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Warning: May Cause Miracles

Warning: May Cause Miracles

On December 18, I was frolicking around, giddy from a week of artistic inspiration at Art Basel Miami and a few days of being personally coached, whispering horses, bending spoons, and getting spiritually uplifted with Martha Beck, her Team, and my business manager Melanie Bates at Martha’s ranch in Central California.

Then at 9:58 am on December 19, my 6 month old puppy Bezoar was hit by a car and killed, falling closely on the heels of the untimely death of my beloved dog Grendel last Father’s Day.

In the moment I heard the news, I went from feeling over-the-moon happy to feeling flushed with a familiar and unwelcome emotion – abject terror.

The first thing I thought was, “Everything can change in a blink,” and this filled me with dread – because I’m so blissed out in my life these days that I have a great deal to lose – and this terrifies me.

Armed with the ammunition of this thought, The Gremlin went ballistic, filling my mind with evil nothings.

The Evil Nothings

If two dogs can die in a year, I should never get another dog because that dog will probably die too.

If my dog can be alive one moment and dead the next, the same could happen to my daughter.

My mother could get cancer.

My husband could leave me.

My business could go belly up and I’d wind up living under a freeway overpass.

I could get in a terrible car accident and wind up a quadriplegic.

If Bezoar could be bouncing around, full of life one moment, and the next moment, I could be picking up her bloody body and carrying it back to my home, then nothing is permanent. Nothing is reliable. Bad things could be around every corner.

I was afraid.

Choosing Love Over Fear

Fortunately for me, only days earlier, I had received the advance copy of my friend Gabrielle Bernstein’s latest book May Cause Miracles. Over the next few days, under the fog of my grief, I started reading Gabby’s book, based on the teachings of A Course In Miracles, which consists of forty days worth of practical practices and exercises designed to help you manifest miracles in your life by choosing love over fear. Can you say, “Perfect timing?” (Thank you Universe – and thank you Gabby.)

I’ve studied A Course In Miracles, so I’m familiar with the teachings, but who doesn’t need a reminder that every time you choose to listen to your Inner Pilot Light instead of The Gremlin, a miracle happens, that each time The Gremlin spews out scary thoughts like the ones that flooded me after Bezoar died, we have a choice.

We can succumb to the fear, in which case, The Gremlin wins – and our fears have an uncanny way of coming true. Or we can choose to acknowledge our fears, witness The Gremlin, and consciously choose to let love make our decisions. When we do – when we choose to release fear, forgive ourselves and others, cultivate courage, take risks, open our hearts, and surrender to the impermanence of life without letting our fear of loss control us, we create miracles.

The Peace That Accompanies Serial Heartbreak

When you experience repetitive loss or disappointment, as most of us do, things can go two ways. You can either choose fear, jump into hyper-protection mode, and cling dearly to everything you love because you’re terrified of losing it. Or you can make peace with the fact that life really is impermanent – and any sense you have that you’re in control of your life is merely an illusion.

The first way to operate tends to lead to more loss and disappointment. The second, paradoxically, may cause miracles.

Once you’ve acknowledged that everything you love is at risk of being lost – once you’ve faced your greatest fears – a strange thing happens. You actually become less afraid. Since your ultimate happiness depends on choosing love over fear, you can’t come face to face with the reality of how much you have to lose without staring straight into the eyes of The Gremlin. When you do, you realize The Gremlin is like the Great and Powerful Oz – all bark, no substance.  You can follow The Gremlin into anxiety, panic, and dark nights of the soul. Or you can simply surrender to whatever life has in store for you.

Fearless Vs. Reckless

As I wrote about here, it’s a fine line between fearless and reckless. But you can stare down your fears, learn from them, and still choose to let them release the power they may hold over you. But you can trust this for sure – it’s never reckless to let love lead you. Fear almost never protects you. Instead, it tends to paralyze you and manifest as the realization of everything you most fear. Love, on the other hand, tends to magnetize more love, abundance, success, and blessings – all miracles in their own right.

Are You Ready For More Miracles?

In need of more miracles? Help is here.

Gabby’s book May Cause Miracles will guide you, step by step, through an inspiring, 40 day practice of releasing fear’s hold on your life, opening yourself to the guidance of Spirit, allowing more love, faith, and trust to guide you, and making your life ripe for life-transforming, radical miracles.

I feel blessed that Gabby’s book arrived on my doorstep just when I felt tempted to let loss tumble me into fear-based thinking. But with the help of her book and my Inner Pilot Light, I’m walking the razor’s edge of life – knowing how much I have to lose and choosing not to be afraid that it could all disappear tomorrow.

How are you living – in love or in fear? Will you walk the razor’s edge with me?

Share your thoughts in the comments below.

With gratitude that miracles are all around,

Lissa Rankin


Lissa Rankin, MD: Creator of the health and wellness communities and, author of Mind Over Medicine: Scientific Proof You Can Heal Yourself (Hay House, 2013), TEDx speaker, and Health Care Evolutionary. Join her newsletter list for free guidance on healing yourself, and check her out on Twitter and Facebook.

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Lissa Rankin

Lissa Rankin, MD is a mind-body medicine physician, founder of the Whole Health Medicine Institute training program for physicians and other health care providers, and the New York Times bestselling author of Mind Over Medicine: Scientific Proof That You Can Heal Yourself.  She is on a grassroots mission to heal health care, while empowering you to heal yourself.  Lissa blogs at and also created two online communities - and She is also the author of two other books, a professional artist, an amateur ski bum, and an avid hiker. Lissa lives in the San Francisco Bay area with her husband and daughter.


+ add your own
11:55AM PST on Jan 14, 2013

thanks, and sorry about your dogs.

10:14AM PST on Jan 13, 2013

Thank you.

10:12AM PST on Jan 13, 2013

sorry for your loss...

10:11AM PST on Jan 13, 2013

Thank you, really inspiring article. It's so hard not to let yourself be beaten by fear, when there's so much to fear around you.

10:11AM PST on Jan 13, 2013


9:55AM PST on Jan 13, 2013

It is always hard when we lose someone we love. However, through all bad times it is a time to learn. You have to learn through your mistakes as well as accept that life is random and bad things ARE going to happen. I do find it a bit strange that you would immediately go to the place of "two dogs died in a year I shouldn't get another one". First of all, I don't know how your first dog died, but if it was illness then it is out of your control if you have them on a healthy diet. But the other one getting hit by a car, you can make changes to make sure this doesn't happen again, fencing or putting on a leash as you get out of the car and into your house. If you're into animal rescue, losing a pet will never mean not getting another one. We all know how many dogs and cats out there need homes right now and while you cannot replace the one you had, as they are all special, what can help you through the grieving is knowing that you've given a loving home to another animal.

4:46AM PST on Jan 13, 2013

Thanks Lissa for sharing this very thoughtful piece.

3:46AM PST on Jan 13, 2013

It can be painful when pets die but one must come to terms not only with their death, but with the certainty of one's own as well. Life is a gift, a miracle. One can be blissfully happy and grateful for every moment of it, whether one lives in a palace or under a bridge.
Glad you realized this.

2:26AM PST on Jan 13, 2013


2:25AM PST on Jan 13, 2013


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