Have you ever seen those impressive domino configurations where a string of dominoes branch off into multiple strings and eventually there is an elaborate image made of dominoes? When the first domino falls the effect is mesmerizing. Putting the domino effect in slow motion, we see that every single domino has its moment and plays a part in something bigger. The same can be said for the blossoming of a rose. Each petal has to open, unfold, before the others in the center can do the same, yet they layer so perfectly together. There are many other symbols of this same concept all over nature.
Photo credit: Amanda Schmidt via Unsplash
I realized that another place it appears is in gratitude. We’ve all been exposed either personally or vicariously to those miraculous circumstances that, when backtracking through events, a multitude of essential elements had to be in place for that particular outcome to be possible. That car was in just the right place at the right time to intercept another event that would have led to a fatal accident. One person knew another person who happened to bring up a topic that changed the trajectory of another person’s life, etc… You know what I’m talking about.
When we take a moment after such an experience and backtrack connection after connection– restacking the dominoes, if you will– and we see the intricacies involved, we find ourselves mildly awestruck. Baffled. Many of us sense deep gratitude in those moments because of the undeniable hand of God. How quickly do we rush out of that sense of appreciation? Do we give it the time it deserves? Do we allow that gratitude to become more than just a puffed sigh of relief? Do we sit and allow the gratitude to settle more deeply into our core?
What if we went through the same ‘layer peeling process’ for the not-so-dramatic moments? Let’s say my child barely made it to the bus on time today, and as I cue the replay in my mind I might see that I had discovered one of his shoes under his bed the night before and put it away, avoiding the lost shoe scramble. Or maybe I had remembered his folder when normally I wouldn’t think twice about it.
Let’s say I left ten minutes late for an appointment and showed up on time. Rewinding those ten minutes might show me a whole slew of green lights and lighter traffic. Do I take a second to appreciate what just happened? Do I silently send up a prayer of gratitude for that little miracle I just participated in?
I think that if we more regularly took time to reflect on the big and small events of life, we’d see how abundant the reasons are to be grateful. More than just a passing moment, but all the things that lead up to it. All the reasons the moment could happen at all. There are so many petals that had to peel back, that had to be just so. And the best part is, all those moments were orchestrated out of love for you. Each domino of your life is placed with care so that you can feel seen and loved. I hope we can all take a moment once the dominoes fall, to stop and not just smell the roses, but appreciate each petal and allow the smell to settle in.
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