This past year, I cared for a friend with terminal brain cancer. During this sacred, heart-wrenching and beautiful time, I was reminded yet again of a simple, yet powerful and all too easily forgotten life lesson: while we chase the big stuff, it’s often the ‘small moments’ that matter most.

photo credit: Everton Vila – Unsplash

You know those seemingly insignificant moments we take for granted, that we don’t think much of, but later realize how precious they truly were?

EVERY moment provides this opportunity, but we tend to miss it in the chaos of life, the to-do lists, the responsibilities, and in “surviving” our days.

Caring for my friend gave me a front row seat – yet again, to the absolute preciousness of life, the importance of strong relationships, going after passion-inspired dreams, and the beauty of the ‘simple’ moments that make life meaningful.

The Forgotten Truth

The truth is that so much of what we worry about, doesn’t actually matter.

In the midst of it, it feels like it does. But really, most of those seemingly urgent to-do’s aren’t important.

This couldn’t be clearer than when hanging with an otherwise healthy friend facing his mortality, or sitting bedside with a loved one who is sick, or dying.

Truth vs. Distractions

Truth reveals that if it’s not essential to life; if it’s not sparking a fire in our souls, lifting our spirits, or helping us grow; if it’s not contributing to our becoming, it’s likely a distraction.

Distractions create a sense of busy-ness. Sometimes they’re necessary, when the pain of a situation is too much, but too often, they’re not. They may feel important at the time, and even help us feel productive, but ultimately they rob us of the joy, fulfillment and success we desire most.

This is because distractions create busy-ness, not meaning.

The distractions I’m referring to are the ones that build our to-do lists daily, and leave us feeling like we’re falling behind, no matter how much we do.

They’re the never-ending tasks that run us ragged, leaving us hitting our pillows exhausted and unsatisfied, despite countless actions.

They’re the unending false promises that say, “Once this is done, then you can relax”, that never let up.

With COVID changing things up this year, this is a beautiful opportunity to disrupt the typical busy-ness of the season, and focus on moments that matter.

Some reflections you may enjoy: 

What fuels my aliveness? What sparks a fire in my soul? What do I long for? What lifts my spirits? What is growing me? Who do I love? Who do I want to spend more time with? How am I contributing? What would be brave? Where can I slow down? What can I release?