Small Things Make The Difference


I remember when I was in commercial art school (now graphics) in the mid ’60’s, I realized it is  often a small thing that makes a huge difference.  This was when they did mechanicals on illustration board, pen and ink and acetate overlays for the offset printer.  If you were working on a brochure, you made a rough comp or mock up for the client to give them an idea how it would look.  For text we used a chisel pencil with short and long lines to depict words – I suddenly realized why the instructor’s text mock up looked so much better.  He used just a regular pencil line but put dots between lines, that small change made such a difference.

I have noticed this  situation in so many areas of my life.  It isn’t a big complicated thing or process that takes something from ordinary to amazing, it is a small adjustment.  Sometimes it is something simple, though not always easy.  One I am working on right now is not to take things personally with my Mom as she deals with macular degeneration and dementia.  At first it really hurt that she didn’t know who I was at times, now I am doing a lot better with it becauseI am not taking it so personally.  It still stings but I am learning it is not about me.  So many things in life I thought were all about me really aren’t.  It has taken me 64 years to come to this point – imagine how things would have been had I known this many, many years ago.  Which brings up something else, I wasn’t ready to hear it before.

I watched Oprah on her Year 25 show when she had Iyanla Van Zant on after quite a few years of a disagreement.  What I found amazing was that she told Oprah that when a show was offered to her, she wasn’t ready to receive it.  There were all kinds of things happening at the time and there were hard feelings on both sides.  With Iyanla finding understanding that, they both were able to come together as good friends.  Sometimes at certain points, we aren’t ready for something and now I realize I don’t have to beat myself up when something doesn’t happen when and the way I want.

In Oprah’s Master Class, she talked about “The Color Purple” and how intensely she wanted to be in the movie.  When it seemed it wasn’t going to happen, she had to let it go and accept they weren’t going to choose her for the part of Sophia.  It certainly was’t easy for her, but what I found so valuable was her definition of acceptance.  I have been trying to understand it for years and looked in dictionaries, encyclopedias – everything I could think to check.  None were really satisfactory until I heard Oprah say “Acceptance is having no emotion attached to it” ( paraphrased).  She helped me to understand that letting go really means letting go of the emotional attachment to it.  I am now much more willing to ask God for something, that this would be really cool.  Now I can say what I want and then tell God “This or something better, whatever works for my highest good.”  I don’t always know what’s in the works and by being very specific, I limit myself.  It is as if I am on the street level of the Columbia Tower and God is there on the top floor with that magnificent 360 degree view of things – who has a better knowledge of what is happening all around?  Certainly isn’t me!

One of the things I have learned lately from my massage therapist is how much I have stuffed my feelings all my life – it’s all in my body and definitely not benefiting me.  I am learning to speak my truth – exactly what I am feeling without worrying about other people – when I am by myself.  Saying it out loud – driving on the highway with the windows open is really great because I can yell and scream and no one notices.  Then to feel the feelings – something I don’t like to do because it hurts and I don’t want to feel the pain.  I had a picture in my mind a while back of a figure filled with black, then as I felt the feeling and then let them go, I could see the black draining away through my feet into Mother Earth.  There was a bright iridescent light coming down from above and into the top of my head, filling all the spaces left when the black crap left.  Made a big difference!

Youtube has been quite a revelation.  I found sound healing videos – especially Amethyst Singing Bowl, it helped me sleep when my legs hurt at night.  I can now play the songs I love from different artists and recently I have found the complete operas for Turandot and La Boheme.  To me, Puccini wrote music so beautiful it hurts.  Plus I can play the Al Bowlly with Ray Noble Orchestra for my Mom as well as Bing Crosby – two of her favorites.  I enjoy the music and I am glad I can do something to give her enjoyment.

It doesn’t always take money and a complicated procedure to make a difference.  Sometimes simple works so much better.

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