Have you ever flipped a coin to help you make a choice? Have you ever heard a comment like, “The forecast for her wedding day is a hurricane… that’s not a good a sign!” or thought, “If I make it through this green light, I will take that as a sign that I should stop at the mall and buy that dress!”

Whether or not you believe that God or some force of nature is sending us messages, most of us subconsciously look around for hidden clues before making important choices or life-changing decisions. And whether it’s a question of chance or fate, our futile attempts at control may appear to be all in fun, but consider that they really may be gestures of faith. Faith that there is someone somewhere whose job it is to find ways to warn us of impending doom or guide us to do what is in our own best interests.

I know in my life, I look for signs. If I go to work and things start going wrong (I miss the train, disconnect an important call, spill my coffee), I take that to mean: prepare for a bad day (or just go home!). If while shopping I see an expensive coat that I had been admiring has been marked down by 75%, I take that to mean I should buy it! But if I planned a trip and an event took place which discouraged me from attending, does that mean something bad was going to happen to me if I ignored the sign? Well, I admit I would not care to find out!

I believe there are signs all around us that are meant to steer us individually through life and also help us survive as a species. Images and events whose truth stares us in the face everyday (if we look) and whose silent screams tell us what needs to be done (if we listen).

Signs like seeing hungry people in the streets – shouldn’t that mean to feed and house them?

Signs like children being killed by handguns – shouldn’t that mean to better control dangerous weapons?

Signs like politicians breaking laws and neglecting the needs of our citizens – shouldn’t that mean to impeach and replace them?

Signs like water rising, weather changing, animals dying, and skin burning – aren’t those signs that our earth is in trouble? Doesn’t that mean we should relieve and protect it?

And although some people are dedicated to resolving these issues, do the rest of us ignore these signs because we know others will to tend to them? Is it because they involve too much work? Or is it because they do not immediately and directly affect our own lives?

When something is denied us personally, I think if we accept it by saying, “Well then it wasn’t meant to be,” then we have a responsibility to also pay attention to the signs around us that don’t necessarily focus on just us as individuals, but affect that which is greater than ourselves. And if not sent by God, could these signs be our own human trail of evidence serving as a glaring reminder of our hedonistic past and a warning of our unpredictable future?

Whether you call them signs or faith or evidence, you must agree that when doubt is present in our minds we look for something -- tangible or intangible -- to lead us in the right direction and secretly hope to Someone Somewhere that we will be inspired to make the right decision and will be lead safely on our journey to the next signpost.

Author's Bio: 

Audrey Valeriani is an author, freelance writer, relationship coach, columnist for the Malden Observer, and Board Chair for Self Esteem Boston Educational Institute, Inc. in Boston, Massachusetts. Her book "Boot Camp for the Broken-Hearted: How to Survive (and Be Happy) in the Jungle of Love" is designed to help readers improve self-esteem and relationships, and is on sale now.