I love the sound of the word miracle. It rings with amazement, delight, and a sort of innocence.It evokes the wide-eyed wonder of childhood, the confidence that anything is possible, the hope that good things can arise at any moment from any conditions.
It’s a lovely word, I think, with which to start a new year.
But as always, it behooves us to reflect on what we mean by the words we use. When we use words unconsciously, especially in the service of setting and realizing intentions, we risk in the best case a loss of potency and in the worst case unintended and potentially dire consequences.
So what is a miracle?
A miracle surpasses what is known
A miracle is something that surpasses what is known. It is a marvel or wonder that we cannot fully explain or for which we cannot entirely account given our current grasp of how things work.
When we see clearly, everything is a miracle.
Science describes but cannot account for life, the universe, and everything
Science, which I happen to love, is a system of collecting, correlating, and extrapolating upon knowledge.
By definition, it is limited to what we know and to exploring the edges of what we do not yet understand.
And what we know about life, the universe, and everything is minuscule compared to what there is to understand.
We know so little
Though research abounds and opinions proliferate, we don’t know for certain what people should and shouldn’t eat. In my lifetime I have seen a number of scientifically vetted dietary schemes pass in and out of fashion.
I’ve seen the Big Bang Theory pass in and out of fashion.
I’ve watched as we mapped the human genome only to discover that being able to do so doesn’t actually give us the leverage we were seeking. It appears that life as a living process doesn’t operate as a static system of interlocking pieces.
Rather than affecting each other in predetermined ways, it appears that each building block of life influences and is influenced by other building blocks, and not all of them are observable.
And yet we live
The Charming Prince lives on oatmeal, ramen, celery, cheese, and popcorn with lots of butter and salt. He has the blood pressure and cholesterol of a healthy 17-year old boy.
I live on protein shakes, raw vegies, and chocolate. My blood pressure and cholesterol are borderline.
And, by the way, the significance of blood pressure and cholesterol measurements are under question, as are the factors that are thought to affect them.
The point is that each of us manages to live, until we don’t, and that we live is a miracle.
It exceeds our understanding.
We’d never get out of bed if we had to figure out how
Everything we do is infinitely complex. If we stopped to figure out how to get out of bed before rising, we’d never get up.
If I tried to figure out how to write this post before writing it, it would never get written.
If you are a writer, you have probably fallen into that particular black hole. If you have done any kind of creative work at all, from baking to painting to starting a company, you are likely to have spent some time in the endless pursuit of understanding how to begin a project.
If you do it at all, eventually you simply begin.
Miracles begin with beginning
Miracles begin when you decide to begin.
So often we look for the right place to begin. And like trying to figure out how to get out of bed or how to write, looking for the place to begin is precisely what keeps you from doing so.
The beginning is here and now with you.
Because you are the miracle that matters.
Begin your miracle-making this year by realizing that you are the miracle that matters when it comes to creating your life.
You are a unique part of the unfolding miracle of life, the universe, and everything.
The miracles you will make this year don’t depend on how you stack up against anyone else.
They depend on you being yourself.
Wanting what you want.
Trying what beckons to you.
If you want miracles in 2016, start by noticing that you are one.
Photo by WikiImages via pixabay.com
Ready to play in the miracle space? Check out The Art of Living: Creating Magic and Meaning in Life and Work.