We hear when we’re ready.

One of the silver linings of the pandemic was that I no longer heard my sons dropping their middle-school and high-school backpacks like sacks of rocks onto foyer tiles. For a couple of years prior, I heard myself at least once a week explaining, cajoling, shouting to please be careful. To understand the tiles would break. To appreciate that the floor ran through three rooms and would “cost a fortune” to replace.

Hairline cracks emerged on several tiles at the foyer’s outer edges, and I would point these out as examples. I stood over said tiles, my pointer finger calling out the new defects. I do not recall anyone else bending down to take a look or an interest. Blank stares.  After the schools had closed, I remember picking up one of the backpacks and retiring it to the closet. I literally whispered to my floor that it would be safe for a while.

One day last month, my son called me to the foyer to direct my attention to a particular tile. He pointed to it, two hairline fissures spreading from a point of impact. I recognized the tile as one of the first to show signs of distress some years back. “It’s cracked,” he announced. I stared blankly at the tile and at him. In my brain, a man in sooty engineer’s overalls and cap shoveled coal into a steam engine, and a high-pitched whistle began to sound. I blinked and caught my words. With relative calm, I inquired if it could possibly have been from the backpacks I’d been shouting about for years. Had I really invested so much time and effort, only to come to this moment of “unprompted” epiphany? 

We try so hard to share messages in every way we can. Sometimes a person just isn’t ready to hear. It happens to all of us, in the reverse, too. Sometimes the universe pushes things right in front of us, and we’re like, “What? Huh? I don’t get it.” It’s all just noise until we’re ready for it.

That fact came back to me recently. I’m blessed to have a dear friend who is a phenomenal holistic coach. She was giving me some nutrition guidance and I was lapping it up like a desert traveler at an oasis. I was all intrigued by this “new” information. Then she asked, laughing, if I had paid ANY attention to the nutrition session of the yoga retreat we’d been on several years ago. “Uh, nutrition session?” I sputtered, prompting us to laugh harder. Survey says: I guess I didn’t!

I vividly remembered nearly everything about that life-changing retreat…except the nutrition session. Since that conversation I’ve realized that I actually do recall some of the nutrition session topics, and had even incorporated elements into my life when I returned home. But I must have been in denial about how important it was at the time, and I really didn’t give it it’s due. Fortunately, now I’m ready.