Day-to-day trivialities sometimes get the best of us, we can start there. We tend to get lost in the little things instead of enamored by them.
Rather than being carried up in awe by the quiet of nature, we become bent out of place by horns honking, vulgar language spewed by impatient people unconscious to anything outside their narrow-vision, or people caught in the tornado of gossip and altercation. As a society, we’re quite able to choose the path that leads to stress and indignation. It’s harder for most to choose the path leading to trust in God, patience with difficult people, and the maturity to see between the lines of trivialities rather than being caught up with them.
The little things, when they are the wrong things, make the big things ten times worse. The little things, when they are the right things, make the big things ten times easier.
DISCIPLINE YOUR MIND, DISCIPLINE YOUR BODY
Focusing on the little things like nature (I like that example, if you can’t tell), when in the moment—meaning, when present and psychologically conscious only to that moment and not to a thousand other arbitrary thoughts—makes bigger things, like bill-paying, eroding friendships, or failed jobs—that much easier. This is the reason people tend to recommend habits like yoga or meditation: these types of practices are meant to not only discipline your body into shape, but your mind into the moment. Otherwise, the body responds to the mind negatively. In action, this looks like us giving up and our body feeling weak, and we decide to change activities, or give up on a goal, or end an important conversation. You fill in the blank, but the essential point to take away is that the whole operation begins with the mind. Yoga is just one tool to help with that, but the real problem isn’t the flexibility of the body, the problem is the patience of the mind to get the body there.
The same is true when the discipline isn’t about the body. When the discipline is indeed the mind itself, the goal isn’t to strengthen our core muscles, the goal then becomes to have a richer life by growing in character. Everything spins together eventually. We eat well, we exercise well, we sleep well, we work hard… we live fully. That was extremely paraphrased, but my point is that when we see the small things as problems, the real problems become massive-sized Mount Everests we would never dream of overcoming. We need to revise our approach.
THE UNCONSCIOUS WAYS WE REACT
Many of us have heard that if someone says something and it upsets us quite deeply, it was either the combination of the importance of the person who spoke in conjunction with the words/tone they used, or, it’s a deeper issue that has nothing to do with the person, but rather is subconsciously tied to something so deep in our minds that we aren’t even aware that it’s the source of the upset. This, again, leads back to trivialities.
Why is it so important to nail this point home? Most of us (I really don’t think that is an exaggeration in today’s world), are caught up in trivialities. We’re caught up in the “small” things, making them the big things, and then the big, much more important things are either tossed under the rug, or abused thoroughly. In other words, they’re mishandled. Those “mishandlings” then become bigger problems as we start interacting with the world around us in much more negative ways, accusing people of ultimately harmless things that really aren’t very important or necessary, getting into unneeded arguments with people, feeling insult from someone who shouldn’t have the power to do so to begin with, and we drive vehicles like lunatics because we’re so emotional that we can’t even identify what we we’re feeling, let alone that what we feel is ten events behind us now. You tell me, is it important to nail home a point about being lost in trivialities?
A DIFFICULT LESSON: LEARNING FROM THE BAD THINGS
Is it really impossible to overcome this issue and become more focused, more present, more appreciative—of the little things? The smell of freshly made coffee, the colorful beauty of plants/trees/animals; the butterflies in our stomach caused by the loving smile of our partners first thing in the morning… the list goes on! These are the “right” small things. These lead us to appreciating everything, even the “bad things,” because we start to realize we can learn from them instead of accusing them for making things even more difficult. Imagine your life where you’re appreciating negative things for teaching you about yourself, and then being ecstatic over the bigger things because of the lack of stress pulling you back from being able to see just how amazing those bigger things actually are. This is why it’s worth making a point.
If we can choose to change our angle a bit, we can choose to change our lives. Then when we change our lives, the lives of others around us begin to change, even if slowly, because they won’t get from us what they get from nearly everyone else. We’ll stand out in a wonderful way. That won’t go unnoticed! It won’t go unseen. It will become a tattoo in their memory bank of a surprise they didn’t see coming, and joy will be invited in. A moment of relief. And then… hope.
CHANGE YOUR ANGLE, AND CHANGE THE WORLD
Do you want to be someone else’s hope today? You have to find yours first, and letting go of “wrong” trivialities is a great place to start. I believe Jesus creates the “right” little things so we can appreciate everything else He’s putting around us. And then, we begin to change the world, reflecting a light we received from Him. We start to stop seeing the “wrong” little things and blaming other things or people for redundancies. We don’t care about that stuff because we know it doesn’t matter. It matters more to love than to accuse. It leaves a bigger imprint to forgive and to live than it does to hang on and linger. Life is full of little good things, but we have to make that choice… what will you choose for yourself today?–and, consequently, for others as well… God bless you.
Photo by Jose A.Thompson on Unsplash