3-20-22 Small Things

Small Things

The great arises out of small things that are honored and cared for.

No Great thing happens without many small things that were done properly, as the cause.

The Great? Sure, I’ll take as many Great things as I can get.

That feels like what I was trying to do during my addiction, and even afterwards, using more socially acceptable ways to grasp after things, big things. I seemed to need the drama. In addiction felt a lack of “something,” I wasn’t sure what, and I would use a drug or behavior to blot out my dissatisfaction and yearning.

If the Great Arises out of small things, then I first need to attend to small things in order for those Great things to have an opportunity to arise. OK, I will try small things, as long as it will bring me Great things. But if I am USING any aspect of my life in order to get something else, then I do not have a sense of vision or path, and am blindly groping around, trying to create the Good stuff.

If we go through all the steps, with the end result—the reward—in mind, then we have missed the boat. Every step, literally, that we take needs to be Honored. We respect both the process and its result by fully partaking of each step, each aspect of a process.

To illustrate: We can certainly enjoy a meal, but if we have been being aware of and grateful for all the steps that brought us there, the joy of the meal will be fuller, but no fuller than any ofthe steps. Washing the dishes we can do with an appreciation of the meal we have eaten and the good fortune that we have dishes. To respect something is to give it your full attention.

We may try very hard to accomplish a goal in a short time; recovery is a good example. If we have a goal and try hard to get there and are then frustrated because we don’t get the result WE want, we will quit out of frustration or think that the path is not a good one. This can be devastating in recovery. We must learn to respect ourselves, others, and the world we live in. To move in the right direction without any need for accomplishment, without having a “goal” that must be “reached.” The path is the goal. The path is the destination.

“The Lord likes small things best, especially those done with love.” –Mother Teresa 

“The little things are most worthwhile – A quiet word, a look, a smile, a listening ear. Another’s thoughts, another’s care…Though sometimes they may seem quite small, These little things mean most of all.” Margaret Lindsey

Human beings are natural seekers. We want answers and meaning, and we expect to find both in ‘big’ things. Big possessions, big organizations, big beliefs. Inevitably, we find that big, external things become a heavy weight on the soul, driving us further from a truth that can only come from within. True understanding is readily available through the small, humble things that surround us. when we quiet down we find ourselves reflected in the details of what is there, all around us, and within us. 

We live in the present, and hope is always in the future. Abandon the future (and the past), and start living moment to moment, rejoicing in the small things of life.

“Remember, life is not made of great things; it is made of very small things. In the early morning, sipping a cup of tea, do it totally, as if this is the last cup of tea you will ever sip again. Take each moment and squeeze the whole juice of it.” —Ohso 

“We have to make a sustained effort, again and again, to cultivate the positive aspects within us.” —Dalai Lama

When I stopped indulging in my addiction, I went through a time of withdrawal. That was a rather intense time, but I had brought myself to that point very slowly, over a period many years. My recovery, my spiritual relationship, is progressive. As long as I continue to apply myself to growth and development in a certain direction, I will continue to advance in that direction; one step at a time, one drop at a time. If I choose not to apply myself in a healthydirection, my decline will also be progressive.

A personal relationship is not defined by a large event, such as a wedding or a birth or buying a house, but is defined by many small things that foster growth (or do not). Compassion for the other, small touches or kind words, making the effort to be kind when it is difficult. Understanding the value of another. Supporting them in their growth and being of aid in difficulties. These are the brick and mortar that make a strong foundation.

Meditation is a good teacher in learning to utilize the virtues of awareness, patience and persistence. With practice, we can begin to apply these virtues in all aspects of our lives. Meditation also teaches us that we are human, that we make mistakes and have problems; but we are always, always a worthy and valuable part of this world. We do have a lot to offer.

When you feel the tension of not getting what you want, of others not acting like they should (according to you), or that vague underlying unhappiness without cause, breathe deeply, bring your energies into your body, and calm those energies with the breath and no thinking. Stop the manipulations and resentments. Bring yourself into the NOW, into the truth of what isoccurring in this very moment. In the NOW is the truth of reality, which is what you were feeling a lack of. There is no grasping or fear in NOW–only a sense of connection and acceptance.

When we work on difficulties in our lives, we generally need to do so slowly. To acknowledge a harmful action or behavior and slowly, mindfully, replace it with positive, healthy thoughts and actions. Think of it like turning a great sailing ship around 180 degrees.  If done all at once, the ship will capsize. A few degrees at a time will accomplish the turn, and no one will take a bath. All the while, feel the wheel in your hands, listen to the water and the gulls.  Appreciate the infinite variety of clouds and the warmth of the sun on your face. Small things.

It takes time to override old, established behaviors and replace them. 

Patience, persistence, and believe in yourself, always.

How do you fill your bucket? One drop at a time
The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step
The great arises out of small things that are honored and cared for
May you be well. May you be happy. May you find peace.
Heart Of Recovery web site  — fcheartofrecovery.com