When Feeling Insignificant Isn’t So Bad
I recently had a moment of feeling small and insignificant, and simultaneously alive and powerful. It was a moment I hope everyone gets to experience in their lives.
I was in Oregon with my husband, sister and brother-in-law, hiking at Silver Falls State Park. It was a chilly day that promised nothing but gray skies and intermittent showers. What I didn’t realize until later was the promise to be moved in immeasurable ways.
When we first started the hike, I was cautiously optimistic. As much as I tell myself that I like to be out in nature, I really hate being cold and wet. Still, I knew this could be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, so I zipped my jacket and picked up the pace to stay warm. We walked for about 15 minutes before I heard the first rush of a waterfall. When I was finally close enough to peer over a rock wall and see the falls, my heart leapt with excitement. The 100+ foot waterfall was breathtaking. I could see people on a trail below. They looked like ants as they followed the trail behind the gushing water.
Standing at the foot of this waterfall and all the others, I was hit with a kind of awe that is hard to put into words. I felt like laughing, crying, curling into a ball on the ground, and jumping for joy all at once. I never wanted to leave that park and I also knew that my energy had been renewed so that I could go forward to do the work I was meant to do.
Like many people, I’ve spent most of my life striving to make an impact and to live a purposeful life, yet there is something powerful in realizing just how small I am in the grand scheme of things. I can let go of some of the pressure I put on myself and have faith that I am playing an important part. I keep replaying that experience in my mind because it brings me energy and fills me with joy. Maybe the picture below doesn’t capture how I was moved that day, but it is one way I can share a piece of the experience.