[from Breaking Free from Critical Addiction: Our #1 Social Disease]
What is a miracle and how do they happen? While I can’t define a miracle, I am learning what they do. Among other things, a miracle creates a shift in perception that moves you from a state of fear into a state of peace. The whole world shifts with you, because everything looks different from this new state and you see yourself differently too. This story illustrates how this happens.
One bright, sunny day, I was sitting in my bedroom meditating, feeling waves of peace. All of a sudden, I heard my husband and teenage son arguing in the kitchen downstairs. A feeling of dread came over me as I suddenly realized what would happen next. They would continue to argue and then come get me to referee their fight, as I usually did. It was a familiar pattern in our family, but one I had not seen clearly until that moment. We see things more clearly from a state of inner peace.
Today, I wasn’t willing to play referee. I was experiencing peace, and I wanted to keep it that way! I became defiant. The louder they fought, the harder I tried to drown them out, as I mentally chanted, “I want the Peace of God. I want the Peace of God.” That was the lesson I was working on. My Course in Miracles lesson that day said to choose peace … and that when peace was truly all I wanted, I would get it.
I heard them starting up the steps. They were quarreling all the way. “I want the Peace of God. I want the Peace of God,” I chanted, determined to keep my peace. I was new to The Course at the time and struggling to apply whatever it said to my current situation.
Soon, they were at my bedroom door. They pushed open the door and sat down in front of me as they continued to argue. Couldn’t they see I was meditating? Didn’t they know they were disturbing my peace?
By then, I had to admit I no longer had any peace to keep. I believed in our personal responsibility for the events in our lives, but I did not see how I could possibly be responsible for this quarrel, especially when all I wanted was peace! While I didn’t understand how I could have possibly caused the quarrel, by that point I realized I had become part of the conflict when I began resenting their intrusion on my peace.
I was determined to deal with this situation from a state of peace. So, I made a commitment not to say one word to anyone until I was at peace within myself. “I want the peace of God. I want the peace of God,” I continued to repeat in my mind, knowing now that I didn’t have peace. However, I was certain in my intention that I would have peace if I kept choosing it, and I was willing to wait for peace, no matter how long it took.
A Course in Miracles claims, “Infinite patience produces immediate effects.” And that is exactly what happened, because suddenly, the picture in front of me shifted. Instead of seeing two people quarreling, I saw two people in total agreement, wanting the same thing from each other. Spontaneously I exclaimed, “Oh! You agree with each other!”
They both turned toward me with looks of total astonishment on their faces. “AGREE?” They shouted in unison, both looking shocked, as if I had just slapped them across their faces.
“Yes!” I exclaimed with delight. “You both want love and respect, and you want it in the same way.”
They turned to look at each other, and tears came into their eyes. In that moment, they knew the truth. They were both calling for love, but because they each felt a lack of love, they didn’t realize that they each had what the other wanted and valued. In that moment of peace, we were all healed—together. And that is a miracle.
Miracles are perceptual shifts that lead to action, spontaneously. As I moved from the fear of losing my peace into a state of actually having peace, I saw the situation differently and spontaneously responded to what I saw through the eyes of love. I had moved my perspective from my head to my heart.
We don’t know the right thing to do until we are in the right state of mind to see things as they really are. Anything that disturbs our peace also distorts our perception. Seeing things from peace, we spontaneously know what to do. When we seek peace first, everything else is taken care of effortlessly.