Happy New Year! Sorry this is coming a bit late, but I’ve been a little busy…
A Course in Miracles (ACIM) defines a miracle as simply a shift in perception from fear to love. I remember first trying to read ACIM when I was in my early 20’s and I am quite sure its significance was lost on me. I had been raised in a Christian church where a miracle came in the form of a burning bush or of Jesus walking on water. A shift in perception from fear to love? Knowing my state of mind during that time, I probably thought it was some hippy-new-age, drug-inspired jargon I longed to understand. The only thing I was interested in was being that hippy and getting my hands on those drugs.
In fact, it would take many years of searching (and trying various drugs) to understand the idea that life is a series of miracles if you choose to see them. A miracle is a correction in perception. So, in other words, what you might be going through might not look or feel like a miracle until you choose to look at it as one. Oftentimes, the miracle makes itself visible with the gift of hindsight.
Our family is scattered all over the world. My husband and I live in Florence, our oldest son Jesse lives in Tel-Aviv, our middle son Miles lives in Las Vegas and our youngest son Dean attends university in Connecticut. The logistics of getting the family together for the holidays is never easy and Covid has made it even more challenging. When Miles told us that he would be able to get off work at the hospital to come see us with his girlfriend Phoebe, we were elated. Of course, we were a bit hesitant because of what was going on with Covid, but we all decided to take the risk. Dean was already coming, so we’d have 2 of our 3 sons under one roof for 5 days. Between us moving to Italy and Miles’s medical training, I don’t think we’ve spent more than a week together in the past 10 years, and when we are together, it’s a race to do as much as possible in a short period of time. I made the airline reservations for them to arrive on the 26th and started planning all sorts of activities to make the most of those 5 days.
Y’all know the old saying, “Man makes plans and God laughs?” Yeah, well the All-Mighty got a few good chuckles on my behalf.
Unbeknownst to me, I was walking around with Covid that was undetected in the 3 tests I took the week leading up to Christmas. By the time Miles and Phoebe arrived on evening December 26th, I had finally tested positive, but had already massacred my entire family on Christmas Eve and Day. We tried to save Miles and Phoebe by sending them to Rome, but it was too late; Omicron is one fast-moving son-of-a-bitch.
When Miles tested positive, there was a tremendous amount of heavy emotions – I felt shame for passing Covid to everyone; Seth felt regret at making Miles come to Italy; Miles felt guilt at having to ask his colleagues to cover his shifts at the hospital; and there was some anger, fear and victimization sprinkled in for good measure. While the other people I had infected were testing negative after only 5 days, we all continued to test positive and had to change his flight back to the USA three times. At one point, we all looked at each other and said, “Fuck this” and we finally surrendered; we had a shift in perception. We allowed ourselves the beauty of time together that would have seemed impossible otherwise. In fact, had you asked me anytime in the past 10 years about spending 2 weeks together, I would have responded, “it would take a miracle.”
You see, our reality is simply an illusion that we create in our minds based on our past experiences, our limiting beliefs and judgments. We all make-up our own reality with our plans, the way we see things, the way we try to control things and the way we think things should go. When something goes “wrong” we are too quick to judge it as something bad, when in truth, we have no fucking idea where the Universe is trying to bring us. We can get so caught up in our own internal, fear-driven minds that we forget that the only thing that is real is our connections to each other and love. Precious love.
I know that the past two years have been so incredibly challenging for nearly everyone. Life is different now, as we are all sharing this transformation. Even if your family hasn’t been personally affected by Covid, it seems that everyone is somehow struggling in some way. It’s like the wind of change came in like a tornado and we are all grasping on to something that makes us feel safe or in control, but again, that’s just an illusion. 2021 was full of challenges for our family, starting with the death of our beloved Junior followed by the traumatic death of Seth’s mother, dealing with Covid hitting our home three times and countless disappointments and tragedies that have happened to the people I love the most. And as a community, we all felt the earth shake beneath us when one of our own, Shannon, passed away. It’s so easy to get caught up in the fear. The insidious nature of fear is that it penetrates every aspect of our being and steals our joy.
I don’t believe in this idea of “positive thinking” because I think that can sometimes cause more harm than good, because it often requires us to bypass the emotions that we need to learn from. But I do believe in love and miracles. Miracles happen every day. What if this tornado of shit is just a messy miracle? How can we bring the idea of miracles into everything we do in 2022? What if you can transform your fears into love? When the fear threatens us, how can we pause to breathe in grace and exhale miracles? How can you be a messenger of miracles in 2022? What if we all remembered that love is the only thing that’s real?
So, our family spent our two weeks together re-connecting in the simplest way of being present with each other. Sharing meals, watching silly movies, playing video games, cards, making fun of each other and laughing. Miles and Phoebe finally tested negative and left. In the wake of the chaos and confusion, there seems to be flecks of light everywhere. I was wondering what it was and then realized that we had witnessed a miracle. No drugs needed.
Everyone say it with me, “I give thanks for this new day. Miracle shall follow miracle and wonders will never cease.”