It’s been awhile. Writing is like going to the gym. There are so many good reasons to take a break but then when I pick up the pen it feels like someone added weights when I wasn't looking. So here I am a little out of shape but I have missed you!
My last blog was about surprises. I think I’m still working on a variation on that theme—miracles. These days the world sure seems to be in short supply of miracles. I’m not talking water into wine miracles but the everyday kind that only require my attention. It’s easy to look in the wrong places or in the wrong direction. Rick Hanson Ph.D. calls this our negativity bias. Our brains have an evolutionary bias to pay more attention to things that go bump in the night. Our amygdala, the oldest and most primitive part of our brain, is made for survival. This limbic system is devoted to finding danger and storing it in our memory so that we can respond to future threats. Unfortunately, this part of the brain also has a very limited repertoire—fight, flee, or freeze. This is great when responding to tigers but not so good for miracles. When our limbic system is activated our prefrontal cortex goes off line and we don’t have access to positive things like creativity, compassion, and awe—the stuff miracles are made of.
The box had to be pried out of his clinched fist at which point he fell to his knees and did an ecclesiastical face plant to the ground and wept. Seconds later he was happy and content in someone’s arms. I had a moment of recognition, albeit buried deep in these old eyes, a time when life had less history, fewer lessons, and no conditioned responses. Oh, for the days when the loss of a magic plastic box was worth a tearful lament into the dirt, regardless of what I was wearing or who was watching. And oh, for the soft breeze of the next moment—dark storm clouds transformed into sunlight. I have lost something by becoming an adult. Sure, I have fewer outbursts but I also have fewer moments of awe. I guess I am safer or so my mind tells me with its constant review of past dangers and it’s preemptive planning for the future but there is a lot less that makes me go “wow.” Old eyes tend to see what they expect to see, not what they see. It saves time, leads to less disappointment, public spectacles and laundry bills but I sure do miss the miracles.
Daily Bites and Blessings
Welcome to "Daily Bites and Blessings." Pull up a chair. I’ve set a place for you at the table. These edibles are sometimes bitter, sometimes sweet and often they are both. This is a come as you are party. I invite you to bring your compassion, courage, and curiosity as we dine together on life's bounty. May our time together give us more light and more love.