The Inner Bottom Line ®
A Column on Personal Choices & Ethical Dilemmas by Olive Gallagher
I love your new column. I met you a few months ago but had no idea you did this. My impression of you then and now is a woman positive about life and able to make things better. I admire that. I used to be that way, but lately, I feel discouraged a lot, even depressed, what with the daily news and how distant and rude people have become. I try not to listen all day, but with social media, it seems every hour some awful thing takes place in the world. When I was little, I had a great imagination. I could escape into a dream world. Adults can’t do that; we have to be responsible and show up. Life used to be easy, but today I’ve lost my faith in miracles. Do you believe in them? Is there a way to get imagination back? I’d love to believe the world is still magical.
You sound as if you’re carrying the weight of the world on your shoulders. That has to be exhausting as well as disheartening. While it’s true as adults we’re told to put childish things away and as you put it, “show up” and be responsible, that doesn’t mean we have to put away our imagination or ability to keep dreaming and believing that life is astounding and miraculous.
Life is hard; reality does bite. Nature is harsh. We all eventually die. And in the midst of that bare-bones truth, we still have choices. Choices about not only what to wear and eat and think and love, but also choices about the quality of our time, what we choose to honor and protect, and certainly, how much and when to allow the endless noise around us in or not. Because it can suck us dry and will if we don’t control it.
You asked if I believe in miracles. The simplified answer is yes. They’re around us everyday, if we only take the time to see and hear. Whenever you feel you’ve lost your ability to believe, one way to regain it is to get outside yourself and focus on something simple but undeniably amazing, like the human body, or the universe, or even a tiny sprout pushing itself, against all odds, upwards through a crack in a city sidewalk.
But rather than talk about it, why don’t I just direct you to a place where everyday miracles are happening, right now, and you can watch in real time whenever you need a reminder that miracles do exist. Just log on to http://www.iws.org/hbe.html and you will find yourself looking at an eagles nest located ninety-five feet up in the air in a pine tree located somewhere in Humboldt Bay, California. Early this spring, for the second year in a row, I was lucky enough to witness a daily miracle as this amazing couple mated, then laid two delicate eggs and began the ritual of hatching and raising two beautiful babies. http://www.iws.org/hbe.html
Thanks to cameras provided through the generosity of many folks, we’re provided with amazing real-time, up-close views into the lives of this devoted eagle couple and the cycle of their family life and duties as they perform, with precision, love and diligence, the nearly herculean task of sitting on the eggs, 24/7, for five weeks, spelling one another as the instinctive need for food and flight pulls them away from this primal task, and then returning to the nest to relieve one another as the days and nights go by. And then, in a ritual as old as time that I observed with utter wonderment, each baby cracked its way out with the help of a pointed nib located on the top of its beak, evidence of another tiny miraculous design of Mother Nature created solely for this purpose.
Watching these four lives progress every day; observing each morning the superman-like growth of the babies as they double in side and then double again and begin to get their first, adolescent black feathers, while their parents patiently feed and clean and tend to them, it’s difficult to imagine how anyone watching wouldn’t feel touched and reaffirmed by a miracle.
But wait! There’s more if you should choose to continue onward. After you’ve visited with these majestic creatures, take another moment, step away and allow yourself to grow very quiet. If you do, you will feel and hear the sound of your heart, pulsing to its own unique rhythm. Everyday miracles are as simple and as close to you as that. We never have to stop believing. All it takes to rediscover that truth, day after day, is a small moment in time when we simply watch, listen and hear.
The Inner Bottom Line column now runs in first use on OregonLive.com/Living every Tuesday and appears in the weekend print edition of The Oregonian.
Olive Gallagher, life coach, ethicist, and national speaker and columnist, has a full-time private practice specializing in stress, boundaries, transition and choices.
You can submit your questions and ethical dilemmas or book consulting appointments and private and group coaching sessions with Olive at 503-908-7842 or www.theinnerbottomline.com.
Hard cover, Kindle and audio versions of Olive’s book, The Nude Ethicist: A Simple Path to The Good Life™, are now available on amazon.com.