I’ve spoken before about the paradox of smallness. How much we are encouraged to big ourselves up, promote ourselves and ‘put ourselves out there’, yet how the opposite side of retreat, trust and passivity can feel more life giving and in line with our core values at certain times in our life.
The smallness I speak of is not congruent with self-deprecation. It is the letting go in order to have more, valuing the power of silence, learning from others, learning from our own misgivings and trusting in the will of the world. It doesn’t mean that you are lazy and devoid of work ethic, only that the centre of your focus is on the smaller, yet beautiful things in our life and the inherent smallness of yourself as a human on earth.
We can think of it in terms of looking out to sea, or staring at a sky full of stars. People can find both of these situations overwhelming because of how small they can make us feel. We realise how tiny we are in the context of infinite time and space. We can use this mystery either to cling to what is real, and control, with anxiety, what little we have. The other side is to breathe relief at our smallness and lean into the discomfort of its realisation. Thank god that I am a tiny part of so much because I can’t deal with maintaining myself as anything bigger! There is so much abundance, so much mystery, that my lostness or fear is actually a reverence to the wonder. It is a wonderful and life giving thing to feel abrasively small because it gives us the world. It gives us the truth of our life as something so small, but from that, something with so much abundance in embracing this smallness.
I live in the smallness of myself. I watch the pain and suffering I endure and understand that things can be unbearable on this earth. Not because of me, but because of how much I have to accept and learn. If I pressure myself into to proving my value, exercising my power and trampling on others to get to the top, it is a futile search. We are humbled when we push too hard, because disorder, addiction, reliance and attachment problems all stem from the clinging.
What am I? I don’t feel big enough, successful enough, strong enough, healthy enough, worthy enough. Compared to what? Compared to the emptiness of forcing and clinging. Compared to the truth of my smallness, I am so much and have been given so much. This is how joy and abundance thrive, in this faith of letting go and allowing healing to begin.