If you’ve ever seen two ant colonies waging a turf war, or a spider valiantly combating a wasp, you’ll know that size is utterly relative. Those little beings, tiny by our standards, fight as valiantly as we would to protect their lives and livelihoods. On the other end of the spectrum, the massive redwoods stand like giants, and blue whales patrol the seas, oblivious to the goings on of humans.
And here we are, stuck in the middle. Both big and little at the same time.
But it’s not our physical size that I’m interested in, but rather the variation in our psychological, emotional, and spiritual states, and the oscillation between feeling totally self-important and completely inconsequential.
There is no doubt that as we grow and lean into ourselves, we see the enormous capacity of the human condition – the limitless power of love, compassion, and altruism. The scale of our ability to think and feel, the scope of our ingenuity and adaptability. On some days we feel the bright and sometimes incandescent glow of potential, of great power and belief, the feeling that we can conquer everything.
On dark days, there is a shrinking, an impotence and an introversion. Feelings of inadequacy and unimportance affect all of us at some time or other, and on those days it may be hard to get out of bed, let alone get on with our day, perform at work, or feel worthy of love.
Same person, big and little days.
At some stage we need to start reconciling an enormous conundrum – to ourselves, we are the most important thing in the universe, the source of sense and self. And at the same time, we are in a finite body, spinning around a dying star at a speed of over 100,000km/hr, in an expanding universe that is hurtling towards its own oblivion.
We need to embrace our bigness and our littleness if we are to come to some sense of balance, some semblance of equanimity in our lives. It’s part of the work of a human being.
Big and little at the same time.
Please get in touch if this article resonates for you in light of your own situation. Photo by Ray Hennessy on Unsplash.