Recently, I have been reflecting on how different people respond to various challenges in their lives. Just in the past month, friends (both old and new) have shared with me some significant obstacles that life has thrown their way, and how they dealt with those. The issues range from life-threatening disease to career changes to losing a spouse (and in at least one person, all three of those at once). A great deal of pain (emotional, spiritual, financial and physical) was often present. Each person reacted to their particular circumstance in their own unique way, usually some progression of denial, blame, negotiation, acceptance, and finally peace. What I noticed in each friend was that a turning point seemed to be when they embraced life with all its pain and problems, yet continued to look for the good in being alive.
Tim Hansel, author, speaker and founder of Ignite! writes that “Life becomes precious and more special to us when we look for the little everyday miracles and get excited about the privileges of simply being human.” When we truly open our eyes to look around us, we can see a world replete with “everyday miracles.” It might be the miracle of a newborn child, or a fresh snow falling, or sharing a quiet conversation with a dying parent. It could be the miracle of just being able to breathe, or walk, or paint a picture with hands crippled by disease. For me, the miraculous often occurs when I am being vulnerable in a friendship, or acting spontaneously and in the moment, or helping a client view themselves and their work in new ways. Seeing miracles requires that we not only look for them, but believe in them and understand that they are all around us.
As for the privileges of simply being human…what does that mean? Speaking for myself, being human doesn’t seem all that simple much of the time. And for some of us, being human comes loaded with expectations, demands, and way more responsibility than we can manage. Then I think about the myriad privileges there are in being human…the ability to love, to learn, to share thoughts and emotions, to feel loss and grief, to take risks, to nurture relationships that may last a season or a lifetime. Those gifts I get excited about; they give life meaning and texture and depth.
How might your work and life change by looking for everyday miracles? What are some of the privileges you relish and appreciate about simply being human? I’d love to hear your thoughts.
Sharon Keys Seal