When a Bell Rings

A few years back, maybe more, I walked into a bar one night after a play I was acting in at a local community theatre. I walked into that bar with several friends from the show and ran into a guy I had known loosely through the theatre community. We weren’t close friends then and hadn’t seen much of each other in years, as he had just arrived back in the area.

But I assume there was some sort of kindred connection between us because we were drawn to each other. We found ourselves talking to each other, separate from the rest. He was telling me all about his adventures during his travels, and then…something happened.

A bell rang. Not like a literal bell or anything, but more like a shock wave that vibrated through my body and rang like a loud alerting alarm in my mind.

What did I do with this ringing? I ran. I courteously said my good-byes and left.

A few weeks ago, I had just kicked out my abusive ex-husband. I was wounded, shocked, and unsure of this world I was re-entering (the world at large, not just that of dating). Everything was new, unreal, scary. I wasn’t open to or looking for love or relationships. Because of fear, I had closed my heart off to any sort of connection that might lead down the path of a real heartfelt connection.

I shut it off and went on with my life. I pushed the whole experience far back into my unconscious, seemingly forgetting about the whole thing. Or so I thought.

See, the bell kept ringing and ringing and ringing. Whenever I would run into this man around town, I would hear that alarm going off. True to form, I’d do my best to silence it.

Until one day…

I had a screenplay I had written that kept kicking itself around and around in my head. I took a leap of faith and invited friends to help me film it, to put it on YouTube, and then who knows what else? I had never done anything like this before, although at the time, I’d been in a few film projects of my friends, mostly as an extra or featured player.

I asked this man to be a part of it. And then, there it was.

The first day of filming, it was the two of us alone and the bell rang and rang. The tension hung between us, weighting the very air we breathed. It was sexual tension mingled with the longing for love.

So what happened?

That little film project went forth into the world and continued to grow, with more and more people coming on board to help the dream come alive.

But, in the early days of the project, it was this man who helped birth it into the world as much as myself and my creative inspiration.

It took me nearly three years to finally surrender to the universe and allow this man into my life. I wish I could say that he swept me into his arms with devotion and promises of love eternal. No, that didn’t happen. But he did pledge his eternal loyalty to me both on and off screen. He was crucial in helping and encouraging me to pursue another angle of my career, catapulting me into the avenue of becoming a film producer, a profession in which I am thriving. I’ve learned that that is even better and more special than romantic love eternal.

What have I learned? The universe had a special purpose for bringing this man and me together. No matter what, we’re kindred spirits, a unique relationship that is not always discovered in our fast-paced, technologically driven society. And, that one night in a bar, the universe was instructing and showing me that this man was going to be vastly important in my life, if I only let him.

From that experience and more, I’ve learned that the times I’ve been the most successful are the times I’ve kept my heart open, receptive to the ring. The times I’ve listened and been led. When a bell rings, I let a bell be a bell.

So, in your life, when you hear that bell or alarm telling you to wake up, pay attention, listen, and let it ring.

I’m listening now.

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About the Author | Lia Rose Dugal

Lia Dugal is an actress, model, writer, and producer living in Southern Oregon with her boyfriend and two cats. She has been active in many theatre productions and independent films such asIn Her BloodCatatonia of the Fairies, and Into the Woods. Her production company is in its second year.

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