“Great things are done by a series of small things brought together” -Vincent Van Gough
We often think the little things don’t hold a major impact. I am convinced more than ever that our lives are a compilation of small choices that lead to the greater good of it all.
The little choices we make every day matter. The split second decisions for better or for worse add up to a trajectory for your day every day. Life really is broken down into moments and one small step at a time. Vincent Van Gough was on to something. Every small stroke. Every minor dip of the brush added up to his works of art. We cannot overlook the value of the small strokes we make every day. They are making everything quite beautiful.
If you are tackling something hard and gripping- one small choice at a time for the better of the greater good. If you are on a path that you fought your way for- one small step at a time to maintain the forward momentum. When we think of the big picture we can easily get overwhelmed. When we think of all that it took to get where we are and all the things it will take to get where we’re going it’s just plain daunting. What is the next best right move? That’s a question we HAVE to insert as much as we possibly need to. One move at a time you guys is sometimes all we have the bandwidth for.
I had four children in 5 years. Yes, that was some cra-cra planning on my part. When I think of the overall picture of raising my kids my heart goes to places that are anything but positive sometimes. I suddenly start to think of all the ways I’m doing it wrong and probably hurting them in some way. I think of my failures, and of course what feels like my few countable success’. In the early years I remember mostly feeling stress as my children literally came into my life back to back. I was an untreated postpartum depressive mess because I was too prideful to ask for help. I thought that if I admitted how low I felt that that was also me saying, “I’m not cut out for this”. And I wanted so badly to be cut out for it. One day my oldest daughter stood at our back door watching her dad leave for work during the time I was in the throws of depression and an all consuming eating disorder. Through tears she yelled to him “when will you come back for me?”…. as if left under my care it would be less than enjoyable. I remember at the time feeling gutted by her plea. If I had thought of the whole picture that day I would’ve felt immobilized. But, instead I showed up for her. I got down on her level and played a game with her. I’m sure it was something dumb like a max of five minutes with play dough (which I loathe). But, I made a small step that day to remind her that dear old mom was right there with her. I didn’t let the weight of her feelings bury me 6 feet under causing me to just disqualify myself. I made a decision to be the mom she needed that day. It was not long after that that I reached out for help. That day was the catalyst for me. I wanted to be present and I wanted my love for them to be attainable. I just needed a little help to breathe.
I think all of life is kind of like that. We look at moments that are before us and sometimes they just suck and other times they don’t. But, taking the next best right move was all it took that day to soothe her heart. Taking the next best right step is a small stroke on what’s becoming a beautiful canvas that’ll be talked about for ages to come.
I believe in us and the power to take one small step at a time.. I believe in us and the power to be gracious with our greatest attempts and to call them good… for the greater good of the whole picture.