you are the miracle

‘There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle.’ Albert Einstein —

It is a miracle that you are here.

We take this for granted, in our day-to-day lives. It gets so easy to get caught up in how many things are “going wrong.”

We forget that to exist–for you to exist, right here and right now–about a million different things had to “go right.”

For one thing, through a series of chance encounters, your parents had to meet, and of all the people they met in their lifetimes, they had to choose to have sex with one another–not someone else, but each other. That’s the only way that you, would be…you.

While we get the basics in middle- and high-school biology class (“Yes, I know, egg meets sperm, and nine months later there’s a baby”), we forget the details.

The miracle, however is in the details.

Details such as: Before the egg, your mother’s body had to be producing a luteinizing hormone that would prompt the ovaries to start producing a follicle, at which point there would (maybe) be an egg. It’s not that a woman’s body just pops off an egg every month, you know. An entire endocrine system is at work, and it works as a chain, with one part firing off another part. The chain has to actually coordinate, for ovulation to occur.

Then there’s timing: Let’s say the chain coordinates. Now, only if your parents were together on just the right day, would this result in a meeting of egg and sperm. Ovulation is actually a surprisingly short window.

The chance encounters that I’m calling the Miracle of Your Life do not end, there.

Only if your mother’s body was also producing enough of another hormone, progesterone, would this conjoined egg-sperm collaboration actually implant in the uterus–and only then is there a potential baby.

Stop to think about that–again, because we forget what we learn in Bio 101. A whole series of things had to be going exactly right, and had to happen on just the right day, for you to have a shot at living…this life. Your life. The life that has somehow brought you to this page.

Later, only if your mother’s body fired off a series of other hormones, and only if the right nutrients could get to you, and only if that egg was viable, would you survive the initial 12 weeks, the first trimester, where you would be developing your heart, kidneys, brain, and other major organs.

Once you were born, your lungs had to work. Your heart had to work. Your immune system had to kick in (and maintain the delicate balance of knowing what to fight, and what not to fight, as so many people with auto-immune disorders are discovering–never take your immune system for granted).

Once you were in the world, you had to have enough physical nourishment to survive. You had to survive falls, bumps, scrapes. Possibly, some of those injuries were at the hands of caretakers. If you’re reading this right now, you survived that. You had to survive physical and emotional trauma. If you’re reading this right now, you survived that. It’s a miracle.

For the miracle that is you to be reading these words, your brain must be doing the millions of intricate acrobatics that it is currently doing, for the processing of letters and their sounds and the decoding of meaning.

For the miracle that is you to be reading these words, your body must be taking in nutrients from the food you eat and giving you energy. The heart must be pumping. You must be able to breathe. You must have access to clean water.

For the miracle that is you to be reading these words, you must be one of the people who has not died from a car accident, from a random fall, from violence, from a sudden and unexpected failure of one of the vital organs.

We are only talking about your simple yet extraordinary existence in the world. When you start thinking about all the chance encounters and coordinated efforts that also brought into the world, and into your life, all of the people you love most and hold dear, the miracle grows wider.

You are living the Miracle of You. Your life is the miracle. There’s nothing you need to do to deserve it, to be better, or to prove yourself worthy. The miracle of all of it, in fact, has already tried to show itself to you–tries to, every single day.

It’s up to us to see it. To stop, and breathe, and let the breath be a miracle. To feel gratitude for the millions of processes happening right now that are “going right,” instead of focusing on those things that are “going wrong.”

Right here, right now. That’s what you’ve got. That’s a miracle. Let it be enough.

Click to tweet: “Your life is the miracle.”