Einstein is quoted as saying, “There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is.” I am certain the quote itself is fictitious, and falls into absolutism, but both of those arguments, to me, fail to grasp the underlying message. The important part of that message is the last sentence. Live life as if everything is a miracle.
Having been through some very substantial shadows and coming out the other side, not without scars but with beautiful ones, I try to look for tiny miracles. If you take mysticism out of it and just look at our planet for a second, it’s a miracle we are here. This big ball of rock had to form at exactly the right place, be traveling at exactly the right speed to be caught in a very particular orbit, and be composed of the right ratio of space junk, to support life. So much had to go right that it is quite amazing that we are here at all. Whether you believe that a lot of random stuff happened and everything just lined up to make this happen or if you believe in a mystical universe that self created, or that a deity(s) had a direct hand in our creation is not what I want to discuss here. What I want to talk about is how amazing our world and life is and how I try to look at it.
I spent a very long time in a very bad place emotionally and spiritually. My mental illness was completely in control and I almost didn’t make it out alive. When you are in that state, it is easy to look at everything as being tainted by that shadow. Everything takes on a negative cast. You see the fault in everything. When recovery began to happen I had to look through another window. You can’t recover from mental illness and look at things as though everything is bad, the glass is half empty. My world view had to change. It is still changing to this day. I had to look out and see how amazing everything is.
This morning I was looking out my kitchen window. It snowed yesterday and everything is covered in a thin layer of white. Now I really don’t like being cold, but winter is a very pretty time of year. How beautiful and amazing is snow? It’s just a drop of water right? But, that drop of water occurred on a day when the temperature was just right, the air currents kept that drop of water aloft for a specific amount of time and the air temperature was just right, so that it didn’t rain, snowflakes, water crystals in very complex patterns fell the the Earth. Pretty amazing stuff.
I do my best to look at everything in my life like I saw that snow this morning. I try to look at what is around me and see how amazing it all is. Seeing the world as though it is just full of miracles helps me look through a most important window. That window is gratitude. Sure there is a lot of bad stuff happening in the world and you could fill blogs and journals about that all day long and never reach the end of it. But what would that do to your head? It would make you unhappy at the very least. It would make you jaded, doubtful, depressed, angry. It would make you see the world the way it seems a large vocal portion of people see it, as if it is rotten. I can’t live that way.
I have to look and see what is right, if for no other reason than to help counter the anger, hate, and misery that I see demonstrated on a daily basis. But it is more than that. If I look for and find the good in as many places as I can, I can control, to a point, the illnesses that affect me. If I look out and see what is right and good I feel better. This does not men I don’t see what’s wrong, but it changes how I see it. I don’t look at what is wrong and wring my hands to the sky. I look at solutions. I look for the good. Where are the people helping out? Am I called to help out here? Can I share something that might help out? Where is the good?
Sometimes it can be a challenge. Stuff gets heavy and I do have illnesses that affect mood and they love to look out that other window. They love to show me whats wrong. They love to show me what makes me angry. I have a choice, however. I can look out that window and eventually find myself hiding in a closet or worse, or, I can shut that curtain and look for the good. I can find tiny miracles that make me smile. I can find tiny miracles that show me the world is good. I can find tiny miracles that show me how I want to live my life.
So what can you do? How do you change that window? The first thing is to know it’s happening. This requires you to be present to how you are feeling. It requires you to be mindful of what is happening around and to you. You have to recognize when you are participating in building the window. Then you have to pause. You have to stop and take yourself out of that moment. You have to say to yourself, whoa, I am in a funky place right now. What is going on?
Then you can step in a tell yourself this isn’t how I want to see it. It can be as simple as making a list in your head real quick about god stuff. It can be asking yourself the question, what’s good right now? Look out and see something good happening. What can I do to make this a positive situation? What can I see to make this a good experience? How can I change what I am thinking to make this OK? What choices can I make in order to change the outcome here. These are questions that I ask in order to get my head out of stinking thinking. Yes, I have an illness that messes with my moods, but on a higher level, I am responsible for what mood I want to be in and I can make choices in order to move in that direction. Success is never 100% but I will take some success over none anytime.
I want to live in a world of tiny miracles. I want you to live there too.