When you hear the word miracle what immediately springs to mind? Is it the supernatural, something outside the natural course of things? Maybe it’s even magic. Perhaps if you were brought up as a church goer you might associate the term with biblical stories, raising the dead, that sort of thing. But that’s not how I see miracles at all.
To me a miracle is a much simpler thing.
It could be waking up every morning feeling truly wonderful for no reason at all, the fact that I have clean water to drink, nice food to eat, good friends. It can be something as simple as that gorgeous cup of coffee I’m enjoying as I flick through the paper. Or, that I live in a country where democracy, freedom of speech and religious tolerance are acceptable. I know everyone doesn’t have these things.
I’m grateful for the long sunny days we’ve just had gone by, and the exquisite wind-swept days of autumn we’re enjoying in Ireland now (I took a picture, see above).
Every day that we’re healthy, free of pain and sickness is a miracle. I know when it’s the norm we take it for granted, maybe we need to be more mindful. I’m grateful for my money, for the chance to visit beautiful countries and meet wonderful people. The list is endless really.
And I’m really grateful for you guys who read the unscripted self. For me miracles are the fabric of life. I make miracles happen every day.
What stops people from seeing the miracle is that they see the unfairness in things. If you think ‘why do I have so many blessings when so many others have to do without’, you’re introducing guilt. By doing that you’re denying yourself the richness that life is offering you, because you’ve chosen to compare yourself with someone else. Help your neighbour when you can, but don’t think you can be in their shoes. We never know what life is like for another person, how they receive the universe into their soul. Often the greatest gifts go unseen.
I saw a documentary recently about a woman in a Third World country who was expressing so much gratitude for aid that had just been delivered in time to save her family. That day they were able to eat and were full of joy and praising God (how many of us forget?) I’m not saying I’d want to swap places with her but I can never know the connection to life she made that day. For that lady it was indeed a miracle.
Now from an outside perspective we might see the event as the culmination of a set of processes that ended with food aid arriving in a certain country that saved some but didn’t others, and that it was all just chance. But when you see like this you miss the miracle, the particular story that impacted on an individual life.
I don’t see life as a series of chances and random happenings at all. I believe there is a meaning behind all things.
By comparing ourselves with someone else whose circumstances are (or appear to be) worse, we run the risk of demeaning the value of our own lives, the particular individual circumstances that make up each personal experience.
And this is not only confined to the Third World. Many people look no further than their neighbour across the street, see he lives in a bigger house, has a better job, drives a more expensive car, and they feel somehow they’re missing out. You can bet they're not seeing the miracle in their lives. This is what comparing ourselves to others does. Comparison is not a good measuring tool for our own good or the good of others. God blesses everyone in some way. It may not always be apparent.
I have often heard that when some people make their first million they immediately compare themselves to the guy above them who’s earning two. Then when they hit 10 million they look to someone who has 20, and them feel impoverished. Imagine that! Pathetic when you think about it! There you are with 10 million in the bank and you’re feeling miserable, while the lady who’s just got enough food to keep her child alive feels on top of the world. That’s why we can never judge individual circumstances. Because we don’t know.
Remember, as I keep repeating, almost to the point of ad nauseam now, everything is perfect in the present moment.
The way to do this is to become aware of all the good things that happen in your life on a daily basis, even if they appear to be small. Take note of them. You’ll find you’ll begin to notice more because anything we become aware of we create more of it (they were there all along but you just weren’t aware of them). Keep a miracles notebook and record the little miracles that happened every day.
I know a lady who when getting into her car every day affirms that she will find the perfect parking spot for her. And she always does. Many people do little miracles like this every day that go unnoticed. Do like my friend, become miracle-minded.
A Course in Miracles tells us that miracles are not something supernatural at all, but our natural state. Instead it’s stuff like ill health and poverty that are unnatural, which we create by complicating things up. This is a complete reversal of the way we see things.
The true miracle, we must never forget, is when we change our mind, about people, events, about miracles themselves. It’s really about a change of perception.
Expect miracles every day. Do this and watch your joy quotient go through the roof!
There is a voice that doesn’t use words - listen!
Reality is merely an illusion - albeit a persistent one.