature superstitious. We look for signs, we read the stars. Before there was science to explain the phenomena of nature, we relied on seers and stargazers to predict our future. The first people to suggest that the world revolves around the sun and not the other way around were burned as heretics. When some curious people began to recognize patterns and were able to predict events by their precursors, they became the prophets, and were hailed as leaders by their people. But it was the scientists who patiently took things apart; studied people and plants and gravity and events, who asked why, and how, and when, who were finally able to come up with theories, and then test them, to explain our natural world.
Many of us grow up with a mix of religion and superstition, even before we are exposed to science and rational explanations. Sometimes science then takes over for us, in some cases we stick to the religious faith of our childhood. Superstitions, like all habits, may be practiced without conscious awareness, like throwing spilled salt over your left shoulder to keep away bad luck (who does that?).
For years, whether consciously or subconsciously, I practiced the seriously exhausting habit of worrying. When my children (barely young adults) would go out at night, I would believe that by imagining every possible bad thing that could happen to them, I was somehow protecting them from those events. It was as if some force of the universe respected my imagined horrors and so they did not come true. Or, perhaps it was that I felt that if I became so arrogant as to assume nothing bad could happen to my children, I was jinxing them, and it would happen to teach me a lesson. Apparently it was not the sun that was the center of the universe but my children and I!
My mother had an interesting twist on the habit. If my father had gone up the hills to conduct a prayer service, or a deacon’s meeting in the evening and did not return at the time expected, my mother would greet him by saying: “I would not let myself think that you had broken down at the roadside, or had a puncture, or fallen asleep at the wheel…” She had a long list of things she would not let herself think about! I told this story behind her back many times, and once (feeling guilty) I recounted the story to her. When I got to the end of the list she declared proudly: “And I didn’t!” Not quite sure how she thought non-thoughts! I imagine she saw the thoughts of possible bad outcomes as being tests of her faith, and so she would have to push them out of her mind.
It is amazing how much we believe we control the events and people in our lives. I very rarely watch sporting events, as somehow I know that I will influence the outcome (my team will only win if I am not watching). If you work in an ER and the place has finally settled down (we never ever say the ‘Q’ word or all hell will break lose), we tidy up and make up all of the stretchers except one, for if all of the stretchers are available, they will all be filled up!
Some years ago, a best-selling book took hold. It was called ‘The Secret’ and it challenged the mode of thinking of many people. The author suggested that humans have the power to attract things to happen, so that if instead of imagining negative outcomes we focused on the positive, we could thereby create great outcomes. I must confess that I haven’t read the book myself, so I may not be representing it adequately. The Law of Attraction teaches you how to get what you have always desired by following a three-step (there we go again!) formula to increase your wealth, or attract a partner, or achieve the career of your dreams. I can’t say that I have ever tried to follow such a formula. I guess my nature is at times quite suspicious! But I liked another idea that I read, which was one in which you ask in a less precise way. For example, you ask the universe to allow that whatever will happen be for the greatest good of the person for whom you are asking. So it is less specific, but trusts the universe to know best what is in a person’s best interest. Perhaps wealth could lead a person to be brutally robbed, so asking for riches could lead to your demise.
Last weekend I spent some time enjoying the company of a group of beautiful women and young girls, enjoying a British-style tea party and then creating a vision board. The vision board has been quite a popular way to visually tell the universe exactly what it is you would like to see manifest in your life (dream vacations, new car, retirement, etc.). I enjoyed the cut and paste activity as I pored over magazines looking for images and words. But I also recognized that what we are really doing is setting our intention, pointing ourselves in the direction of our goals and dreams, making a commitment to living our lives in a different way. I found myself looking for statements of ways of being that I should aspire to: organize; declutter; write my own story; get out of debt (I can only hope!!!). Of course, I also found pictures of the Blue Mountains (where I should be!), of healthy food choices; of a relaxing room. But even as we call on the universe to make our dreams come true, we need to own those visions, we need to act in ways that will put us in the right place and way of being to achieve them.
This Friday morning I hope that good things will come your way in threes! I hope that your vision board is filled with your highest hopes and aspirations. I hope that you will also see that everything you already have is more than enough when you are blessed with health, family and love. Have a wonderful weekend, Family!