Monday, December 17, 2012

The Little Things

Sometimes, in the midst of great sadness, or crisis we feel totally useless. As if we have nothing to offer. This is true at times like now when we are all mourning a great tragedy. It is also true at times when the only sadness or tragedy is personal. One of the things I struggle with when I am dealing with my depression is the feeling that I am not helping anyone else. Helping, teaching, sharing my stories with others is one of the things I know I am supposed to do with my life.

When my life struggles get in the way of that, it compounds the issues for me. There are very few things in life that I use the word hate for, but one of the things I do use it for is this. I HATE feeling useless. I HATE feeling that I am not encouraging and supporting others in my life as I should.

But this is simply not true. This is one of those things that I need to remember to take my own advice. I need to remember when I start feeling unneeded and useless to ask myself the same questions I have counseled others to ask.To ask yourself if the things you are saying to yourself are the truth, or if they are just negative untruths you have learned over the years. Most likely they are untruths, because the truth is each one of us is a beautiful, worthwhile individual, deserving of the very best thoughts. So the next time you here yourself say something untrue about yourself, STOP, and replace it with a true statement. How will I know it is untrue, you ask? Here is the best test, would you say it to me, or any one of your friends? If not, then it is untrue, replace with something true!!

So, in a conversation this morning I said to a friend that I feel guilty for the times when I am mired in my depression and I am not helping someone else. She said to me, "You help us all by just being yourself, and though you might not feel strong, we know you are strong." Now, if you asked her she might think that statement was just a little thing, but to me it was huge.

After this conversation, I got dressed to go out and take care of some errands. It's been cloudy and dreary here for days, and of course, it's just a few days before the shortest day of the year, so sunshine has been at a premium. I am one of those people who NEEDS the sun. Dark and gloomy really gets to me. So, while getting ready this morning, I felt the need for some color. I pulled out a summer skirt and top that are splashed in bright blues, greens and orange shades. One of my favorite summer outfits-bright and filled with sunshine! This choice was a small, insignificant act on my part. I just felt the need for a bit of color in a sad dreary time. But, this small insignificant act in my life reminded me in the next 2 hours that small things, the little things, have great value.

In the 2 hours I spent running errands, at each of the 3 places I stopped, the first thing I heard were compliments on my outfit. The lady coming out of the convenience store as I was going in smiled at me.

"What a lovely skirt." she said.
"Thank you, I just felt the need for some color this morning"
"I'm so glad you did. Maybe we all do, thank you."

A perfect stranger thanked me for wearing a bright sunshiny skirt. Now I was smiling. My small, insignificant choice made her smile, and her compliment made me smile. I am not useless, she is not useless. We were both used to bring a bit of light to an otherwise gloomy day. Yes, it truly is the little things in life!!
 
In this life we cannot do great things.
We can only do small things with great love. ~Mother Teresa~

2 comments:

Celtic Muse said...

I agree with your friend. You are one of the strongest women I know. You have been through so much in your life and yet you continue to worry that you are not useful. You are a BLESSING to so many (myself included). You inspire me and I want to be like you "when I grow up". ;-)

Celtic Muse said...

yet you continue to worry that you are not useful...
I meant to say, "and yet you worry you are not useful".

ahh you get my point LOL Love you!

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