There are two ways to live your life.
One is as though nothing is a miracle.
The other is as though everything is a miracle. Albert Einstein
Two days ago, every single instance of inconvenience created a churning irritability in my gut. Each one of us has experienced days when we feel everything is a nuisance. Even though there is nothing really “wrong” we channel that energy into a negative mood. Part of me wallowed in this defeatist attitude. My actions replicated what itched in my mind. I admonished my daughter for spilling her milk, my tone in conversations over the phone reflected some speckles of annoyance, and the man who cut me off in traffic caused me to curse under my breath. Everything trivial. But all led to my general bad attitude.
In the midst of this negativity, I don’t know what prompted me to access my camera roll on my phone. As I thumbed through the pictures, I caught a glimpse of a picture that I took before a sandstorm in Phoenix. Even though I’ve viewed this picture a few times, the layer cake in the sky startled me. The raw look at nature jolted my conscience into thinking about gratitude. To truly be consistently grateful, there must be a call to look at everything as a miracle. The incidents that annoyed me earlier in the day could easily be viewed from another perspective. Yes, my daughter spilled her milk. But at least she has the capability of drinking milk from a cup, understanding and appreciating the need to clean it up, and also saying, “Sorry for the accident.” There are children, because of mental or physical limitations, who can’t engage in the most basic of activities. Because my daughter can, that in itself is an ordinary miracle. As much as I was annoyed regarding my phone conversations, just a month ago, I lost my voice and found it particularly challenging to convey my thoughts. But how quickly I forget about those old challenges. I did what was easiest. I gave into the irritation. It is something that comes naturally to all of us. To give in and to forget about what is.
It takes a conscious effort to engage. To really synthesize what it is that surrounds you and what a privilege it is to breathe and sleep and laugh and cry. Even the irritation is an affirmation that you still have the capacity to experience. And that is what I think we miss everyday. The gift of living should startle us and raise our awareness, that yes, it is a miracle.
The last sentence gives me the chills. What a lovely mantra for life. Great post Rudri and thanks for your insight.
That is a gorgeous picture, one of my favorite quotes and I love this post.
I know that sinking feeling of succumbing to the depths of negativity. It’s not pleasant. I find at times like that I need to remove myself and get away from people to gain a little perspective. If I’m lucky, I get the time but it doesn’t always happen. So true too that it’s important to keep perspective – to see how the source of your irritation are minor in the grand scheme of life.
Most beautifully stated, Rudri. This picture is stunning. Every day is a gift.
“Startle” – what a perfect word.
Yet when we think of negativity, we know it is part of the human condition. And when we’re down (and grumbling), as long as we don’t remain there unnecessarily – and inflict those emotions unduly on others – the rough times make the bright times all the more striking.
That said, I’m with you on our need to hang on to the simplest and most miraculous moments we all too easily overlook. A tender sunrise. The mischievous smile on a child’s face. The sound of laughter.
Lovely post, Rudri.
So very, very true. There are days when I’m more whiny, more irritable – and I don’t know why. It’s the days that I recognize my crummy attitude and actively reverse it that make up my little miracles.
Thank you for the reminder, Rudri. So true. Once I could not speak for two weeks because of jaw problems and everything that I ate was mashed or made into a liquid. I could not go into work and I was walking around with a notebook writing down whatever I had to say. When I was better I walked around with great gratitude in my heart for any little thing. But time has a way of making us forget. We are only human. Gratitude is a wonderful way to live each day. 🙂 I love your last line. 🙂
Wow amazing picture. And equally inspiring words. Yes to it all!
Might just have to bookmark this one. Wise words, Rudri! And what a beautiful picture.
A beautiful picture, and a beautiful outlook.