Growing up my Dad always asked me, “So, how are all the little things?”
Now that I’m older I realize the little things are all that really matter- at least when it comes to what’s directing your ship day in and day out.
Often it isn’t “big” things that are causing us such stress and overwhelm- it’s all the small irritations that are triggering us all day long. We brush them away as little stones, dismissing them as insignificant, without realizing how powerful a rock slide of little stones can be on our well being.
We chide ourselves that if we were really grateful for all the good in our lives, we wouldn’t be bothered by such small things. And that’s where things start to go downhill so fast. We don’t allow paradoxes to exist in our world. We can’t find motherhood both really hard and really amazing at the same time- and the truth is, it is really hard and really amazing- one doesn’t lessen or increase the other, they just both co-exist.
I remember feeling a huge sense of shame around the fact that so much of my stress came from feeling bored to tears mothering young children all day long. I was sure if I ever admitted it I’d be met with a backlash of judgement on how ungrateful I was that I even had the opportunity to be home with my kids and reminded that I chose this road.
It kept me from getting honest and acknowledging this “little trigger” for a long time.
And you know who loses in this scenario?
The boredom kept triggering my stress response, I kept feeling more and more overwhelmed (whether I acknowledged it or not) and I kept showing up as a depleted and disconnected mom. It wasn’t until I admitted to myself and others how I honestly felt- messy paradox and all- that I could begin to create solutions around it in my life.
Here’s the thing-whatever the little triggers are for you, whether you acknowledge them or not, they have their little fingers on your stress buttons.
For most of us, things are amazing and things are crazy and things are hard all at once. Often we’re ping ponging between worlds like a split personality. Split because we don’t integrate. Split because we can’t accept that two seemingly opposite experiences can both be equally true- often at the exact same time.
You may not be able to take away the little trigger, but you can better deactivate it’s power by acknowledging it.
Do you know how to keep little things little?
By acknowledging them. Little things can masquerade as big things when they lurk in the shadows. Shine a light on them and they become little again- they may not disappear all together, but you get to see them for what they are and then you can make a much more effective plan for dealing with them in ways that keep you and your well being intact.
I’ve amassed quite a list of my own “little triggers” now that I’ve come to learn to look at them squarely in the eyes. I think getting them out in the open is a crucial first step.
What about you? What little things in your life seem to find their fingers on your stress buttons day in and day out?
Let’s take the first step together today and simply name them. Without judgement. Without shame. Without feeling like we need to justify how much we love our lives just because we also have things that drive us crazy in our lives too.
I’d love to hear from you…let me know in the comments what’s coming up for you as you think about little triggers in your life.
Here’s to bright lights in dark places,
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