little Big things
“We were promised sufferings. They were part of the program. We were even told, 'Blessed are they that mourn,' and I accept it. I've got nothing that I hadn't bargained for. Of course it is different when the thing happens to oneself, not to others, and in reality, not imagination.”
― C.S. Lewis, A Grief Observed
This post could just as easily be called 'Gratitude #101' but as it was circling around my tired head at 2.10 am, I thought I should pay heed to the gods.
Actually, it's not mine but I 'alf-inched it from the amazing book by Tom Peters, The Little Big Things, 163 Ways to Pursue Excellence. When the shit last hit the economic fan — 2007/8 — (don't ask me why) I must have read the book, well, at least a dozen times, even allowing for its behemoth size.
If you've not noticed, I've been having a tough few days. OK, perhaps it's not that obvious but Brian's death has hit me hard — real hard. But grief is like that, right? And for the record, it's not something to be got over, beaten into dank submission and talked about vis-à-vis a life skill! As for the books, save for C. S. Lewis, don't get me started.
And I know why.
Because I've so few people in my life who ever loved me for being me — all of me, and not just the pleasing bits (and there's ain't many 🤣).
To be clear, 'BTP', as Brian was affectionately called, never actually said those ephemeral words, "I love you, Jules", but there was a bond, occasionally a bit fractious and certainly not all sweetness and light, that touched (I'd like to think) our souls, deeply.
Of course, that's not a little Big thing (in case you're wondering) but a fu*cking huge thing.
Love you BTP.
Well, yesterday, someone who I've got to know over the lockdown period, by dint of a circle of listening (I think of it more now as a circle of friendship), reached out and listened to me. I didn't cry but I was close to it. And whilst the momentum quickly assimilated into other issues, for the time — perhaps 10 minutes — where my friend was silent, my heart sank into a place I felt a deep connection to my inner state (more than my feelings) and Brian was fully alive in my mind.
So your mate's a great listener?
Yes, but it was the fact that he bothered..., in the first place, to reach out.
And that's the thing, isn't it? Sometimes, we don't feel on our game and can't be arsed to do the one thing we know we should but if we do — oh by god, if we do — we know, or at least that's my experience, that all the vacillation wasn't worth a jot, given the import and meaning of the little Big thing that we're drawn to do.
At this stage, I could etch out my lexicon of 'little Big things' to include compassion, kindness, empathy, thoughtfulness and helping others for no or any reward but I won't. It's not that I'll demean them but instead you know because that's part of the human condition when you connect with someone and it's rarely because you've done a big thing with lots of self-aggrandisement thrown in for good measure. It's the little things that are so, so important. I mean, even saying a hearty, gloriously disarming "Good morning" is more than enough to make someone's day, even in or especially in these socially-distanced times.
So my challenge to you dear readers isn't to now go out of your way to do something different to what you might have done today (or any other day), but to perhaps, just perhaps, check in with your higher self and wonder — to deeply wonder — what little things might change someone's outlook, mood or demeanour for the better.
But then again, it's none of my business, is it? Your time, even in reading this post (thank you), is your time and if you're expressed to help another person, especially when you're not feeling it, great. If you're not, well, I'm not here to tell you otherwise — despite how it sometimes appears.
Blessings and much love,
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