Several times today I have been encouraged to see the beauty in the little moments in life. I don’t know about you, but I am a very big picture person. When many things go wrong in a day I am inclined to categorize the entire day as “bad”. The problem I am starting to realize is, the things that go wrong are not the only things that happen to me. It’s easy to define your day based on the things we remember most about them. It isn’t really even our fault that the things we think of as bad stick out more than the good things when reflecting on a day. Our brains are wired to avoid things that cause us pain wether or not the pain is emotional, social or physical. Because of this, something embarrassing that happened to you last Monday really sticks out in your brain. You think about it constantly because you know you want to avoid it happening again. However, the other people that saw that embarrassing thing happen probably don’t remember it at all because it didn’t register as something to recognize and avoid. This type of brain activity isn’t bad, I don’t think. God created our brains to work in such a way that we know how to keep ourselves protected and safe. Instead of trying to fight the way our brain works, which would be discouraging and incredibly difficult, I want to suggest something different, recognizing the little moments.
I want you to close you eyes and think about your day. For every ugly or inconvenient thing that has happened to you, a 1,000 little blessings brought you through your day. Often we don’t even think twice about these little moments. We take them for granted because they don’t feel significant. They don’t invoke automatic emotional response so they get ignored. I want to sit in these little moments; I want to feel them as they happen instead of looking back on them later. I want to live in the here and now. To truly explain living inside a little moment I will share one of my own,
This morning I went downstairs to start my car, it was really cold out and I didn’t want to go outside. However, when I turned the corner I noticed the most beautiful sunrise. The sun was golden and the entire eastern sky was lit up. I looked at it and truly sat in the moment. I decided to purposefully recognize it as a special thing that was happening to me in that specific period of time. I made the choice to view that event as a significant “good thing” in my day. Recognizing these moments can totally tip the scale when you reflect on your day and decide wether or not it was good or bad, worthwhile or boring, etc.
That was just one example of something that you can turn into a significant event but the list of possible blessings are infinite. Somebody compliments you, somebody smiles at you, your coworker makes you laugh, your professor commends your work, your significant other does a chore so you don’t have to. There are so many small things that happen in a day that are good. If we can recognize those moments as events that are as profound as the “bad things” then I think, most days at least, will be good.
To quote one of my favorite television shows, The Good Place, “human lives are so short and we spend so much time just waiting for things to be over”. I believe that if we can train our brains to recognize the good things that happen in the midst of all that waiting then nothing will feel so purposeless, these small moments will define us.
So next time something bad happens, remember to let it roll right off your shoulders because the day is long and there are so many more small moments to find.