For me, the choice is made every day, more than once a day. Big Life, Small Life.
What is a small life, for me?
To be fearful. To be cruel. To argue my life. To worry. To be angry. To be resentful. To be selfish, and lack compassion. To judge. To tell struggle stories, or pity-me-tales. To stew over little things. To hurt people, or diminish or dismiss them. To be irritable. To live without love, or to take it for granted. To forget that it towers above all things in importance. To believe money brings security. To ignore the creative spark. To be envious. To discourage. To live apart from the natural world, apart from animals.
What is a big life, for me?
To be strong. To cherish love every day, and give thanks for it. To never argue my life or my beliefs. To listen. To see that worry is not love. To be aware of my anger, and not act in it or upon it. To forgive and bless the resentments in my life. To be self-less, and remember always that I suffer no loss that others have not suffered. To respect the ideas and aspirations of others, even if they are not mine. To tell the good and beautiful stories of my life, and there are many. To make more. To encourage people, and support them. To honor the creative spark, every day. To seek out the beauty and light and color in the world in words and images and share them freely. To drink in the natural world, and feed it nourish and water my soul. And to tell my wife every single day how good and gifted and strong she is. Every day.
Here is how the Big and Small life works.
Gail posts a message on Facebook yesterday afternoon saying: “What rubbish you are writing. This spiritual stuff. I will not read your blog anymore.” I don’t get to see all of these messages, but I look when I can. I do not, of course, reply, as what is there to say?
Then soon after, there is a message Maya, walking by the house in Cartagena, Columbia, where Gabriel Garcia Marquez was born, and she remembers that I love his books, and thinks to send me me photos of this colorful house in the middle of a howling gray upstate storm, and somehow knows that yesterday, I was feeling restless about the move to another house, and so she sends me the photos of Marquez’s hometown, news of his life in Mexico, and this message:
“I know that a buyer for your farm will be stepping up shortly so you can buy the new one. There is a saying in Spanish, “Lo que es para ti, te ilega.” What is for you, will arrive. Have a great day.” Maya is thinking of getting a donkey one day and I have just invited her to the farm to meet Simon and Lulu and Fanny. That will make it happen, as it always does, as they are powerful ambassadors for donkeys.
And so there it is, messages from the Small Life, and the Big Life. When my life was smaller, I did not get messages like Maya’s, or read them. As my life gets larger, so do the messages I receive.
What kind of message do you want to hear? What kind do you want to send?