Feeling Small is Good for You

“To lovers of the wild, these mountains are not a hundred miles away. Their spiritual power and the goodness of the sky make them near, as a circle of friends…. You cannot feel yourself out of doors; plain, sky, and mountains ray beauty which you feel.”John Muir

  I had to stop when we got here. All of a sudden it hit me, I am such a small part of this massive planet, this massive universe.
I felt tiny.

And I think that is good.

Sometimes, actually probably way more than we experience it, we need to be able to feel small because nature, creation, makes us feel small. People making us feel small never puts us in the right place, but powerful mountains and trees, and the God who created them making us feel small? That we need.

It helps us to see that in the grand scheme of things, our problems aren’t so great, in fact, they are small, too. But we can’t see that until we are humbled. We can’t understand that until we recognize what a gift our tiny lives are.

“That is why we never give up. Though our bodies are dying, our spirits are being renewed every day. For our present troubles are small and won’t last very long. Yet they produce for us a glory that vastly outweighs them and will last forever!”

 2 Corinthians‬ ‭4‬:‭16-17‬ NLT

Moving Forward

Looking Back Moving Forward

  
Looking back is such an interesting thing.

And I find it even more interesting that our social media obsessed culture (ironic that I’m blogging about this) seems to be particularly exuberant about looking back these days. Whether it be the throwback Thursday, flashback Friday, TimeHope, etc.

Have you noticed, or maybe its just me, that we only seem look back at the positive things, and share those memories again?

I think that reinforcing positive memories is a good idea, I think that it helps us to find more joy in life, and I think that under most circumstances we would agree that it is psychologically healthy.

But, can I be honest with you?

I recently have been going through a bunch of old boxes; boxes that contain tons of memories, and also journals spanning many years – reading through them, was interesting to say the least. Sometimes when I wrote about feeling insignificant, it made me feel insignificant again; when I wrote about happiness, I felt happy; and at times when I wrote about heartbreak, I felt my heart break again.

However, more than anything else, the emotion that I felt was discomfort. I saw so much of who I used to be and what I didn’t like about that. Rather than my first reaction being to celebrate growth in my life, I found myself shocked by the realization of where I used to be.

Maybe because in that I could see how some of those old thought patterns existed today. How if I were to open up my journal right now, I would probably find some of the same ideas, just stated with a few more years of life experience and schooling.

So now I’m thinking about how I am grateful to recognize these things, I have become more aware of who I am. I don’t know whether or not I would have made these recognitions had I not gone through these old journals. But as far as the negative things, I am letting them go. There is no reason something that once made feel insignificant should be kept around to make me feel insignificant again.

I am proud of who I am today, and how much I’ve grown, and I’m not going to dwell on the past in a way that brings me down. There’s a time for processing, for remembering, and for reminiscing, but there is also a time to say:

“My eyes are open, my heart is beating, my lungs are full, and my body’s breathing;

I’m moving forward, I’ve found my freedom, I found a life that gave me reason to live.”

-Colony House

Bolas Chica Wetlands

  

A picture I snapped with my iPhone at the Bolsa Chica Wetlands this week.

I am grateful for nature preserves, but also saddened that we cannot respect these places enough to preserve them on our own without the government stepping in and declaring the habitat protected.

But I’m still grateful.

Tiger Swallowtail 

  

I haven’t ever studied butterflies or spent a significant enough time around them to really know whether or not they have different personalities and mannerisms, but when I encountered these butterflies in Shenandoah I was shocked by how unafraid they were.

I was able to pick one up and it just sat on my hand. Granted, it may have been dying, but compared to the constant movement of the Monarchs that I am used to seeing here, in Southern California, these were so uniquely calm and beautiful.

Nostalgia

  

They don’t call them the Blue Ridge Mountains for nothing….

I can’t believe it’s already been almost 2 years since I lived and worked in the beautiful Shenandoah National Park, but since I’m feeling nostalgic about it, I’m going to be sharing some pictures.

PS if you’re looking for an overview of Shenandoah National Park, check out my post here.

Before You Quote Martin Luther King Jr.

the unbearable lightness of huckabeing

In times of racial unrest, quoting Martin Luther King Jr. becomes a national past time, and every person with a social media account becomes a fine scholar of his most obscure quotes. The same people who defended Selma‘s exclusion from the Academy Awards in February now scatter his pearls of wisdom like debate kill shots.

Often, his quotes are used like a switch to chastise the timbre the march for equality he once championed has taken on. When cars are set aflame in Baltimore or windows broken in Ferguson, these sudden aficionados of Dr. King’s works will tut-tut the protestors with anguished cries of “This is not what Dr. King would have wanted!” and exasperated sighs that he is most surely “rolling in his grave” 

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A heavy day

  

“Heaviness is only temporary, the daylight will soon break in. The sunlight can change a heart in the wake of a bitter end.” 

-NEEDTOBREATHE

In all honesty, today has been rough.

It’s been heavy.

And I can’t see all the positive.

I trust that the daylight will break in and that the light shines in the darkness and the darkness hasn’t overcome it, but today is just really hard.