I struggle with identifying miracles that have happened in my life. I also struggle with doing personal development exercises, including this one from a Mike Dooley webinar.
“What’s your miraculous story? When have you experienced a transformation that completely took you by surprise or wildly exceeded your expectations — a miracle that was sparked by a situation or event that seemed anything but miraculous? Take some time right now to write about something that’s changed your life for the better, without you having to micromanage it.” – Mike Dooley
It’s easy enough to identify situations or events from throughout my life that seemed anything but miraculous. It’s another thing entirely though to identify miracles.
Then I remember that one of the definitions of a miracle is “a change in perception.” I’ve had many changes of perception throughout my life. That’s something I could write about. And I only need to write about one of those changes of perception right now. Sometimes it takes me finding the right angle to approach something from. Once I’ve done that, I can get started with what I need to do.
Miracles happen every day. Here are some of mine.
It’s a miracle that I was born at all.
My parents were still newlyweds when they found out that my mom was pregnant with me. My dad didn’t want to have children. My mom didn’t agree with having a forced miscarriage or an abortion. I know it wasn’t an easy choice for my mom to do what she did. Heroes don’t always make the easy choices in life.
My mom moved back to her hometown to give birth to me. My parents were separated before I was born. I never met my dad. He died when I was 18.
The circumstances of my birth have defined my entire life.
When I spoke with my mom earlier this week, I gave her the greatest compliment that I could think of. I told her that she did extremely well with raising me. And she did. I wasn’t making that up. It’s the absolute truth.
My mom did whatever she had to do to make sure that I would be born in the first place and also that I would get to grow up and have some level of maturity. She succeeded.
And that can make these next items painful to talk about…
When I’ve looked at the long chain of events that it took for my ex-wife and I to meet in the first place, to even find out about each other, to have things set up the way they were, well, it’s like there was an invisible hand guiding all that. My life had to line up in exactly the right way so that my ex-wife and I would get together.
Being in the right place at the right time. Receiving the referral. Having the right frame of mind.
Our first phone call. Being best friends before we even met in person for the first time. All those years we had together.
It’s like we were in a dream until it turned into a nightmare.
Wanna know what the funny thing is?
I can’t help but notice the miracles in each of these circumstances. When I started writing this post, I thought that the only miracle is the one that I’m leading towards telling you about. The change in perception.
Now I’m realizing that all along I’ve been faced with miracles my entire life. Confronted by them. Surrounded by them.
It’s like being in an ocean and you’re so used to it that you don’t even recognize the water you’re in. That’s our lives. We’re always experiencing miracles.
There is no break from the miracles. They are constant and never-ending.
I’m experiencing a miracle as I write these words. I’m experiencing a change in perception right now. Life is beautiful and fun, and it’s also messy and painful. A miracle is that it’s necessary to experience all of that. The pleasure and the pain. The love and the fear. That’s how we really come alive. The full experience. The complete spectrum of emotions.
There’s been times in my life where I knew there would be a lot of pain ahead, but I also knew that somehow the pain would be worth the effort. One of those times is when I chose to have surgery. On purpose.
I’m child-free by choice, and that’s okay. I don’t have to change that for anyone.
As part of my honesty with myself, I chose to get a vasectomy.
What is a vasectomy? It’s simply a surgical procedure where a man’s tubes are cut and burned shut. With the tubes being cut and burned shut, then the sperm stays inside the man’s body. Nothing else changes. He doesn’t have less testosterone. He doesn’t have a lower sex drive. He can still ejaculate. And he still has his testicles.
Just doing my part to help more people get past the various misconceptions that are out there about vasectomy.
Is vasectomy painful? Yes, it is, but less so at Pollock Clinics where I got my vasectomy.
Pollock Clinics offers a no needle, no scalpel vasectomy. Done in 6 minutes. Gentler than the regular vasectomy method. Only one small puncture. No stitches required. Low cost.
Despite the physical pain and the post-surgery recovery that I went through, I still see the vasectomy as the best investment I’ve ever made.
And yes, I notice the miracles throughout the entire process. The kindness of the staff at Pollock Clinics. The people who’ve told me that I’ve been responsible by getting a vasectomy. The knowledge that I did the right thing.
All of these events — the circumstances of my birth, my divorce, and my vasectomy — have served to bring about the miracle, my change in perception, that I’ve been leading up to telling you about.
Miracle: My Change in Perception
“And then, after you’ve written about the event, spend some time thinking (and then writing) about the mindset and thoughts that were going through your mind before the big change. See if you can find the correlation between the mindset and the end result.” – Mike Dooley
In this case, with the miracle being my change in perception, the mindset and the end result are the same thing.
For my birth, I see a lot more clearly that I’m not the only one who had an experience like that. I’ve come across a statistic which states that 30% – 50% of households with children don’t have any adult males. Single mothers raising their children on their own comprise a larger percentage of households than they did before.
I’m not unique. There are so many boys and men all over the world who haven’t had mature men around them to initiate them into manhood. Healthy masculine initiation needs to make a comeback.
I was one of the lucky ones. I did have mature men initiate me into manhood when I was 17, but that’s a story for another time.
I didn’t have my dad in my life, but I did have my mom. As I’ve gotten older, I’ve learned to appreciate my mom so much more than I used to. We get to relate to each other as adults now. I’ve seen how rich my life has been. There are so many miracles which happened for my life to turn out as well as it has. My mom is a hugely important factor in that outcome.
Thank you, Mom. I get to look back on the past with gratitude and appreciation. I really enjoy the talks and the messages that we have now. You’ve been having a greatly positive attitude, and that helps me, too.
For my divorce, I recognize the gift that I received with all those positive moments beyond measure and beyond counting that I did have with my ex-wife. I got to experience what it’s like to be truly happy with someone. I remember how safe it was to be so vulnerable.
And I also recognize the gift that I received with my ex-wife and I breaking up. The pain of our break up and subsequent divorce were enough to send me off on a voyage of discovery that will drive me for the rest of my life. I get to be true to myself. Whatever healthy, mature masculinity is, I aim to discover it, and I aim to be it.
For my vasectomy, I see that more of the pieces of the puzzle of my life fall into place. I needed to get the vasectomy. Just like I needed to be born. Just like I needed to get divorced. It was another necessary step on my path of development.
And as long as I acknowledge that and accept it, then the miracle, my change in perception, takes place.
It’s funny how human motivation works. The drive to avoid pain is greater than the drive to gain pleasure. It’s tempting to say that more is gained in life from the painful experiences than from the pleasurable ones.
Sometimes, when the clarity really shines through, I can find the pleasure in the pain. Not in a masochistic kind of way. But rather with the recognition that, at least now and then, pain is necessary for growth.
That’s why it’s called growing pains. Growth hurts. But not always.
Then there are times when I can find the pain in the pleasure. The pain can come from a variety of places, including getting too attached to positive circumstances and not letting go of them when the time is right.
What’s the miracle? What’s my change in perception?
It’s admitting that everything has happened for a reason. I get to embrace the pain, and I get to embrace the pleasure. I get to embrace all of it. All of it has made me who I am today, and I get to use that as fuel to keep going. I also get to use that as light on the path.
The circumstances of my birth, my divorce, and my vasectomy are all indicators of what I’m here for and what I’m to do with my life. My purpose is lit up in giant, flashing neon letters. I get to use my experiences for the greater good. And I get to expand on that in the days to come. Life is a gift, and I get to enjoy every moment. If I choose to. The choice is mine.
I’m grateful for all of my experiences in life, even the ones that it might have been nice to avoid. If I embrace the pain, then I make room for more miracles. If I embrace the pleasure, including the pleasure of writing, then that also makes room for more miracles.
“Once you start to see the miracles that have happened in your own life and what you did to inspire them — even without knowing it — you’ll start to have a sense about how you can now deliberately create these same life-changing events in the future.” – Mike Dooley
I like the idea of seeing miracles in circumstances that look like they are anything other than miraculous. It’s empowering.
If I can see miracles everywhere I go, in everything I do, and in all I experience, then I’m conscious of the fact that life is all about miracles.
And that’s a miracle right there. That change in perception from “Oh, those circumstances were all about pain, and they weren’t helpful” to “Oh, those circumstances were exactly what I’ve needed, and I’m grateful for them” is the miracle that can help brighten up anyone’s life. It’s certainly helped brighten up my life.
I see the blessings in the struggles. I see the greatness in the heartaches and in the heartbreaks. I appreciate the happy times, and I increase my happiness by admitting that every single circumstance is useful. Remembering this lesson, this miracle, this change in perception can help make sure that I keep embracing more and more opportunities for growth.
Sometimes growth hurts. And that’s okay. I’m awake and alive. Growth is what I’m here for. And it’s exactly what you’re here for, too. Here’s to growth. It hurts now and then, but it’s exactly what we need.
Tell me about some of the miracles in your life in the comments section below. I bet you’ve got some outstanding ones to share.
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Until next time,