Why Do the Littlest Things Hurt the Most?

Dara LevanBlogLeave a Comment

My children inspire me. As I often say, they are the most intuitive, impactful teachers in my life. What truly blows my mind? They do not even realize it. But I sure do, and I listen with my whole heart and soul when they speak.

Zoe buckled her seatbelt, and I started the car. She chattered animatedly about her day. Then Zoe’s tone shifted from her typical bubbly affect to pensive.

“Mommy, why do the littlest things hurt the most?” she asked.

Her insightful inquiry hit me like an unexpected summer shower. I have pondered Zoe’s question for months. And I am grateful I did. I told her that she has again prompted me to delve deeper and search below the surface. It’s been more than a year since Zoe asked that thought-provoking question.

I am also thankful that I waited to write about it. Each month has felt more like a year in both tough and triumphant ways. So how I may have addressed her then has expanded now.

Why DO the littlest things hurt the most? A paper cut hurts more than a gash. A finger prick stings yet having blood drawn barely hurts. A bee sting sears your skin but falling off a chairlift only hurts your pride.

Societal expectations as well as earlier life experiences taught me that the bigger the disappointment, the greater the pain. However, after Zoe asked this question, I realized it’s not about the size or the depth of the wound. Minuscule moments can cause major hurt.

And what about all the hurt we cannot see? When someone I consider a true friend does not show up, it hurts my heart. I also abhor insincere souls. They choose which version of themselves to reveal and when. It is painful to witness when only discerning people see what is hidden behind the mask. How about verbal abuse from a parent or spouse? A brief comment can last a lifetime. Or, you can choose to do the diligent, draining, but ultimately worthwhile work to reprogram and revise the old messages.

I have found these intangible, fleeting moments can be tough to grasp. I know this to be true. The pain lingers longer and may take years to heal. And that is where I have decided, especially in recent months, to redirect my energy toward the little things that feel the best rather than hurt the most!

Have you ever received a compliment from a complete stranger? Perhaps someone spontaneously said, “Hey there! I love your shoes!” or a offered a more meaningful comment such as, “You have such positive energy.” Just like there are intangible moments that can leave a burn on your psyche, there are also tiny gestures that feel like a heartfelt balm.

I deeply value and appreciate when someone is emotionally present. Listening and loving unconditionally means everything to me. In our whirlwind world, it is challenging to stop and be fully engaged in the moment we are in. It is not an easy feat! But all we have is now.

On the way home from school today, I told Zoe again how much her question made me think about life. I smiled and held her strong, warm hand. I said, “Today’s blog wrote itself. You gave me a springboard from which to leap when you asked such a powerful question. Thank you from my heart. You really made me think! Yes, the littlest things DO hurt the most. But when we look back on our lives, often the smallest moments hold the most meaning. I am grateful for the happy ones.”

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