A few years ago, I ran a 5k race down in Florida while vacationing over Labor Day weekend. Although I finished the race, I was very discouraged at my finish time, which served as a painful reminder of my physical limitations due to my lung disease, LAM. Of course in retrospect, I should have celebrated the fact that I was able to finish a 5k after having had two lung collapses just four months ago, but instead I focused on the time. Because isn’t that the conventional norm to see how we stack up against others? Apparently I wasn’t alone in my conventional thinking. On the drive back, my sister-in-law called my husband to see what my finish time was. I slumped a little lower in my seat.
I couldn’t run at all that week after we returned. I felt heavy, like my spirit was crushed. I had a lot of choice things to say to the universe during my showers that week. Because where else do you have those honest and uninterrupted conversations (albeit one way) with the universe?
At the end of that week, while I sat in the parking lot at my children’s school, I got a call that I had won the grand prize for the raffle drawing at the 5k race in FL. What? The prize was a beautiful painting of Alys Beach done by a man who had severe autism. I laughed and cried at the same time on the phone as I spoke to race organizer.
I don’t believe in the randomness in life, just like I don’t believe that I was “lucky” for winning this prize. Nope. I think the universe has a way to speak to you but you have to be listening and be attune to the randomness. Winning this prize felt like the universe was saying validation comes in all forms. I was looking for it in my time when I should have been looking for it in the finish. Message received. I went back to running the next day.