"little" gains




Can you name one of life’s “little” gains that occurred this month? Do you tend to mainly see the big changes or large gains in your life?

If you are in therapy or a support group, do you focus on not achieving the big goals in your life? Are you frustrated that you did not land your dream job or meet your perfect mate?

Life’s “little” gains may be easily overlooked. It is human to look forward to reaching that next goal of importance in your life.

The road to reaching your dreams may contain a multitude of “little” gains that we blow off as not being important enough. I, as a life coach, challenge you to be aware of your life’s “little” gains!

“Do the difficult things while they are easy and do the great things while they are small. A journey of a thousand miles must begin with a single step.”

– Lao Tzu

Maybe you work with a coworker who you dislike or she/he dislikes you. You find common ground one day and the work environment improves for both of you. I would label that as a “little” gain for both of you. Smile. Be content for a few moments! Are you already dwelling on the next problem or promotion? Did you discount one of life’s “little” gains?

Were you homeless not so long ago? Presently you have a job that is not ideal. The job provides you with enough financial resources to live. Of course, you long for more. One day, you are sitting in a coffee shop that you used to sit when you were unemployed. You only would go there between 2:00 – 3:30 p.m. because that is when coffee and lattes were half-price. Now buying a latte is easy enough money-wise. Yet, look at that “little” gain. Savor it.

Life’s “little” gains may be material in nature with huge emotional significance. When I quickly left Germany to return to America to protect my daughter, Megan, I left behind almost all of my household goods, material possessions, and a car. Megan’s freedom from abuse was of utmost importance. I do not regret the decision to leave quickly.

One of the items that both Megan and I treasured was a picture of the Blessed Mother Mary holding baby Jesus that we bought together in Altotting, Germany. The colors in the picture are beautiful. During my moves from place to place, I thought I had left the picture with someone. As I was finally settled, I was able to retrieve boxes of paperwork and a few material possessions. Nowhere was that picture to be found. My heart was heavy. The last box I received contained the picture! Such a small gain! Yet the deep significance the picture holds for both Megan and me brought many tears to the surface when I saw the picture again. The tears were of deep joy and of hope. Life’s “little” gains!

I have noticed that especially as survivors of trauma heal, each of them tends to look outside of themselves in positive ways. Many survivors (of grief, loss, abuse, war, and trauma) can relate to others with an extreme amount of compassion. We remember how friends, family and strangers supported us along our paths.

Often I recall how someone’s kind words, a gentle touch, or a loving hug helped to keep me going. This memory makes it easier for me to react to others in need in a similar fashion. I know how much a smile or a hug means. When you are raised in an abusive home-of-origin or spent time in a domestic violence household, it can be difficult to learn how to be compassionate to others or to move from paralysis and act with kindness and love.

Receiving acts of kindnesses on the road to freedom helps us to pass the genuine love and compassion forward to both those we know and to those we do not know. Whether giving a glass of iced cold water on a hot day to a homeless person in a wheelchair in the back of the building where you work, or taking an acquaintance or friend to lunch as a treat, or asking someone if they need a hug in a moment of need … all little things to many of us … this willingness to give out of compassion and love is one of life’s “little” gains.

Even when I was still coping with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), suicidal brainwashing issues, and fighting to put my life back together alone, I wanted to support others in any small way I could. Serving food to the working poor and homeless once a month gave me a sense of worth.  I could give something even though I still needed so much. Serving food was one of life’s “little” gains as was volunteering in a local food bank.

I do not think I recognized these opportunities as such. I did know though that giving of my time and effort alleviated some of the guilt I felt for needing life’s basic necessities and receiving help (both financially, emotionally, and spiritually) from others.

Please take a moment today. Be in a quiet space. Breathe. Calm yourself inside. Let yourself smile.

What life’s “little” gains have you failed to acknowledge? Are you aware of little gains, but you are unable to accept their importance? Did you read my blog on fun (https://roadtofreedomandpeace.com/fun-adults-need/) and realize you experienced an activity that brought you joy? That is definitely one of life’s “little” gains!

In my post, Life’s “Little” Losses, I included recommendations. (See: https://roadtofreedomandpeace.com/lifes-little-losses/). Today, as a life coach, I recommend that once you find a quiet space and a calm mind that you:

  1. Acknowledge the “little” gains. Become aware of them.
  2. Breathe.
  3. Accept the gain for what it is – a little gain – forward movement in your life.
  4. Experience gratitude! There are always bigger goals and dreams to be reached. Enjoy the road to those larger goals.
  5. Know you are capable of supporting other human beings reaching “little” gains. Maybe you can shed light on someone’s small positive movement forward that that person does not even recognize.

We, as humans, are in this life together. Unity is very important. Let us share in each other’s happiness and sadness, losses and gains, big or little.

I am here as a life coach to add light to your life. You may know what your goals and dreams are. I can support you on your road. If you are unsure of your dreams or your life purpose, I would be honored to travel the road of discovery with you. Life is exciting!

Discoveries, peace & joy are waiting for you daily.

Feel free to connect with me.

Find one of the “little gains” this week!