THE MINDSET OF MIRACLES  by Natalia Alexandria

It could be that right about now, we're all praying for a miracle. Whether we are casualties of a slumped economy, challenged by an illness, or suffering the plight of a loved one, we are encountering difficult times. Let's just say that we all want a miracle, but what exactly are they and how do we get one?

For millennia, philosophers, scientists, and theologians have argued about what miracles are, whether divine or natural, and whether they should be considered intellectually logical or an accepted belief. No matter who is posturing, miracles are highly subjective. If one believes in supernatural phenomena, such as the appearance of a ghost, it is, undoubtedly, miraculous. For another, that same experience is defined as a hallucination. It can then be said that miracles are a mindset, and they have everything to do with how we choose to perceive our experiences, thus translating into how we choose to live.

"There are 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 could not have been better said. If we're searching for some dramatic representation or exposition of an event that would have to be miraculous, we will be disappointed, although life has a way of shocking the most skeptical. But we must reflect: during difficult moments, are we blinding ourselves and choosing to believe that life is so unfair that our outlook can only be negative? Have we gotten to a point where we disregard the obvious, and dismiss the many daily miracles signaled through love, kindness and inspiration?

A mindset that affirms the likelihood of miracles is critical for survival when life has presented challenges that seem insurmountable. This mindset becomes an encouraging tool where we single-handedly choose to experience miracles—by making positive connections and interpreting reality optimistically. We practice a healthy mix of idealism and realism and confine our thinking to those boundaries. The result will be that we won't be too disappointed, too low to get up, or too negative for any kind of action. Our perception shifts as we lay fertile ground for possibilities that make us hopeful. We begin an exercise of steadfast thinking that no matter how troubled our lives, or how negative our experiences, we forcefully impose an expectation of something divine.

Sounds a bit out there? Perhaps, but only a negative mindset that takes comfort in self-pity, would dismiss the possibility of trying one more option. Admittedly, prolonged suffering does alter the chemical reactions in our body that can reinforce our negativity. But never imagine you've been singled out for misfortune. Many people who have experienced tremendous loss would point to the divine. Ask anyone who has faced years of battling an illness, who has lost multiple family members in an accident, or who has been wiped out financially to the point of becoming homeless—but then somehow, when absolutely nothing was left, they reached out and would attest to the hand of the divine.

We have to realize that adversity is nothing personal. Life by definition is a challenge—and whether hardship affects us directly or indirectly, it still boils down to how you choose to live. Anyone can be happy in circumstances of perceived bliss, but just the same, anyone can be miserable with adversity. Life teaches this time and time again, yet somehow, we continue to choose the fearful approach of pessimism.

Miracles are for combating the ignorance of negativity. Whatever mess you're in, hope for a miracle. Don't allow intellectual arrogance to dismiss the possibility just because you're in a dark place. Focus away from the bad and allow a miracle to interrupt your life by believing and insisting that one will come. This thought process of miracles will force a smile as you begin the shift toward positive change. Open your eyes to a habit of thinking miracles and understand that your lot in life is just life, and how you choose to experience it, is your perception.

Pray for miracles, but live them too!