This morning I had a lengthy conversation with a fellow gym rat. Not that I’m much of a rat…more of a mouse, really. But still. Anyway, seems a dear friend of his from the past, someone he’d lost touch with the last few years yet someone he’d appreciated and revered, had died. This guy at the gym, let’s call him Stew, was obviously experiencing sadness, and disappointment in himself for not having stayed in contact because “now it’s too late.”
As an intuitive medium, I was already connecting with Stew’s friend “Jim,” seeing him in my mind’s eye as the powerfully built former linebacker I would soon discover he was (from Stew’s later description), and a man with a heart of gold. Although Stew knows that I “talk to dead people,” we’d never gotten into it before during our brief convos passing from Stairmaster to elliptical. You know, friendly at the gym, but not that friendly. His discomfort (okay, fine, skepticism), apparent by the immediate sliding away of the eyes whenever the topic of my “work” came up, was clear enough. And, since I wasn’t there to disturb his chi or anything, I’d always let it go. But now, Stew had tears in his eyes and I wanted to help. Jim was asking me to help.
I figured, well, what the heck. Spirit never steers me wrong. I had nothing to lose. Oh so gently I posited to Stew that it might help to know that Jim was feeling pretty good on the Other Side, at ease. That he knows his family misses him, but his death was in perfect timing and easier for everyone than it would have been had he hung around any longer. That his soul had agreed to this journey. That Stew might want to think about writing a note to Jim’s wife to express his love for this kind-hearted man who thought as highly of Stew as Stew did of him.
This afternoon as I sat at my desk waiting for a client to arrive, I kept thinking about Stew and Jim and about the delicate space that exists around sharing when you aren’t at all sure how your sharing will be received. When my phone pinged I was only a little surprised to see a text from Stew, although we aren’t texting buddies, and in fact had never exchanged more than phone numbers. Still, I felt as if I’d been waiting for the message. Attached were two images, one of Jim as a young sportsman and one of him a couple of years prior to his recent passing. Stew, without admitting to any kind of belief around Spirit, had found a way to let me know, and let Jim know, that connecting with me had connected him to Jim…and that the connection had transmuted some of the ache he’d been holding due to his own guilt over letting the friendship fall by the wayside into a less troubled space. And Spirit, in this case Jim, was assuring me I’d done the right thing by speaking up with love in my heart.
I call this a mini-miracle. I know, I know. Many might, even reasonably, disagree. I mean, what’s so miraculous about someone who absolutely positively doesn’t believe in “stuff like that” feeling potentially comforted by something someone like me or you says? Someone who, just perhaps, understands loss, death, dying, and matters of Spirit and is willing to express that in a moment of need. I’ll tell you. But in order to do that, I first need to humbly offer my own take on miracles after years of thinking there could not possibly be such a thing because my life was such a mess.
Turns out that, like everything else, it’s all a matter of perspective. I never saw miracles because I didn’t believe in them. I didn’t believe in them because I had a definition of what they were that couldn’t possibly be supported by “real life.” The definition went something like this: According to some hazy world view, miracles were things that couldn’t possibly happen to me, but have happened to others—especially in religious contexts, like fleeing Egypt and surviving in the desert or seeing a statue bleed. When I was pregnant, I felt the closest I’d ever gotten to a miracle when I felt life stirring in my womb. Thing is, you don’t get too much slack for calling these kinds of things miracles. It’s all the other stuff that gets you into trouble. You know, when so many things in your life feel like a miracle that, well, your whole life feels like one giant miracle. When even the “bad” stuff feels like miraculous opportunities to practice conscious awareness. To the point where people around you get tired of hearing about it.
It really started for me when my life did a one-eighty after my husband died. It took a while (understatement of the century) before I realized what a miracle it was that I’d actually gone on living. Then, when he started talking to me from the Other Side, the miracle was the gift of communication with my deceased soul mate—and soon after, many other spirits. When I started playing flute again after many years of silence based on his (loud) edict to “buy a new flute and play spirit-guided music,” it was the miracle of joy I felt that I thought I’d never feel again.
What I’m trying to say is that miracles are in the eye of the beholder—or the definition of the beholder. Which is why talking to Stew and Jim felt like such a miracle to me.
This morning, two days after our first conversation about Jim, Stew put down the weights in his hands to talk to me, to tell me how much better he was feeling after our talk, and that he’d found Jim’s address. He was writing a letter to Jim’s wife to express not only sympathy, but to share his love for his old friend. So, yes, I’d call it miraculous.
Because where there was grief, there was now loving acceptance. Where there was a lack of resolution, there was now comfort. Where there was guilt, there was now a sense of life’s precarious nature and an appreciation to live life to its fullest. Where there was tightness, an opening of the heart had appeared.
Do you agree that a miracle by any other name is still a miracle? Or is a cigar just a cigar?
You tell me.
This article is also posted on MEDIUM.COM and EDENMAGAZINE.COM and in Sherri Cortland's WINDOWS OF OPPORTUNITY NEWSLETTER--all fantastic resources!