I'm listening, universe.

Listening to the universe.

Photo by Jacub Gomez on Pexels.com

I have this thing about the universe. I try to listen to what the universe is telling me to do – to hear its sometimes hidden message. Lots of people would say my “universe” is their “God.” Others might say it’s their inner self talking, or their soul. 

I don’t think it matters where the important messages come from. What matters is listening.

Right now, I don’t know what the universe is telling me. I have all these great ideas for essays to write and pitch to publications. One of these ideas may be “the one” to catch the eye of an agent, who will contact me about my memoir, and usher me to a book deal.

Of course, my memoir is not yet finished. Is the universe telling me to forget essays, just get the damn book done already? Or is it saying,

I can only open a door of opportunity for you, I can’t make you walk through it.

Then there’s my upcoming birthday party, in three days. Yup- it’s the big 6-0 for me. I rented a room and invited friends and family, and have special fun things planned to pay forward all the blessings I’ve had in my 59 and 258/365 years. Does the universe want me to focus on getting ready, so I can enjoy this time without turning into a weepy ball of stress?

And my health. (Cue rolling eyes emoji.) It’s hard to do much of anything lately, even writing, with the time-suck of my chronic health conditions. Should I just drop everything and focus on healing? What if healing is not possible? I wish the universe would give up that card it’s holding close to its vast chest. 

Then there’s the shooting in Pittsburgh, my hometown. Another mass tragedy. Another tsunami of grief and outrage for our country. As a writer, is there anything I can possibly say that hasn’t already been said by those more intimately affected? I will console, I will support, I will advocate. I will vote. But is there something else I’m missing?

I’m listening, universe. I’m ready when you are.

Maybe this—these words, unpolished, without resolution—are its answer. 


  • Karen DeBonis

    Karen DeBonis writes about motherhood, people-pleasing, and personal growth, the entangled mix told in her memoir "Growth: A Mother, Her Son, and the Brain Tumor They Survived" forthcoming in spring 2023. Subscribe today to receive Chapter 1: A Reckoning.

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No Comments

  1. Vicki Nelson on November 1, 2018 at 2:34 PM

    “What matters is listening” – it’s so true! It’s easy to tune out those words we should hear when there is so much noise and confusion around us. Another beautiful post.

    • Karen DeBonis on November 1, 2018 at 5:27 PM

      Thanks Vicki. Yes, life in has been noisy and confusing lately for so many of us. I hope the end is in sight.

  2. Sheba Olenik on November 1, 2018 at 2:44 PM

    I think we all feel the same

    • Karen DeBonis on November 1, 2018 at 5:29 PM

      You’re probably right, Sheba. Sadly. But thanks for taking the time to read and comment :)

  3. Jeff on November 1, 2018 at 4:15 PM

    Well said and so true. ❌⭕️❌⭕️

  4. Jack Herlocker on November 1, 2018 at 5:08 PM

    Many years ago I splurged on a Mac program (no longer published) that incorporated the Book of Changes (I-Ching) into decision making. What I loved about it was the preparation: Type in my question. Pick three key words about the question. Stare into the (on-screen) candle (about which the keywords orbited) and meditate on the question. Don’t fixate on The Answer, just be open to The Truth. When ready and the moment was right, press on the space bar. (gong vibrates) And again. (gong vibrates) And again. And a passage from the Book of Changes would come up, using a randomizer based on when I pressed the space bar. The usefulness was in the preparation, to me; often just contemplating the question had me most of the way to an answer.
    I have no idea if any of that might be useful to you, other than to contemplate the question and be open to the truth.

    • Karen DeBonis on November 1, 2018 at 5:35 PM

      That’s fascinating, Jack. (And sounds like a fun party game, for the right crowd.) I agree that the value was in making the person sit with the question, rather than rush to an answer, as our world seems to drive us to do.

  5. judy lawless on November 1, 2018 at 10:39 PM

    I hear you, Karen! I’ve had similar thoughts/questions lately too. Just keep on doing what you love to do.

  6. Debbie Kirsch on November 3, 2018 at 1:57 AM

    I agree, listening is the point, to be open. To be quiet, to be able to listen, and hear. There seem to be so many bad things going on, it’s hard to take it in, and not feel helpless. But, we continue on. BTW, a very, VERY Happy Birthday! Yes, I remember 60, as kind of a big deal, though I seem to recall being in denial. I think that is when I began calling birthdays “imaginary numbers”! I still do. But for my 50th, my friends threw a surprise party, which was great fun..One fun things was, I walked in to find a full-sized cardboard cutout of Mr. Spock! I hope you had as much fun at yours, as I had at that one.

    • Karen DeBonis on November 3, 2018 at 10:44 AM

      Thanks for your thoughtful comment, Debbie. And thanks for the birthday wishes! I’m planning my own party (it’s on Sunday), so I doubt there will be many surprises, and certainly not Mr. Spock, but I’m sure it will be fun!

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