Mess and Miracles


What is a miracle?

In common usage, we often think of miracles as something magical, divinely-sent, extraordinary. We expect fireworks.

But I'm coming to see that true miracles are all around us, everyday. They are quiet. Often we don't truly know they are happening until after the fact. The true miracles we experience are nothing more or less than coming back to a state of love when we have fallen into fear.

And we do fall into fear. It is part of this human experience. We live in mortal bodies and on some level are always afraid that everything we have and want could at any moment be taken away. That if only we were good enough, worked hard enough, lost enough weight or looked a certain way, cared for others well enough, planned carefully enough... that only then will we be able to live happy and meaningful lives that can't be shaken. And then if we do manage to get what we want, we spend so much time trying to hold onto it. Convinced, on some level, that we only got it by cheating because how could we ever truly be worthy of it? Or what we wanted becomes not enough and then we want more and we are never satisfied.

All of this is fear.

The true miracle is to find ourselves caught in the middle of these stories our mind spins, deep in fear and a sense of limitation... and to take a deep breath... and to ask ourselves: In this moment, right here and right now, what is lacking?

Try it.

When I ask myself that question, what comes to me is silence. Grace. Love. When I look at someone in front of me who I have hurt or who has hurt me and I feel fear and guilt and I ask myself, "In this moment, right here and right now, who is this who stands in front of me?"... what comes to me is a stranger. Someone I have no history with. Someone I can now discern in this moment if I need to fear or if I can forgive and love. Because forgiveness is not a choice we make, nor is it something we can give to other people. It is the result of loving ourselves enough to see our mistakes and not get hung up. To see our fear and to realize that we don't need it and to shift back to love. And when we do that, we are free.

I have made a practice of these kinds of questions. I have made a commitment to miracles. I can tell you that it is simple, but not always easy. That it can be messy. But when I see how how much more peacefully my life flows, when I take deep breaths and feel space and grace, when I see my ordinary life take on the glow of something magical, I can tell you - to me, it's worth it.