When a Fry is Just a Fry (or, Please Don’t Attach Meaning to Everything)

“Half of what I say is meaningless; but I say it so that the other half may reach you.” ~Kahlil Gibran, Sand and Foam

Last week, I was having lunch with my boyfriend when he jokingly began to “read” our fries as a way to tell my future.

It was hilarious, yes, but it also made me think about how eager we can be to attach meaning to EVERYthing that happens in our lives and how sometimes looking for the deeper meaning is not actually that helpful.

Sometimes, a fry is just a fry, you know?

 

(And, yes, I love fries. I admit it.)

I spent many years caught up in an intense game of What’s The Deeper Meaning, Everything’s A Sign, Right?

Except no. Not everything is a sign. How exhausting would that be?

And while those of us who thrive on deconstructing our lives to reveal the hidden significance under the surface might get a little anxious to think that the Universe is not actually giving us messages ALL the damn time, it can ultimately be a little freeing to realize that not every single thing is super important, not to be missed, full of deep and profound insight.

Sometimes a fry really is just a fry.

My job is to look for signs everywhere and to take objective information and run it through both a Chinese medicine filter and a western medicine filter to find out what your body is trying to tell me (and you). So, you know, looking for the deeper meaning is something I’m doing on the regular.

Still, not every symptom or musculo-skeletal injury or incident of pain is trying to tell you something profound and potentially life-changing.

 

Because sometimes the headache you got on a random Tuesday in May is not your body’s way of suggesting a major decision needs to be made regarding the long-term trajectory of your professional or personal future. Sometimes that headache is just a sign the barometric pressure did something funky that day. Or that you drank too much whiskey the night before. Or that you forgot your morning coffee. (How that would be possible, I have no idea. But I digress.)

That being said, if you’re getting the same headache every Tuesday morning for a few consecutive weeks or months you might want to take a step back and see if there’s something happening in your life that could be responsible for that particular pattern of headache-y pain.

Our bodies give us plenty of signs and send us frequent messages — if we’re aware enough to see and hear them. In fact, I recently wrote about how anxiety is a message in this way, a sign from your body that something isn’t working and needs some attention.

So, yes! I absolutely believe there are deeper meanings to be discovered all around us and that cultivating the awareness to tune into them is an important part of any healing process.

And yet . . .

I also believe that we can tie ourselves into unnecessary knots by attaching importance to everything, all the time, without question.

And this is coming from someone (read:  me) who sees an astrologer once or twice a year and has had intuitive readings on multiple occasions and pulls a tarot card every morning and practices a medicine that is all about signs and symbols and looking under the surface of things for answers.

But I believe that I ultimately get to decide what’s meaningful for me. And so do you. Always.

 

And while you may consult with experts (#callme) for their opinions on your situation — whether that situation be back pain or insomnia or migraines or confusion about your career path — you are not obligated to take everything they (or I) say as truth.

Which is why I also recommend that you approach anyone who claims to have all the answers to all your problems with a healthy level of skepticism. Because in any healing relationship, you get to take what resonates and incorporate it into your life while leaving the rest behind.

I might be an expert on acupuncture and Chinese medicine, your astrologer might be an expert on Saturn and Mercury and your planetary transits, and your personal trainer might be an expert on proper squatting technique, but you are the expert on you. Period.

Learning to trust yourself takes time and practice. And it probably means taking some less-than-ideal advice from some less-than-ideal sources.

Believe me. I have been there.

But flexing your intuition muscle is worth the effort to figure what’s helpful, what’s harmful, and what’s just plain bullshit.

There are deeper meanings EVERYWHERE. I absolutely believe this. But not everything has a deeper meaning. And figuring out the difference can be an important and empowering part of any healing journey.

Remember:  Fries are just fries most of the time.