“Whether called fate, destiny, or the hand of God, slender threads are at work bringing coherence and continuity to our lives. Over time they weave a remarkable tapestry. These are the mysterious forces that guide us and shape who we are.” – Robert Johnson, depth psychologist
A public relations manager at a computer services firm, I took my first master’s level counseling class out of curiosity more than anything. As I stood drying my hands in the ladies’ room on a break, Peggy, my professor, said kindly and sincerely, “I sense you are bored in your work. You are a natural helper. Have you considered counseling as a career?”
Truth be told I did not at that moment know a thing about the counseling profession.
In a flash of insight, however, I knew that I was changing direction. Peggy has since been a steadfast friend and just a few days ago she pointed me to Johnson’s quote about slender threads.
Via a lovely educator who, time and time again cares enough to share something she notices… slender threads become visible.
When I was not much more than twelve, my Mom and Dad bundled the whole family of five kids into a Ford station wagon in the driveway of our home near Detroit, Michigan and headed out for a vacation in the Smoky Mountains. Between fits and starts of squabbling and sleeping, we made our way into the Appalachians. As Dad pulled into an overlook, I got my first glimpse of those beautiful dark mountains silhouetted against a bluish-grey sky, misted in clouds. I cried. Something pulled me into that beauty and I looked up at my father in wonder and said, “Someday I’m going to live in these mountains.” Wild, wonderful West Virginia eventually was my home for 25 years and rarely does a day go by that I don’t feel to the core of my being my memories of its pristine, raw natural beauty.
Via moments of awe… slender threads become visible.
To fill out an undergraduate summer schedule at Michigan State University, on a whim I took a cultural anthropology course in world religions. The course whetted a life-long fascination with the spiritual understandings of indigenous peoples. Years later, when I was grieving the untimely death of my first husband, a friend suggested I read a book revolving around Hawaiian spirituality written by a cultural anthropologist. Deeply moved by the book, I called the author and said, “Can you introduce me to a kahuna? I’d like to meet one!” (Kahuna is the Hawaiian word that points to someone with different types of special knowledge, including spiritual understanding.)
I can still hear Dr. Wesselman’s kind but hearty laugh, “Linda, it doesn’t work that way. If you’re meant to meet a kahuna, you will.” Months later during my first trip to Hawaii, on the mystical Island of Molokai, much to my surprise, I met a kahuna! (How that happened is quite a story involving my mother!) “Uncle Larry”, as he was known, had rugged Polynesian features, flowing dark hair and a strong, charismatic presence. We talked twice, and the second time, he suddenly and authoritatively said, “Listen up! You will cross paths soon with a teacher who KNOWS. He will show you the power of Thought. Pay attention!” There was a numinous quality about that moment — like time momentarily stood still.
About two years later, I met Sydney Banks, and was introduced to his powerful insights into the nature of Thought as the missing link between the spiritual (formless energy) and our psychological experience of life.
How curious! “Chance” encounters with a course, a book and a kahuna… slender threads become visible, again and again.
Last week, I was caught up in a thunderstorm of self-righteous thinking. My husband did his best to help me by pointing toward a different way of seeing the situation. He spoke facts, which cut through my inflated thinking, but I plummeted into deflated thinking. “I haven’t done anything worthwhile in life. I’ve missed the boat.” Feeling awful, but aware that my inner experience would self-correct if I could just leave my thinking alone for a while, I retreated to the cool quiet of our bedroom. Half asleep, I heard my phone buzz. A message had arrived from my sister-in-law, Mary. She sent a powerful and moving short YouTube video entitled, “You’re Worthy” with the message, “This, no doubt, is you!” The perfection of her timing did not go unnoticed. I was guided, again, to remember who I really am, a formless essence that is beyond comparison. My angst vanished.
Via kindness…. slender threads become visible.
I know these slender threads are manifestations of love in our lives. They are around us everywhere, and always, if we know to listen and look for them. They provide answers to every question we have. They guide us. When we notice them and respect their significance, slender threads help us become master artists of the tapestry of life.
“We are all looking for the secret to life, the secret to happiness…you are being guided by a spiritual force, far, far greater than you. You’ve been guided since day one, but your own mind doesn’t know that.” – Sydney Banks, “The Great Illusion”; the Long Beach Lectures