Updated: May 2, 2020
This has become one of my favorite mantras, phrases, quotes- whatever you want to call it. I first read it a few months ago on writer Danielle Doby's instagram page.
How many times do we leave? How many times have I left?
How many times have I given up when the miracle was right around the corner?
The truth is- We're the miracle.
I'm the miracle.
You're the miracle.
"How wonderfully you've grown since January of last year."- Morgan Harper Nichols
I have a friend who's amazing at failing. Truly. She's the most resilient person I know. If we want to talk in teacher terms, we could say she exhibits a true "growth mindset." She's made failure her friend. I would classify failure as an estranged uncle with whom I have mainly awkward and traumatic interactions, and ultimately try avoid at all cost.
But what if we miss the miracle because we give up before it arrives? What if I miss the miracle because I give up before it arrives? What if I miss the miracle because I am too afraid to start in the first place?
The other day I was thinking about my growth and journey in Colorado. I could list an innumerable amount of times I've absolutely gotten my ass handed to me. I could list an innumerable amount of times where I've had to tell myself "you're not going to be good at this and that's okay. But you do have to be kind to yourself." Sometimes it works- sometimes my brain and my fear and my insecurities win and the most courageous thing I can do is say to myself "you can try another day." Somewhere along the line as we get older, we become entitled to things coming easy, we become immune to the struggle, and we seek comfort over courage. We herald kids to have a Thomas the Train "I think I can" mentality, but when failure presents itself to us, knowledgeable, professional, and stable adults, instead of making it our friend, instead of listening, learning, and growing, we walk away because failure hits too close to home sometimes. And that's okay- sometimes failure hurts. Hell, sometimes failure will kick ya when you're down, and then kick ya again. Sometimes we have to heal, sometimes we have to grieve, sometimes we have to struggle and reconcile.
But we lose the miracle when we don't try again.
I'm lucky enough to have an adopted family in my life where creativity has been their life's work. Together the husband and wife are novelists, painters, musicians, writers, and most likely are hiding a mix of another million talents. Recently, I frustratingly texted them "SONGWRITING IS HARD!" to which they replied "Anything good is hard. That's the struggle before birth! So glad to hear!" I love it. What if more people in our lives told us "You're struggling? That's amazing. I'm so glad to hear that!" Maybe if we told each other that more, the struggle wouldn't seem like such an estranged uncle to avoid, but more a friend to whom we should listen.
The last few weeks and months, as lame as it may sound, I've had to fill my life with inspiring quotes about struggle. My favorite one was oddly enough an Arnold Schwarzenegger quote Lindsey Vonn posted: “Strength does not come from winning. Your struggles develop your strengths. When you go through hardships and decide not to surrender, that is strength.” I started 2019 clumsily and limping after spraining my MCL while skiing. It's been unexpectedly hard to give my body the time to rest and heal. My mind is busy, my body is restless, and I may have cried when it snowed a foot and I knew I wouldn't be out in it with my friends.
But the miracle's right around the corner.
All we have to do is keep going. Keep growing.
So refuse to leave.
Grow in your own way-the way in which you're meant.
Grow in your love of failure.
Grow in your love of self.
Grow in your love of others.
Grow in your love of the Divine.
Your growth, my growth- it won't look the same as the person we're walking beside. That's okay. Hopefully, they're walking towards their own miracle as well. Hopefully, we encourage each other in the pursuit of our own little miracles.
Whatever you do, just refuse to leave before the miracle happens.