3-19-23 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, I 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, and keep chasing something to make me feel whole, get that high, or to block out everything.
Patience and acceptance with kindness did not seem to exist in that storm of existence.

Even after my primary addiction was addressed, I have kept looking for “something” that will make me feel better, or blunt the dissatisfaction I seem to often feel. Using behaviors, or being constantly barraged with negative thoughts, but using more socially acceptable ways, I continue to grasp after things which never give a lasting satisfaction.

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. 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. The good stuff is simply right in front of you, all the time.

To illustrate: We can 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. Feel the warmth of the water, appreciate you are cleaning a dish. 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 and be patient with 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.”Each aspect of a process is as important as the outcome. The path is the goal. The path is the destination.

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 low point very slowly, over a period many years, a slow regression.  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 to not apply myself in a healthy direction, my decline will be a slow regression.

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. But you have to diligently continue to guide the boat or it will get off course. 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.

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

“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. Being and understanding are readily available through the small, humble things that surround us. We need to quiet down and find ourselves reflected in the details of what is there, all around 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

When you realize you have been a captive of your monkey mind, of fear, dissatisfaction, or anger, – smile, breathe, become present and step into NOW. No regrets, NOW is always available, now. Try sitting, simply sitting on the couch, not meditating, not thinking, letting thoughts go as they come, and just sit. Simply sitting, feeling relaxed and content. Have a small smile on your face. When you feel the urge to get up and DO something, to think about something, just come back to the warmth of simply Being. Bring yourself into the NOW, into the truth of what is occurring 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. You are touching into your spirit, your inate sense of calmness and Being.

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. We are always, always a worthy and valuable part of this world. We do have a lot to offer.

“Just because you’re at work…doesn’t mean you’re working.” Frank Sonnenberg

Enjoy, embrace and fully engage each moment, you will never have it again. Don’t miss the richness and wonder that is in life.

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