When I was 11 years old, I was hospitalized for a foot infection that stumped doctors for almost a week. It took me several tests, an x-ray, bone scan, and MRI to figure out what was going on. After the bone scan, the doctors agreed that the infection may have spread to the bone. I did not know this at the time, but there was a real possibility that my lower leg would need to be amputated.
After the MRI, which took about two hours, the doctors were perplexed, because the infection seemed to have vanished from my bone. Up until that point, the antibiotics were hardly working. Shortly thereafter the swelling began to go down and I was released from the hospital.
They called it a miracle. At the time, I was a Christian, and agreed. To this day, I still think it must have been one. Despite the fact that 12 years after the fact my foot still swells and it hurts often, I still have my right leg. But I still feel like miracles are off-limits to me.
In a discussion I was a part of recently, Rev. Olivia said that it’s important to allow blessings into your heart, like making room for a guest. You can pray to Tenchi Kane no Kamisama for a miracle but if you don’t believe it can happen, if you don’t make room for that guest in your heart, that blessing isn’t going to come. It’s part of a reciprocal relationship; Kami needs us and we need Kami, so closing off our hearts to Kami means we won’t receive blessings in return.
It sounds so easy. Of course you want blessings! Everyone wants something! Why wouldn’t your heart be open to blessings?!
So why do I feel like I can’t receive them?
I realized–I wasn’t exactly bitter, not towards Kamisama, but to the idea that good things, that blessings could come to me without me having to painfully sacrifice something in return. My heart is hard and cold and still because I am tired and feel like I’m never going to be able to leave this hole I’m in.
It’s so hard to believe in a miracle. Even after I kept my leg, even after getting out of an abusive home. I sit here, in pain because of my chronic illnesses, in debt because of an unfortunate fall, and think–no, this can’t be fixed, and I’m going to suffer for it because that’s what I’ve always done.
But I can’t. I can’t be that person anymore, floating in my own negativity and pessimism, because if I do that I’ll be in that hole forever. I have to open up my heart and believe that healing is possible, that I can have blessings without hurting myself, that I can work with Kamisama to do the work that needs doing and maybe even find peace along the way with a softer and gentler heart, and find a Wa-ga Kokoro there too.