When we are little, our world seems immense. Gradually it expands to include those immediately around us. Our world at this point seems complete and big enough. Some of my first memories of my world include the house my family lived in addition to my room and the rest of the house, I remember our yards where I played. I experienced one of the first traumas in my world in that yard. One day a dog in the neighborhood snapped at me. That triggered a fear of dogs that’s lasted into my adult years. I did not want to pass that fear on to our children.
My world soon grew to include my grandparents’ house. It was near-by, and we were there very often. One of my world-expanding memories came when my parents brought my sister thereafter they left the hospital with her.
My world continued to grow as I met and interacted with other kids in the neighborhood. My memories of this expanding phase of my world tell me it was a positive time, and my expanding world seemed big enough to encompass my growth. Our landlords in that house lived next door to us. I remember hearing that the husband died, and they decided to sell our house.
I watched my world expand as my parents decided to buy a house that was yet to be built. We visited the “lot” and came back frequently to watch the house come to life before our eyes. I recall a morning in that house that made my world suddenly seem small. I came downstairs and saw my parents and my grandfather sitting in the living room. As I started looking for my grandmother, my father took me into another room and said, “Your grandmother died today.” My first encounter with death suddenly made my world seem very small.
Sometimes things happen in our world that limits its growth in certain ways. I grew up near Lake Erie. I was not given the opportunity to learn to swim. I finally learned many years later, but my world is smaller because I am not as skilled as a swimmer. There are many things in our lives that either make our Le larger or smaller.
Recently my wife and I had an experience that made our world larger. We visited our fiftieth state. Both internal and external things can have an impact on our lives, making our world larger in a physical and emotional realm. I know there are people who have never traveled out of their town, their state, or their country. I also know people who have traveled to countries I may not even know the names of.
As we move forward, we can be aware of many things that can impact the size of our world. It can be difficult to deal with some of the things that make us aware of how small our world can seem at a particular time of crisis. We can be aware of feelings like helplessness or hopelessness. These moments can test us as we move through them. These crises do pass. Our world will adjust to fit its new size after the crisis has passed.
As we move forward, we can also be aware of the effect crises can have on others and the size of their world, both before and after a crisis. Perhaps these awarenesses on our part can help us and adjust to the changing size of worlds, ours, and others. How big is your world right now, and how did it get to be this size?If you would like to receive new As We Move Forward posts, please subscribe to the As We Move Forward mailing list by clicking here. I release entries on a bi-weekly basis.
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