Albert Einstein once said, “Either every day is a miracle, or nothing is a miracle.” When you’re living with grief, each day can feel like a chore. To refer to our days as anything close to miraculous can feel like too far of a reach, but today I’m going to show you how to recognize your every day as a miracle.
What is a miracle?
The definition of a miracle is a surprising and welcome event that is not explicable by natural or scientific laws and is therefore considered to be the work of a divine agency. It can also be a highly improbable or extraordinary event, development, or accomplishment that brings very welcome consequences. Some also use miracle as a term for an amazing product or achievement, or an outstanding example of something.
The common theme in all of these definitions is this: It’s a good thing, above and beyond the mundane.
What are some examples of a miracle?
Let’s first talk about a miracle that, according to the Catholic faith, occurred on December 12 in 1531. Juan Deigo of Mexico City was visited by the Virgin Mary, who wanted Juan to ask the local bishop to build a church on Tepeyac Hill. The top of this hill was arid, and usually only grew cacti. When Juan went to the top to gather flowers, as the Virgin Mary directed him to, he found roses which he gathered into his cloak. Juan then took his cloak, with the roses still inside, to the bishop. And when the bishop unfolded the cloak, there was revealed on it an image of the Lady of Guadalupe, which was more than enough evidence of Juan Deigo’s claim. And the church was built.
That’s a whole list of miracles in one paragraph! Everything from the visit from the Virgin Mary to Juan Diego, to the roses where the land only grew cacti, to the image of the Lady of Guadalupe in the cloak. These are examples most people think of when they hear the world miracle.
But what about the everyday miracles?
I think it’s safe to say that you’re not going to have the face of your divine power in your cloak on a daily basis. But what you will have is being.
Let’s revisit the basic definition of a miracle, which is an inexplicable happening not based in natural or scientific laws.
The fact that you are you is a miracle. There’s literally no one else in existence, past or present, that has been you. You are a unique wonder, never to be replicated. There are an infinite number of factors that came together, at just the right time and place, for you to be here.
This is a huge, mind-blowing concept. For example, consider that if even one tiny little thing had been different in your past, your entire present and future may be different. You could have different thought patterns, prefer different flavors, or look completely different than you do now. If your parents had preferred classical music over another genre, would your music preferences be different than they are now? And how would that have impacted your personality?
That is all to say, the possibilities that have gone into you being you were so vast that it is a miracle (a wonder, a beautiful, an unexpected and amazing thing) that you are who you are.
Cast your mind further back than your own existence, and consider how many generations of unique individuals with their own set of infinite possibilities had to happen for you to be who you are. It’s truly amazing, mind-boggling, and miraculous!
Here’s another everyday miracle:
You have the capacity to feel complex emotions. Whether you believe that humans were specifically designed as we are, or that humans evolved, our ability to feel is a miracle just by the sheer beauty it adds to the world.
We feel compassion, have empathy, and can love. We are, by nature, drawn to help each other and celebrate each other. And while there are emotions that aren’t always positive in nature, we also have the ability to either learn the root of the darker feelings and heal them, or seek out help to do so.
Your body is a miracle. Did you know that approximately every 45 seconds (give or take, depending on your specific body), your blood goes from your heart to every cell in your body, back to your heart? How about the fact that your lungs have tiny little sacs that take in oxygen, which is then distributed by your blood to your entire body, and also release the carbon dioxide your body produces? The average person has 206 bones in their body, and one of those is called the Stapes bone, which is around 2-3mm, and it helps us hear.
How do we recognize the miracles around us?
When you’re in the midst of grief, the world can lose color. Tastes are dulled, sounds are murmurs where they once were clear, and the things that used to put a spark of joy in our veins fades into the background.
But when we choose to deliberately see, and appreciate, the miracles that we are and that surround us, the beauty of living a radiant existence can return.
Look at the world around you. I think we’ve all been touched by the vastness of the ocean or the beauty of a sunrise. What about something as simple as the wind as it moves through the leaves that have fallen off of the autumn trees? Consider all of the factors that have to come together perfectly to not only generate the wind, but also the trees, your ability to hear them, to see the leaves shift, to smell the process of the leaves returning to enrich the soil, to feel the bite of the cooler wind along your skin.
Immerse yourself in a single experience, and explore all of the components required to create that experience.
Listen to your body. Do you hear the beat of your heart, the whoosh of your blood, the working of your digestive system? Notice the temperature of your breath as it enters your nose—it’s cooler going in, and warmer when you exhale. Your body changes the kinetic energy of molecules around you by simply being.
Notice the kindness in the world. Whenever you are struggling to find beauty, take the time to notice it. For example, someone once mentioned that they’d been considering buying a Chevy Equinox and since making that decision, were seeing them all over town. It’s not that there was a sudden influx of Equinoxes on the road, it was that they were noticing them because they were thinking about them.
When we take the time to think about the miracles and beauty that surrounds us, we begin to notice it, and from there these things can take root in our heart. And that is definitely a miracle.
Love all around, above, below, to the left and to the right, before you and behind you,
If you’re struggling with the emotional process of grief...
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