No Magic 8 Ball Needed

Crystal Jackson
Jun 24, 2019 · 6 min read
Photo by David Brooke Martin on Unsplash

When my life uncovers questions, I reach for answers, and I don’t need to consult a Magic 8 Ball or read the cards to figure out what I need to do. Instead, I call upon a different source, one I can be sure of, to help guide the way.

I should probably tell you this isn’t about religion.

I can understand why you’d think that. If the words Higher Power came to mind, or some version of that, I can see why. But that’s not what this is.

I’ve been on a journey of personal growth that started many years ago, but the last few years have been a quicker evolution than all the years that came before. I’ve been actively raising my vibration and answering to my highest self.

That’s right: I answer to my highest self.

If that sounds like a bunch of hokey, new-age nonsense, I understand. Just like I understand that any lifestyle has its lingo. There is religious-speak and vegan-speak, nerd-language and sports-talk, and there’s even the language that comes with a mindful life. Any area of interest comes with its own lingo, and it appears to be a secret code to anyone outside of it.

You might be thinking, What does raising your vibration even mean? What is a consciousness shift supposed to signify? How is your highest self different than your regular self?

Over the last several years, I’ve gone through a divorce, single parenting, relocations, career changes, and financial upsets. My life has been actively changing, and I’ve had to change with it. Or, at least, I needed to change with it and chose to do so.

I was in a marriage that didn’t feel like what love ought to feel like, and I was deeply lonely in a way that even now hurts to articulate. I was on the cusp of change and didn’t realize it. That world, that painfully isolated world, was about to come crashing down around me.

I’d been holding up that world for too many years, and I couldn’t stop it from crumbling around me. It was a weight too heavy for me to carry and too fragile to last. I didn’t want the career that was draining my personal resources or the relationship that made me feel like nothing. I didn’t want any of it, and from the wreckage I was living in, I began to formulate an idea of what I did want.

I won’t take you through every moment of the change. Suffice it to say, I let the world around me fall, and I built another. A stronger world. A better one. A world that looked like something I wanted to be living and not one I had resigned myself to existing within.

It was a better life, but I still had lessons to learn and challenges to overcome. It was rarely easy, often painfully difficult. But then my worldview changed, which is what I mean about a consciousness shift. I began to have a different perspective on my entire life and the world around me.

I left toxic relationships out of love rather than anger for the first time in my life. I was able to speak my truth, which is that I’m happy to have healthy relationships at any time, but I’m no longer available for unhealthy ones. I said those words without anger or bitterness or regret. I stood firm because I truly am answering to my highest self these days.

It’s who I am at my core. Staying in toxic relationships was deeply hurtful to me. It didn’t serve my highest self. It didn’t make me feel empowered or strong or compassionate. It just depleted my inner resources. I was drained trying to manage the drama, and it wasn’t in my best interest to continue engaging in those ways.

My consciousness continued to shift, and I began to become grateful for all the things I had once wanted that hadn’t worked out as I began to accept that my life was better for it. I began to forgive in ways I never had before. I began to practice more compassion for other human beings and their faults and flaws.

It’s made me a better person. Perhaps, not in a way that’s recognizable on the outside. After all, I’ve typically been a kind person. But now my inner world is kind, too, most of the time. I’ve changed my thoughts, my perspective on the world. My inner dialogue is kinder than it’s ever been before. It doesn’t assume the worst or make as many harsh generalizations. I feel softer and stronger at the same time.

I’ve always thought that the grit alone would save me, and I haven’t always made room for anything other than those sharp edges. But a lifetime of disappointed plans and failed relationships pushed me to gain a higher perspective on the things that have happened. By finding that there were lessons inside each struggle, I stopped looking at the Universe as being out to get me. Instead, I began to see that the bad things that had happened had served a higher purpose.

I’m not going to unload on you that cliched garbage phrase of how bad things happen for a reason. I will say that the things that happen can sometimes have a positive utility depending on how we respond to them. But that’s true of most, if not all, of our life choices. It’s empowering to realize that we have more choices than we ever realized — even when those choices are incredibly difficult.

Instead, I’m sharing that there was a time when I made decisions based on what I thought I should be doing rather than what was right for me. I stayed inside the lines other people drew for me, and I was deeply unhappy.

Now I answer to me.

To what’s right for me. To the things and relationships that make me happy. I am guided by what I know to be true rather than by external validation. My life looks nothing like what it did. Maybe it’s because I’m happy for a change. I’m certainly more grateful, forgiving, and compassionate.

To those in the aforementioned toxic relationships, I’m sure I don’t seem softer. If anything, I seem fierce in my resolve not to tolerate people who do not respect my personal boundaries. I love the phrase do no harm but take no shit. We can be loving, kind humans and still not allow ourselves to be abused or mistreated. In fact, it’s highly recommended.

I only ever had to get to know me. The real me. The me that I am when I’m not worried about everyone and everything else. Then, I consider the highest version of myself. The most loving. The kindest. The person I am on my best days. That’s who I answer to now. That’s who guides my decisions, and I’m not perfect so sometimes I manage to screw it up. But I know, at the end of each day, that the choices I’m making are in my best interest.

No one else is living my life. There’s only me. I decided years ago when I made the first difficult decision that life was far too short to sit around being unhappy in it when there was an option that could make me happy if I was brave enough to take it.

Our highest selves are there, buried sometimes under years of expectations and plans and ideas of what our lives should look like. Be quiet. Be still. Turn off the music. Mute your phone, and turn it over. Even better, turn it off. Sit. Wait. Listen. We already know what we need to do.

So, do that, and be happy.

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Crystal Jackson

Written by

Former therapist. Author, Heart of Madison series. Poet.

The Startup

Get smarter at building your thing. Follow to join The Startup’s +8 million monthly readers & +792K followers.

Crystal Jackson

Written by

Former therapist. Author, Heart of Madison series. Poet.

The Startup

Get smarter at building your thing. Follow to join The Startup’s +8 million monthly readers & +792K followers.

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