Little actions of hope | Daybreak Note #192 | Jan. 27, 2020

When the way out of difficulties isn't clear, tiny steps create momentum.

Overlooking the Hudson River, shrouded in fog, one wintry morning not so long ago.

Good morning, dear!

How are you feeling today? I’ve been away (you might have noticed?) in a tunnel of illness and healing and mapping the unmarked path in between. I’ve missed you and this note. I hope you are well, in whatever space and place you are dwelling in today.

Here’s a truth I keep rediscovering about sickness. Sometimes, the cause and the cure are clear. But so much of the time, the cause and the cure are not clear at all. Life presents tangled mysteries, with the answer hidden somewhere — and you have to believe there is an answer, or answers.

Mysteries aren’t fun when it comes to your health.

Hope and action become two essential ingredients in the solution. Action not necessarily as exercise or physical therapy, but as in your own decisions that move toward a different future. Such actions don’t have to be huge, life-changing decisions.

Think little actions.

An action could be making an appointment with a new specialist, or trying acupuncture or massage therapy, or talking with someone who has had a similar ailment, or changing your diet. An action could be as basic as reading about your ailment in some well-sourced, well-edited book (rather than Googling symptoms and gasping in scary, unfounded depths).

Not knowing what to do when you are sick, and thus, feeling as if you are unable to act, is a horrible and hopeless place to be.

Actions signal to yourself — which is more important than signaling to anyone else — that you believe there is hope. That doing something different can lead to a different outcome. That there exist possible steps, and a path to find.

The littlest actions help.

Even if taking a specific new medication or talking to someone new doesn’t resolve the original ailment, it still propels the mental wheels of action. It gets you going.

You are now in motion, nudging new information into the light.

Little actions create momentum.

By acting, you will learn something — which, by definition, is something you don’t know now. By not acting, by lingering in the familiar place, as troubled as it may be, you are also deciding not to learn anything new.

Little actions are little catalysts. And not just in illness, but in life.

With love,

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