This weekend, I had a moment to stand with a man with whom I have previously had a contentious relationship. The last time we spoke, he had been rude to myself and to others, snide in his comments and outlook. All of this is to say that running into him again wasn't my choice or in the plans.
However, when it unexpectedly happened, something changed. He is fresh off having a surgery on his stomach and is obviously weak and in pain. He is trying to stay optimistic, but his eyes betray something else. As I stood there, seeing this weak, disheveled man in front of me, I remembered my own surgeries, my own struggles with staples in the skin, and waking up in the middle of the night in pain, praying for the willpower to get to your feet and into the bathroom.
At that moment, everything changed. Instead, we fell into conversation. I focused on encouraging him and letting him know that he wasn't alone. That he had people behind him rooting for his recovery. A bit later, after the air had grown light with humor, he mentioned that he had been divorced to his wife of 27 years.
He said "There are these little things that I miss that I never thought I would. She used to come in the bedroom in the morning brushing her teeth and it used to make me mad. Why couldn't she just stay in the bathroom instead of waking me up... But now, no matter when I wake up, I miss it."
And that struck me deeply. It isn't just the little things like that in our relationships with our partners, children, friends, siblings, and parents; although it is especially prevalent there. But it also can resonate in the rest of our lives. The truth, at least how I see it, is that within the little moments lies the sweetness. In those little moments, the big things reveal themselves.
Sometimes, it's just a glance. Just a moment that causes you to fall in love. Maybe one movement of her eyebrow reminds you of how much you care for her. It could go on and on. There are more versions of it than there are people.
This conversation reminded me of what I try to practice everyday. It's attention to the details of sweetness, of love. By noticing all of the beautiful things, by never forgetting to say things like "I love you" or "I appreciate you", it comes more and more into my life everyday.
While I can't assume to prescribe something for all of mankind based on my own singular experience, I would at least ask you to consider attempting what I'm talking about. Try it out. It absolutely can, in my experience, change your life.