The Fading Significance of Fortune Cookies

I used to love love love fortune cookies.

When presented with a plateful of cookies at the end of a meal, I would pause ever so thoughtfully to let my intuition tell me which cookie out of the bunch was the one that was meant for me – so that I would get the fortune that I was supposed to get.

I would crack them open with anticipation, so excited to see what would be printed on the little slip of paper tucked in the folds of the cookie.

When I got somethings stupid (like the ones that begin “Confucius say:”), I felt annoyed and cheated.

But if I got a fortune that talked about wishes coming true or unexpected wealth or having a bright future, I would keep it. Meditate on it, even.

As though the fortune were a message from the Universe about my Purpose-with-a-capital-P. And by keeping the slip of paper, its message would come to pass more quickly.

I needed the fortune to validate what I wanted. I needed it to tell me that the things I wanted could and would happen.

Last night, after our Chinese takeout dinner, we picked our fortune cookies. Mine said, “An unexpected event will bring you riches.” I realized, with a mix of gratitude and heartache, that the little cookies no longer held my fascination the way they once did. The message on the slip of paper was merely interesting.

Okay, okay…do I wish some unexpected even would bring me riches? Yes, that would be great. But I’m also not holding my breath that it will happen because a fortune cookie said so.

The heartache I felt was for knowing that things have changed. Goodbyes are always sad for me, and I’m in the process of slowly saying goodbye to the person I’ve been for most of my life. It’s good, mostly, but sometimes it feels painful and disorienting.

And I felt gratitude for the fact that I no longer need a fortune from a cookie to confirm my purpose in life or to bring me hope for birthing my dreams into reality. Apparently I no longer need that particular form of external validation.

Or maybe it’s that I am becoming more aware of the power I already have within me to ask for what I need. To give myself what I need.

After reading this post from Havi, and especially this comment from Hiro Boga, I’m realizing that for the last 10+ years, I’ve been on a journey toward the quality of Sovereignty.

Here’s an excerpt from Hiro’s comment:

The thing about Sovereignty is: It’s ours by virtue of our being. We don’t have to earn it–it’s a gift of grace. But because so many of us have grown up not knowing that our lives belong to us–that our bodies and thoughts and feelings and creativity belong to us–we look to others for permission to be who we are; or for validation; or for power, or something else that can only come from within.

When we don’t receive it, we doubt or blame ourselves, or we give our own pain away and blame or throw shoes at others.

We become disconnected from the inner dignity, self-responsibility and sense of belonging that sovereignty brings.

My quest started out as a search for the Perfect Job. Pretty quickly I realized that I didn’t want just a job – I was seeking fulfillment, so my goal became to discover my Mission in Life. At that time, I believed there was only one right way to fulfill that mission and I needed to know what that way was. (You can imagine how quickly I became stuck with that kind of pressure.)

Within the last couple of years, I stopped believing that there is only one way for me to fulfill my mission, and no longer felt certain that I have a mission (or at least, if I do have a mission, it goes way beyond my income generating activities).

Within the last few months, I’ve changed course again. Now, at its core, this adventure is about learning a whole new way to interact with myself.

It’s about connecting with all of my different Selves, who make up the whole of Me. And it’s about figuring out who I really am, and giving myself permission to be whoever that person turns out to be.

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4 thoughts on “The Fading Significance of Fortune Cookies

  1. Mahala Mazerov

    When people asked if I had a dream job I always answered “Writing the fortunes in fortune cookies.” I always thought it would be a way to sprinkle anonymous little blessings everywhere. Or at least in Chinese restaurants.

    But I’m happy you’re finding your own Sovereignty, and through your work you’ll help others discover theirs.

    Havi’s post & Hiro’s words were so beautiful. I’m glad you picked up on them and added your own insights.
    .-= Mahala Mazerov´s last blog ..The Bowl of Stars – A Guided Meditation =-.

    1. Victoria Post author

      That does sound like a cool job!

      I never really stopped to consider who was writing those fortunes that kept me hopeful for all those years. It’s comforting to think that maybe they were someone like you – kind and compassionate – who was trying to “sprinkle anonymous little blessings everywhere”. Love that.

      (Whoever you were, thank you for those fortunes that I could lean on when I needed to.)

  2. Linnea aka cafemercury

    This is a wonderful post. How many of us look for those “little signs” (fortune cookies, horoscopes) to validate us at one time or another? (I know I have.) Maybe they’re little signposts on the way to nudge us toward our path until we’re guided by our own internal compass.

    Beautiful, soulful, heartstring-tugging post.
    .-= Linnea aka cafemercury´s last blog ..Stretching Towards Ecstasy =-.

    1. Victoria Post author

      Wow, Linnea – you really said that beautifully!

      “Maybe they’re little signposts on the way to nudge us toward our path until we’re guided by our own internal compass.”

      That gave me goosebumps!

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