Truth Bomb Tuesday: Want a life full of miracles? Be prepared to get dirty.
“Everyday is a miracle.”
This statement is either a weapon or a shield.
And it’s a terrible shield.
This is one of those funny sayings you hear – one that is either profoundly true or profoundly wrong, depending on what you think it means.
To some people it means that the day should be full of miracles – a wonderful sunrise, rainbows, chance encounters, smiling babies, beautiful food on the table.
“Everyday is a miracle” is a command to look past the things that irk you… and to definitely look past the things that make you feel grief, sorrow and loss – to celebrate the wonderful – the miraculous things – that fill your day.
And if your agenda there is to anchor your mindset in gratitude, then great. Maybe that’s great.
But for some people it is a shield. That is, they don’t want to let the grief and the sorrow in, and so they think that if they can just keep themselves focused on all the awesome things life can potentially offer, then they will be protected – they will be shielded – from the heavier emotions the heart is capable of.
And in that sense – in that context – it has as much depth as “good vibes only”.
But there is another context where I think it has more weight and more power.
And that comes with the grim reality “Everyday is a miracle” forces us to look at.
What do I mean by that?
Well, miraculous moments of joy and happiness – moments spent sitting around on the outdoor furniture with old friends, under freshly hung Moroccan lamps; moments spent watching a little girl at a café dancing for her grandmother, moments spent watching bird politics play out on the bird-feeder – these moments are miraculous because they are unlikely.
That’s what miracles are: things that are incredibly unlikely.
And these moments are unlikely because reality is grim.
Life – from the microbial to the mega-fauna – has organised itself into an endless and ferocious battle – a grim death match where the loser gets eaten and the winner gets eaten a little bit later.
Through this toxic soup of viruses and flesh-eating bacteria, humans have emerged, riding a horse of shameless self-interest. That shameless self-interest is tempered to a degree by our late-to-the-party intelligence, but we are still capable of staggering acts of cruelty and viciousness.
And it’s in this World Wrestling Federation Super-Saturday that we call society, that we, as individuals, have to eek out a living. And if we do well – if we’re lucky – we get grow old, slowly, before descending into decrepitude and dementia, with no teeth in our mouths and cancer in our bowels.
And then we die.
This is the grim reality we face. This is reality. Don’t give me that ‘good vibes only’ B.S.
Reality is grim and brutal and really difficult to look at without weeping and without despair.
It totally is. Of course it is. If you don’t regularly cycle through despair and hopelessness and what’s-the-freaking-point-ness, I don’t think you’re really tuned in to what’s going on here.
And yet despite all this – despite the endless disappointments of a fallen world – beauty comes. And tenderness comes. And love comes.
Somehow, despite all the odds, we can hold these precious and majestic emotions in our hearts – as fine and as fascinating as crystals, the warmth of the entire sun captured in a tiny gemstone.
Love. Happiness. Longing. The fading light in your parent’s eyes. Laughing with old friends. The memories of childhood. Kookaburras and Currawongs up in the eucalypts. Opening another bottle of red and settling in.
These things are miracles. Wild, improbable miracles.
And such a privilege to behold.
I feel like when I can do this – when I can awaken to the miracle of my days by being present to the grim realities of life – then I come alive.
Then I am hungry to taste each miraculous fruit before the season passes. To celebrate life – to participate fully in life.
This understanding sits like a weapon in my hand, and I just want to carve it up.
So every day is a miracle. It is. But it’s either a weapon or a shield. It can either light you up or shut you down.
And the strangest miracle of all?
You get to choose.