Hello again! Welcome to Part 2 of “It’s All About the Little Things”. I am so glad you’re here. I’ve subtitled today’s conversation “What is this I’m Feeling” because I want to talk about the physical and psychological symptoms which might alert us that it is time to address our little things.
A little thing, by itself, does not pose much of a problem. A single grain of sand can easily be brushed away. But a sandbag is difficult to carry. Our little grievances are the same way. The key is processing them before they pile up.
And Heaven forbid we decide not to deal with a big thing (or several) and simply stuff it away with our little things. It won’t take long for that pile to grow into something unmanageable. If we don’t process things, we give them power over us and none of us want that!
How do we know when we have stuffed away too many pesky little things?
God has given us a built-in alarm system to let us know when we’ve ignored our little things for too long. These physical and psychological symptoms motivate us to take necessary steps toward relief. They may feel uncomfortable, but they are designed for our good.
You and I may have different indicators which alert us that our pile of little things has gotten too heavy and needs to be addressed. Can you identify what some of yours might be? I have three big ones.
1. Difficulty breathing
This is different than a feeling of anxiety or breathlessness. This feels like my chest is too heavy to expand. It makes me pause too long after I exhale. I just stop breathing until I have to gasp for air. Have any of you experienced something similar?
2. Trouble focusing
This happens when many of the little things in my pile have a common theme. I have trouble separating one from another. Before too long, I catch myself staring into space, not able to focus on any of it. My brain freezes like a computer with too much to compute.
3. Negativity spill
Clean up on aisle 11! I caught myself spilling my negativity recently. I was speaking to someone on the phone and she mentioned something related to one of my little things. I found myself getting sucked into my pile and allowing the negativity there to dictate my response.
You know the feeling, right? The tiniest thing happens and you react way out of proportion. Why? Because that tiny thing was just one in a giant pile of little things and your reaction was influenced by the heaviness of it all.
Nobody else can see our piles. They don’t know the weight of what we’re feeling. Maybe we don’t even understand the gravity of it. But when we begin to see the fallout, we know we have a problem. Prayerfully we can be more mindful of what others are carrying as well.
My friend, do you have symptoms similar to mine? What are your tell-tale signs when your little things have built up and backed you into a corner? Do you know how to recognize it in those close to you?
Imagine if we could respond with grace and support when we see signs that others are feeling buried by their little things. What could be different in our lives if we learned to exercise power over our own little things before they gained power over us? If we know what it is we’re feeling, we will be able to stop and handle our little things before they grow any heavier.
How amazing is it that Jesus knows and cares what it is we’re feeling? Not only that, but He understands exactly what big and little things we’ve stuffed away and why. He has given us a blanket offer of assistance. He sees our symptoms and wants to give us relief.
“Come to me, all of you who are tired and have heavy loads, and I will give you rest. Accept my teachings and learn from me, because I am gentle and humble in spirit, and you will find rest for your lives. The burden that I ask you to accept is easy; the load I give you to carry is light.”Matthew 11:28-30 (NLT)
But what does that look like? Logistically, how do we dig up these things and let go? We have feelings, experiences and memories tied to our little things and some are more complicated than others.
Please join me here on the Back Porch this Friday for more conversation. I want to discuss some ideas for getting rid of of our little things for good! But for now, tell me what physical or psychological symptoms you feel when your little things get out of hand. Do you share any of the examples I’ve listed?