In the hurly-burly of the everyday, it can be hard to find meaning for many people. Especially if your life has a routine, or if your life is optimized so that you may give your best energy to those around you who need it (children and elderly or disabled relatives, for example), the skyscape of such a life can look like one long panorama of gray clouds.
And then, there are those divine moments that take place sometimes. When something extraordinary happens. Or when you make an extraordinary connection with something completely ordinary. No matter what it is, for a brief moment, the gray monotony of routine life opens up and a ray of sunlight bursts through.
What do these moments mean?
So many of us seem to have the thinking that these moments are once-in-a-while sprinklings from heaven, that come down at random times, and have no rhyme or reason to their appearance in our lives. Sure, we should savor them when they happen, but life, true life, is one unending yarn of hard work, and if it is going to get better, then patience and slow-moving wisdom are your most important friends. Life is not going to change based on some awesome miracle, the thinking goes – so don’t hold out for one. Be stable, rational, and clear-headed.
I am very much in agreement with not looking for miracles all the time under every stone. It is true that life is not usually going to be like that. But it is extremely important not to downplay or dismiss miraculous things when they do happen – even if you are the only one who thinks a miracle has occurred. 🙂
Somebody recently told me about how one morning, she looked out and saw everything around her that had always been there – the sky, the trees, the dewdrops on the tree leaves, and so on – and suddenly, she was filled with an awe about nature’s beauty, one that she would not ordinarily feel while looking at these things. And then she went on to tell me about how, when she would tell other people about the beautiful things she was seeing, people would tell her that she was kind of “out there,” or “new-agey.” At best, if people didn’t think that she was completely crazy, she would elicit a downplaying response from other people – as though it was these other people’s job to “get her to come back to earth.” And we are not talking about somebody who is particularly wild and high flying. This is a very sincere, very grounded person.
What I drew from my talk with her was not some platitude about how magical things happen; rather, I felt she was wending her way to a very practical, everyday point: do not separate these “miraculous” moments in life from the rest of your life. These moments are real. They happen, and they can happen more often. They are extraordinary because they are giving you a glimpse at the wonderful things you don’t always see, the things that are all around you, passing you by, because you are enveloped in the gray of the daily grind. Not only should you not swear these happenings off as exceptions; you should get closer to them, because they have meaning; they are trying to tell you something, something that will very possibly help you better find your sense of place and purpose in this world. Something that, when you are much older, will help you to face death with fewer regrets and more smiles.
I bet now you think I’m crazy, dont’cha? 🙂 But seriously. Think about it.
What are we living our lives for? Do we honestly think that there is nothing more to life than sacrifice and purgatory? Even those of us who are making great sacrifices now want to be happy in some way, someday. Don’t hide from that desire – because you can’t! It’ll always eat away at you.
Some things in life cannot be changed. Some daily grinds shall continue to be daily grinds – and that’s fine. Not everything can be wonderful all of the time. But always remember, when it comes to such wonderful moments – you have more power than is commonly thought to make those moments happen, by not only enjoying them, but also by following them and learning the lessons they are supposed to teach you. We often associate “hard lessons” with adversity and bad points in our lives. Well… there’s no reason why we can’t learn lessons from the unexpected things that we derive joy and gratitude from, also! That’s how you can avoid losing your head, if that’s what you’re afraid of.
There’s so much out there to do and explore – and as we get older, it begins to seem like life is narrowing around us. Those things we were told as children about our whole life being ahead of us, and how we had all these choices… shrivels up into an ever-narrowing tunnel of more limited daily existence with each passing year. These extraordinary moments are the ways out.
When you get close to death – which we all will at some point – the things that will weigh the heaviest are the regrets. And nobody can do everything – so then how are you going to be able to tell the difference between the things you should not have passed by and the things that were ok to let pass?
By not dismissing away those things that take the time out to come and visit you. That’s how.
It’s not a science, of course. It’s imperfect, like everything else in life. But if you orient yourself toward these shining stars that pop up in your life every now and then, neither negating them nor demanding of them – you’ll find your way a lot more brightly lit, and no narrow tunnel will ever completely succeed in limiting your existence.
You will live.