That moment when you realize you’re alive because of one more beat of the heart

A few months ago I asked a friend of mine who is a nurse for a spare stethoscope.

I had been attempting to clear my mind before I went to bed each night because I was getting horrible sleep for months.

Any time I would try to calm my thoughts and just relax, I would catch myself 5 minutes later in thought again about whatever it is that was on my mind. I was only getting a few good hours of sleep each night.

When I finally bugged him long enough, he brought me one from work and the thing was about 100 years old.

I figured if I could listen to my own heartbeat, it would allow me to clear my head of all other thoughts.

It worked like a charm

I am a visual person and anything I do or think about, I need to write it down, record it, or somehow physically display it for myself to really drill it into my mind. For this reason, every time I attempt to master a certain aspect of my life, I use physical tools to help me.

The stethoscope was a new idea and it worked like a charm. I was able to get my mind off of my thoughts and just lay there, listening to my heart push the blood all through my body, every second or so.

Every time I remember to do this I get great sleep, but through this process, I discovered something amazing.

Apparently my heart was beating like that all along?

As I would lay there and listen to my heart thump against my chest, I found myself getting a little freaked out.

For the last 27 years, every single second of my life, rain or shine, sleep or awake, crying or laughing, working or playing, worrying or relaxing, my heart has been keeping me alive with one simple action. One more pump. And then again.

I’m lying there listening to it and I catch myself being afraid to put the stethoscope down, making sure that I can hear that next beat because that next beat is the only thing that determines if I live another moment or I die.

852 million faithful beats

What a fragile way to live! All because of one muscle, I get to do what I do and love the people that I love for just one more moment.

My heart beats about once every second if I am relaxed so this made me want to do some math for the first time in my life.

60 beats per minute X 60 minutes = 3,600 heartbeats in 1 hour.

3,600 beats an hour X 24 hours = 86,400 heartbeats per day.

86,400 beats per day X 365 days = 31,536,000 heartbeats per year.

31,536,000 beats per year X 27 years = 851,472,000 heartbeats in my lifetime.


That number makes me feel very stupid for the amount of times I have bitched about my life not going the way I want it to go.

That is 852 million times that I could have died but didn’t for some reason.

That is 852 million times that God said “Yes” to me.

That is 852 million things I should be grateful for the minute I open my eyes every morning.

My friend, whether you realize it or not, you are a walking, breathing, living miracle. Do the math for your own life. Don’t take a single moment for granted.

There is a better way to live!

Originally published at on May 17, 2016.

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