Today I almost forgot that I am a miracle. It’s easy to do when life gets hectic and things seem like they’re out of your control… It took me a few quiet minutes and this YouTube video of Neil Young singing “Old Man” to realize that I am a miracle. For a long time I thought that the word “miracle” was over used as a buzzword. Whether it’s “miraculous that we were able to leave the house on time” or a “miracle that we walked out of the store with groceries under $200”. If you use it enough it loses it’s magic. Or so I thought.
The reality is the more you identify things as being miraculous, the more miracles tend to show up. Because you see them you began to really believe in them and then maybe, just maybe, you start to manifest them. This sounds very hocus-pocus and woo-woo until you start putting it into practice and watching it unfold before your eyes.
Every time you remain hopeful in the face of defeat or positive when everything around you seems to be falling apart, I believe that is miraculous. This trait is one that I see woven through the fabric of families and friendships and for whatever reason, for the longest time, I thought I didn’t have what it takes to be a part of that group. Yet, I sat transfixed by this YouTube clip, listening to Neil Young explain that he took in the world around him and made a pieced together a story (or song) he could express himself in. Though Mr. Young is clearly an incredibly talented artist, what he did was very simple. He paid attention. He thought about the human connection he made and then he wrote about it. Even I could do that.
I see this in the blogs I am following, in the Facebook posts I read and in the daily storytelling all around me and I am just as easily fascinated by it. There is beauty in describing a meal, a terribly awkward first date and the hope of rebuilding in Louisiana. I have discounted myself as part of this process because sometimes I was simply absorbing the information – the less labor intensive part of the equation. Less labor intensive described my part if I only soak up what someone writes or thinks or sings or creates and then, just as easily, wring it out of my system. When I engage in a dialogue, or offer support or truly provide the scaffolding that someone I care about needs, the exchange becomes dynamic and the reward is shared among everyone participating.
If you are running low on miracles, might I offer the following advice?
Help someone – in whatever way you can with whatever means you have to work with. It can be as simple as a text, a phone call or my personal favorite – a letter in the mail. Reach out to someone to say they are on your mind.
Help yourself – do something regenerative for you. A nap, a walk, a Sudoku puzzle, a You Tube video – all can be hugely beneficial in transporting you out of your own endless loop of wherever you are stuck.
Say Thanks – there is always something to be grateful for, no matter how bad things get. If you are breathing, you are still in the game.
Set a goal – when you are down, the upward possibilities are endless. Every step toward that goal is a win and should be treated as such (see Say Thanks).
Crush that goal and set another – momentum is the key here. Neil Young didn’t stop with “Old Man”, he did it beautifully, it struck a chord (I know, cheap pun there) and then he kept going (such as when he wrote “Ohio” after reading an article on the Kent State shootings). We all have our gifts and they are best when shared.
As for me, I am learning to trust the process of discovery. I have been in such a lifelong rush to get to the good parts, the parts where I find my flow, that I have at times mistaken time put in, for quality time put in. I am learning that when I slow down and actively participate in my life, in the scary bits and the unflattering parts and the good things that I have been reluctant to accept credit for, miracles start showing up. Only now I can recognize them for what they are and celebrate them as they come along. “Take a look at my life” in deed.