For Lovers of Meditation

Have a Little Faith

by Susanne Kempken

Let me begin my story with an unimportant fact—I love butterflies. You are probably wondering what butterflies have to do with faith, but to explain that I will have to start at the beginning. . .

This is a true story, a simple event that restored my faith and strengthened my belief that there is a greater or higher power out there.

Many years ago my brother gifted me a book called ‘The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success’ by Deepak Chopra. At the time I was a complete novice to the concept of spirituality. Meditation, mindfulness, positive thinking . . . never thought about any of it. No one I knew practiced meditation. I had never heard of the law of attraction, never considered the possibility that you can influence your life through thought. Life had always simply happened to me; I had no control over it. So you can imagine my surprise . . . but I am also a very rational person, so of course a small seed of doubt was always there.

Nonetheless I was intrigued enough to begin my spiritual journey. Although I have to admit that at the time much of my intrigue was based on the thought, ‘Anything to improve my life. To make me feel better.’ Little did I know that embarking on your spiritual journey has little to do with having a perfect life, and everything to do with personal and spiritual growth. I learned that one painful lesson at a time.

I worked hard with the knowledge I had gained to improve my life. At first I was incredibly enthusiastic, nothing could stop my fervour and I took any set-backs easily in my stride. Months went by and then one day I was hit with the realisation that nothing had changed. My life hadn’t suddenly improved. In fact my situation hadn’t changed at all. Where was my dream job, my dream house, my dream relationship? All I seemed to be attracting were more uncomfortable emotional challenges.

With each challenge and disappointment my little seed of doubt grew. It sounded so easy in the books that I devoured, so why was it so hard for me? When I attended my meditation and law of attraction courses people would talk about their amazing meditation experiences, about having visions, seeing light, receiving guidance from spirit guides, and all sorts of wonderful things that I really wanted to experience, but never did. So my seed of doubt found fertile ground in someone like me. I couldn’t figure out what I was doing wrong.

Then one day, I was at work grumbling my way through some task that I didn’t want to perform, when an emotional tidal wave hit me right upside the head. Within seconds I was out the door seeking refuge in my lunch break. I didn’t want to share my obvious spiritual failure with anyone else, so I slumped on a bench in the small, mostly concrete park that was located opposite my work, and I hid from the world so to speak. At first I cried, I was so miserable. Then I got angry and gave God, or higher power whichever you prefer, a real piece of my mind, and I was by no means polite about it. While it felt good to fling all my grievances, my doubt and anger directly at the source, it did not improve my overall negative emotional state.

But beneath all the anger and disappointment there was still the proverbial glimmer of hope. Reluctant to be alone again, I gave God one last chance. I asked for a sign, anything to make his or her presence known, anything to show me that a higher power existed. Not very original, I know, but I was desperate. Of course I got no response. I didn’t expect one, so it mattered little at that point in time. I was done. I was done with everything even remotely connected to spirituality. I slowly dawdled back to work, my mood as grey as all the buildings around me, feeling utterly resigned, miserable and strangely bereft.

Then out of nowhere a beautiful butterfly appeared and I remember thinking, ‘What are you doing here in this concrete jungle?’ Now I wouldn’t have thought twice about this little event, even after asking for a sign, because butterflies do pop up in odd places. My rational mind knows this quite well and it is always very vocal with what it knows to be true. But this little guy actually flew down to my hand, which was just hanging loosely at my side, and settled on my finger. It just clung to me, vertical and all. Even when I brought my hand slowly up to my face to get a better look, it just sat there looking pretty. For me this was undoubtedly the sign I had asked for earlier. Anyone who knows me will tell you that I have a thing for butterflies, so even my rational mind accepted this as a sign.

The butterfly took flight once I had uttered my thanks out loud, which took a few minutes of awestruck gaping on my account. Now I adore butterflies, so I was more than a little rapt by this incident. As you can imagine it made a very strong believer out of me and today there is no doubt in my mind that there is indeed a higher power.

As to my earlier question, ‘What was I doing wrong?’ The answer is of course ‘nothing’. Everybody’s life path is different and it’s a great thing that we all have different experiences. My time simply hadn’t yet come. I still had many lessons to learn, negative patterns to shed and more personal growing to do. I still do. The one thing I have learned though is that with the right attitude the lessons get easier to bear and manage, even the hard ones. A lot of my attitude is shaped through daily meditation, through mindfulness and keeping both feet on the ground. No more rose coloured glasses for me, and hey I feel the better for it. In fact I’m doing great and I love my life.

Even though I never did get that so called ‘dream job’ I’d hoped for back then, or the success and wealth I’d originally aspired to, my life reshaped itself into something so much better than I could have ever envisioned. It is so perfectly suited to who I am that I’m often amazed at my good fortune. If only I had known this earlier and simply trusted in the process of creation, I could have saved myself a lot of disappointment. Lesson learned. . .

Susanne Kempken is the co-founder of The Guided Meditation Site. Please click here to explore Susanne's guided meditations.

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Have a Little Faith
by: Anonymous

Thanks for sharing, it resonates with me.

Absolutely Incredible
by: Anonymous

Really helped my path . I thought I was going downhill but maybe it’s just how my life is going right now. Thanks so much for sharing your story

so true

So amazing. Thank you so much for sharing.

by: Rahad

Such an inspiring story. Signs are out there. We mostly take them for granted and don't seem take any notice of it. Things we see and feel everyday are signs for those who reflect. Each moment is a new existence, new birth. The sun, the moon, the universe, the alteration of day and night, the micro-universe within ourselves they are all signs. Our DNA has the most sophisticated programs than any computer existing on this earth. Can a program come to existence without a programmer? We didn't create ourselves or this universe. Its not rational to say we came from nothing. Because from our experience we disagree with the fact something can't come from nothing. German philosopher Leibniz beautifully raises this rhetorical question "why’s there something rather than nothing?" And atheist fail to answer this.
Everyone, theist or atheist, seek for some higher being. Its our natural disposition. Even that emptiness within us was created for a purpose: To drive us to fill it. The problem is we try to fill it with the wrong things. Everything inside us was created to enable our journey to find the true fill, to find our creator.
Everyone is able to see the signs. We put veil over our sight by skepticism which is a byproduct of modern science. Science only deals with this physical natural world. It has its own limitations. It can’t explain what nature exactly is or where the natural law comes from. Science don’t have answer to questions like — what is the meaning of life? One of the most important questions in terms of our identity is 'what are we? whose are we? For whom are we?' Science's answer is we are biological being. We eat when we are hungry, we fight when we are angry, we make love when we are enraged by passion. Is that all? Whats the difference between human & animal then? We are often enslaved to other creations, social pressure, biological desire, culture etc.
In arabic the word for soul is 'Ruh' which shares the same linguistic root 'Raha' which means tranquility, peace, serenity. It is as if our soul wants to achieve this tranquility. And interestingly the only way to achieve this peace is to change our slavery to this world and other creations and submit ourselves to higher being, our creator. This is the only way you can truly liberate yourself and unshackles all form of slavery.

by: Colin

Well, I think I speak for all here by saying you've certainly brought lots of light into our lives by your work. Keep up the beautiful work, Susanne!

Colin Stone
Relaxation Centre
Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada

Even existentialists can share this feeling
by: Nicholas

Hi, I have been very spiritual in my life, then spent the last phase being very rational and only believing what I see (within reason - to a degree I can justify to myself!). So I don't believe in a higher being or higher intelligence outside of myself. But recently I have come to realise that I cannot deal with life and the world with my purely scientific view, and have had to reintroduce spirituality into my life. I can't explain briefly how that works for me, but perhaps can explain why I would still take the butterfly incident as a sign.

Where others talk of guardians or guides being outside themselves, I see them as being inside my psyche. When others might see the butterfly as having been sent, I would see it as chance. However, the part of me that says "Oh, is that a sign?" brings with it a deep subconscious and conscious potential for hope, change, happiness, strength and many other things. So I listen to that part of me and say "Yes, it's a sign". It's a sign because I choose to recognise it as that, and so it works as a way to help me change my inner state, and the world around me.

I ask myself "Am I fooling myself?". In a way, the wise part of myself is managing the reactive part of myself. I think that's justified.


by: Sandra Barrientos

As I read your story I was waiting for some miraculous punch line. So as I came to the ending and realized there wasn't an outrageous punch line, I was more than just plain and simple awe struck. I felt as if I was sitting right there next to you listening to myself tell my own story of what might be just a simple sounding event to some. Yet to me it was not only a simple little event, it was a huge sign. You saw and received it as the sign you were asking for and I applaud you for that. I believe that was exactly what it was, a very special and deliberate sign. I would have been ecstatic with joy and optimism at such a simple appearing event. I would have also cherished it as I believe you do. I feel we definitely know exactly why this incident happened at that moment and time. Praise God for the little things that his hand lays out for us. If only we all could see so easily. Thank you for sharing

Simply Beautiful
by: Vannessa

This was simply a beautiful read. Thanks for sharing.

Best regards

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