Whenever I’m waiting on checks, like I am now, I think, “Maybe I should get a part-time job,” and then I apply for part-time jobs and never hear anything, not even a “no.” Inevitably I get reassurance from the universe that I’m doing exactly what I’m supposed to be doing either because I’m contacted by a potential new client, I accept another freelancing assignment, or I receive a sign. This past week the universe sent me all three.
What is the sign the universe sent me? The animal totem giraffe. A giraffe was mentioned in a book of essays I’m reading, during a Zoom meeting someone held a small giraffe toy in her hand, and giraffes were mentioned in another book I’m reading. Sometimes animals are just animals, but in this case at the sight and mention of “giraffe,” I felt a zing in my heart and my brain seemed to zero in on the word so I know it’s a sign and not a mere coincidence.
There are numerous interpretations for the symbolism behind giraffes, but the one I liked the best comes from uniguide.com where Kristen M. Stanton writes, “The giraffe totem is a helpful symbol for reminding yourself that what makes you unique is one of your gifts to the world. It is your unusual qualities and life experiences that will help you to fulfill your purpose on Earth.”
If that isn’t the most perfect message to receive when I’m doubting myself and my abilities, I don’t know what is. Just as I think I should throw in the towel on my business, the universe tells me, “No. Your uniqueness, what makes you ‘you’ is needed in this world. Keep going.” While this post is about me, I’m pretty sure my experience is a universal one. How many times do we compare ourselves to someone else and find ourselves lacking? How frequently do we feel like we’re not doing the “right” thing because our life doesn’t look like someone else’s? Giraffe reminds us our uniqueness is a gift to the world. That it’s precisely our personal qualities and life experiences that matter and are worthwhile.
The concept is also in line with my spiritual philosophy. The central tenet of my spiritual practice is the universe is coming to know itself through me and you. We are the human expression of divinity. We are not human beings having a spiritual experience, but spiritual beings having a human experience, to quote Pierre Teilhard de Chardin.
Other people who speak to this idea eloquently are Brian Swimme and Mary Evelyn Pope who write in their book Journey of the Universe, “[J]ust as the Milky Way is the universe in the form of a galaxy, and an orchid is the universe in the form of a flower, we are the universe in the form of a human. And every time we are drawn to look up into the night sky and reflect on the awesome beauty of the universe, we are actually the universe reflecting on itself. And this changes everything.”
I am the universe reflecting on itself. The skills and talents I possess are gifts to be utilized. I am here to share those gifts and I’m privileged enough to be in a position to make money from them. The universe keeps reminding me, “Yes, you should be writing. Yes, that includes ghostwriting. No, working for someone else isn’t in your best interest.” Sometimes I remember that on my own, but sometimes I need encouragement. And this week that encouragement came in the form of a giraffe.
I dream of a world where we understand we are each unique, talented, and special. A world where we understand we were not meant to fit in because we are the individualized expressions of cosmic consciousness. A world where we realize we are the universe coming to know itself through us and that means we are wonderful just as we are.
Another world is not only possible, it’s probable.