“Where there is great love there are always miracles.” – Willa Cather
When I was in high school, our French Club sold flowers for Valentine’s Day as their yearly fundraiser. The entire week before the big day, they set up a table near the cafeteria during lunchtime and students placed orders to surprise their boyfriend or girlfriend, sometimes a best friend. On Valentine’s Day, the carnations, red ones and white ones, arrived from the florist in five-gallon pickle buckets. Excitement filled the hallways as members of the French Club delivered them by hand to the classrooms during first and second period.
I remember sitting in Mr. Hirschel’s Government class, wishing, hoping and praying for one of those French club students to walk through the door, call out my name and put a flower in my hand. It would be proof that somebody cared. But that’s not what happened. When the last delivery had been made, more than half the class sat admiring the flowers they received, while I doodled paisley swirls along the edge of my government folder, smiling and pretending that it didn’t really matter.
You see, at the time I didn’t have a boyfriend or even a best friend so it would have taken a miracle for me to get one of those flowers. Back then, I didn’t really believe in miracles and neither did I believe that love would ever find me.
You see, I grew up in the Catholic faith where miracles were impossible feats of magic performed in ancient history by super important people like Moses, Jesus, and God. Miracles were not for ordinary people, people like you or me. In all my life, I’d never seen a miracle and that was evidence enough for me that they didn’t exist, at least not anymore.
A few years later when I set out on my own, I left the Catholic faith behind, because like miracles, I thought it was archaic, that it didn’t really apply to my life or the person I was becoming. But even though I gave up on religion, I never gave up on the idea of a higher power. The world was just too beautiful and complex for its existence to be random. There had to be something more, something relevant, but I just didn’t know what it was or how to access it. I felt totally cut off from it.
I wish I could say that a giant earth shattering experience made me believe in miracles, like a car accident, or a near death moment, but it didn’t. There was no sky-splitting realization, nor booming magic voice to convince me. Rather I had to spend years mired in the muck of life’s trial and error, making all of the mistakes that ordinary people make. I stumbled and fell, moved around and changed paths, skipping from one thing to another. I experimented – a lot, all the while looking for answers about how to make my life work.
Then one day after years of searching, I took a good look around at where I was. I had a house, a good job, and three amazing kids. I had my health. I had friends. I realized that I had discovered a lot of answers for myself. I might not have found THE truth, but I’d found mine and it changed the way I understood God, the Universe and my part in it. My process of discovery was slow and messy and sometimes painful. But I like to think it was normal, more normal than I ever would have imagined at the time, and it’s where I learned a thing or two about miracles.
…If you’ve ever read one of the Harry Potter book series or seen one of the movies you’d know their popularity is unparalleled by any other book series of our time. Both children and adults alike seem to share an addiction to the magic, and not just the spectacle of it, but the idea that a person wielding magic can affect real and immediate change on their circumstances.
Now most of us aren’t facing down dragons or three headed dogs, but let’s face it, life can sometimes feel that way. What if, … miracles (like magic) allowed us to shift our thinking and behavior in such a way as to change our bad situations into good ones? Well, I’d like to propose that a miracle is nothing more or less than choosing love over fear in all its forms.
Sounds simple enough. But what I’ve discovered is that wanting to choose love and having the capacity and knowledge to do so are two different things. Before you can create miracles in your life, there are pre-requisites, things you must develop within you, a little like fine tuning your magic powers.
Creating miracles begins with really knowing yourself AS Love.
There’s a lot of talk these days on social media about the importance of loving yourself, and I agree that’s important. However I feel like that conversation is only the tip of the iceberg, like a surface level experience of a much greater truth about who we are. Knowing you are love, the source of it, practically negates the need for “loving yourself.” You don’t need to get or give to yourself something you were born with, something you already possess.
The truth is, Love is WHO we are. The trouble is so few of us really believe it.
And I get it! For years I thought I practiced self-love. I was busy getting my needs met, taking care of myself and doing things I wanted, but it was more selfish than self love. Mostly I just avoided my Self. The first time someone sat me down and made me repeat out loud, “I AM love,” I cried, terrified that what I was saying might not be true, probably wasn’t true. I said it, but I didn’t believe it for a second. My beliefs of the opposite, of being unworthy of love had had years to form coupled with evidence and experience I found to back them up.
It took a lot of work to shift my thinking. I had to want to believe something different. To become capable of love, I had to want to look for new evidence and interpret my experiences differently. I had to let people help me, something I was scared of doing. What if they discovered that I was broken, or unlovable, or ugly? I didn’t think I could take it. But at the same time that all of my fears were raging, a new desire grew inside of me that I couldn’t ignore. I desperately wanted to know God and the experience of real love in my life.
Knowing yourself as a loved and loving being, is miracle number one. Realizing that should be our highest priority because without it, we’re at the mercy of all our fears and those will only lead us into dark and dirty places – places where miracles can never happen.
And while we’re busy discovering the truth of who we are, we begin to develop an awareness that everyone else is also worthy of love without condition. It is their birthright. It is who and what they are. In order to call on love when interacting with others we must choose to see their goodness despite their words and actions. This practice takes time and patience with ourselves and others because the dragons, the serpents and three headed dogs will definitely challenge us time and again. We won’t always be perfect at choosing love over fear, but the more we practice, the easier it becomes, and the more we understand why we must.
The miracle of love is our most powerful force. It is the only way to affect real and lasting change in our circumstances. Once you begin to recognize yourself as love and begin sharing that out in the world by giving it away, in the way you talk to other people, respond to challenging situations, and handle negativity coming your way, you will begin to see miracles happen. People will appear to be on your side. People will offer you things before you even know you need them. People will help you when you least expect it. And in these moments, the experience come full circle, when you realize the love in you is also the same love in others, then you experience the miracle of the Divine acting in and through your life, as your life, your surprisingly miraculous life.
Big Love to you all. Thanks for reading, as always! I hope your V-Day was divine!