On Christmas Eve, I sat around the table with my parents and learned more about where I come from. Not just about their childhoods, but my grandparents' too. I heard about great-uncles I didn't know I had, twins I didn't know existed. The more I heard, the more my eyes started to bug out and a wave of immense gratitude washed over me.
One of the most important things I learned that night is addiction runs deep in my family. Generation after generation, relative after relative. Stories of an alcoholic relation dying after falling down the stairs drunk; a morbidly obese great-grandparent. I couldn't believe it when I heard about the common thread running through my family's past. Holy guacamole. It's a big deal that I'm in recovery for addiction. I'm turning the tide of addiction and dysfunction despite the weight of history pulling me in a different direction. I am a walking miracle.
|I'm going to pretend these are sea anemones.|
I know this post is about me personally, and my family, but I want to emphasize I am not the only miracle. Everyone is a miracle.
My spiritual teacher says repeatedly that human life is rare and precious. I've never understood that. How can human life be rare and precious when there are 7 billion of us? How rare and precious can it be? When I discussed this with my dear friend, he reminded me when we take into account all the other lives -- the plants, the animals, the bacteria even -- human life really is rare and precious. I think of human life as being expendable much of the time, but when I contemplate there are probably 7 billion bacteria on my pinky finger alone, whoa, being a human really is a miracle.
I think of miracles as walking on water, turning water into wine, or somehow accomplishing the impossible, but really, miracles are so much smaller than that. It's a miracle that I'm in recovery. It's a miracle that we're alive today. It's a miracle that the impossible can became probable.
I dream of a world where we recognize we are miracles. A world where we practice gratitude for the changes we're undergoing. A world where we understand miracles aren't necessarily huge feats, they are also small triumphs.
Another world is not only possible, it's probable.