How to Celebrate the Small Wins
When you acknowledge the weight you’re carrying, every step feels important
In the past year, many of us have had to alter, expand, or completely re-conceptualize the definition of progress to make room for the daily tasks that, one or two years ago, wouldn’t have appeared remotely noteworthy. You watered all of your plants? Congratulations. You finished reading that book you bought in 2016? Huge.
Planning to run a marathon or even organizing a jam-packed social weekend might have once seemed easily in your grasp, but changing realities require adjustments to our capacities. After a long day of working, Zooming, tending to yourself and your loved ones, it might take all of your energy and focus to just take the trash out before going to sleep and starting the day over again.
On top of mounting personal obligations and goals, there are a plethora of social issues that, on any given day, feel utterly disempowering and hopeless. Despite the easing back of Covid restrictions, we’re still in a global pandemic, confronting escalating anti-Blackness and anti-Asian racism, continuing to witness police brutality in HD, and facing a crisis of human rights at the border.
With so much darkness and suffering in the world, it may seem futile to celebrate something as small as making dinner on a day you would normally order out or celebrating the fact that you responded to every email in your inbox. In the grand scheme of progress that needs to be made, sometimes these small wins feel more like small potatoes.
But in my quest toward healing and affirming my humanity, I’m learning to strengthen my ability to hold multiple truths at once. When I grant myself permission to sit with the heaviness of present times and its effect on my capacity, I create space to celebrate any small steps toward creating a collective future that feels less burdensome and more hopeful.
This delicate dialectic — according to the radical healing framework for people of color and Indigenous individuals created by Drs. French, Lewis, Mosley, Adames, Chavez-Dueñas, Chen, and Neville — highlights the value of sitting with the “acknowledgement and active resistance of oppression” while remaining open to the possibilities of a future fusing…