Just before 3:16 today, I narrowly missed being in an accident with a car that ran a red light. A difference of one second would have made this a drastically different story – assuming I survived it to tell it.
It took me a moment to realize what had just happened. When the shock wore off, I saw the car ahead of me. I hit the gas and went after it, and when I caught up to it at the next light, I made a hard stop right next to it. I had words for this driver.
It was a middle aged woman. Short hair. Glasses. The kind who probably lives for her grandkids and secretly loves reality TV. I beeped. Rolled down my window. She rolled down hers.
“Did you just run that red light?” I asked with an equanimity uncharacteristic of any redhead in history. Karen Kaye must have stepped out of my body because I was clearly channeling some higher being at this particular moment.
The woman looked shocked. I said, “You nearly hit me.” She begins apologizing… confessing she heard screeching… she doesn’t know what happened…
I could have launched a tirade of anger and self-righteous pontification (drawing from my newfound wisdom from recently completing traffic school after tailgating a police officer).
What I said next actually took me aback.
I asked her, “Are you okay?”.
And I realized that I was asking her that out of sincere concern. Was she safe to be driving? Was she simply distracted by troubled thoughts? Was she deeply shaken from realizing her distraction could have been fatal for an innocent soul? Did she need a hug?
The last thing I remember is the woman desperately reaching her hand toward me – perhaps in an odd attempt to connect with me… And I realized then that in a way, we HAD connected. We connected because for some insane reason, I responded with concern, compassion and forgiveness – instead of anger.
Why did I respond with kindness? Perhaps it’s a side effect of gratitude. I was reminded of the Lady Gaga interview where she talks about how hatred and evil divides. How we are unified in our humanity. In that moment, I was able to see her as another human being, understandably imperfect. Just like me.
Three minutes later, I arrived at my destination. Just as I am about to exit my car, my phone begins playing a beautiful violin song. It was my 3:16 alarm reminding me to take a moment of gratitude.
I brought my hands to my heart and said, “thank you, thank you, thank you”… and today, I took longer than usual to express my gratitudes for all the blessings before me.
This morning I posted an article titled, “Every Day at 3:16“. I didn’t mention this next part in the article because I didn’t think it mattered. But it needs to be shared now.
Every day I passionately thank my angels, guides and the universe for keeping me divinely protected.
Missing a horrible car accident by one second IS being divinely protected.
I know gratitude protects, directs and rewards me in many ways. But today I realized that it also softens my heart, allowing me to be the kindness our world needs most right now.
Set your alarm. And take a moment each day to say thank you.
An alarm goes off on my phone every day at 3:16 that plays a beautiful violin song. It’s my reminder to stop whatever I am doing and feel gratitude for the things happening in my world – no matter how small or few.
Lately I have been quick to dismiss the alarm and continue on with my day, but today (despite feeling totally overwhelmed) I stopped. I set that alarm for a reason, with an intention to have a moment – even just 10 seconds – to say thank you.
But life is having some weird twists right now – many of them very stressful and a bit scary. When the 3:16 alarm went off today, I struggled to find gratitude. How does one find gratitude in total chaos?
Then I remembered that chaos always brings change. The world crashing down brings surrender – usually to a higher power. The demon on my doorstep was forcing me to face it head on (doing so would actually give me peace of mind). And yeah; maybe rejection really is god’s protection. The closed doors were nudging me to change direction – toward something a little scary, but much more fulfilling for me. This mess was sparking action – the action my life desperately needed.
Maybe this chaos is guiding me toward something better, building something new within me, or clearing away things that are no longer serving me. Maybe this chaos is propelling me to take the action needed to heal old wounds, break patterns or overcome setbacks.
Sometimes we have to break down before we can break through.
And sometimes chaos is simply our art “getting ruined” so we end up with something far better.
That epiphany changed how I see the mess and chaos in life. I can now find gratitude and blessings in those places – no matter how small or few.
3:16 is my moment to view the world with fresh eyes each day. The numbers 3:16 represent the time of my birth. This is my reminder to renew my life force each day… to be in wonder, awe and gratitude with where I am right now, every day – just as I did the moment I took my very first breath.
Gratitude is the single most powerful change I’ve made in my life.
Intrigued? Try my Gratitude Challenge.