Stepping Back

A grain of sand on a glossy black surface is significant. That same grain of sand at a beach is insignificant. Focus increases significance. A widened perspective decreases significance. Don’t simply turn away, step back. Go far enough away until the irritation is lost within the sea of everything.

If one thing goes wrong, if five things go wrong, what about the thousands that have gone right? If stubbornness does not permit such recognition, back up even further. Picture the tiny blue ball rolling through space, dwarfed by the giant fire it encircles. Upon that planet thousands of years of history came and went.

Or perhaps that history was imagined, created by artists to entertain inhabitants of a fantasy realm. Either way, the significance of each passing day lessens when considering history’s span or veracity. Is a particular life important or unimportant? Pick whichever option is most appealing.

That inner feeling of agitation underlying action is a result of hyper-focus on the unpleasant. That horrible thing is trapped in time, release it. See all that was before and all that will follow. See the larger stage it’s set within. See yourself, years from now thinking back, observing your thoughts and actions. See a face too close, if only it would pull away and see the entirety of the situation.

Now realize it’s not too late. That face is your own, today. Step back, and keep going. Specifics become so tiny that they’re lost in an ocean of fading memories. Yesterday is floating away. Tomorrow will soon be drifting too. But today is here, a little boat with brightly colored sail. With sun shining and a comfortable breeze, travel to where you want to go.


Perhaps challenge is not axiomatic to life, but merely a perspective. Either we can do something or we can’t — what’s the test? If we require practice or determination to overcome a perceived challenge, either we practice or we don’t, either we’re determined or we aren’t. And if outcomes are beyond our control, a more permanent obstruction could intervene at anytime. Perhaps challenge is merely another part of the everything life provides — in other words, if we look for challenge, we’ll find it.