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.