Years ago I suffered several tragedies within a short period of time. I can remember waking up each morning and thinking I couldn’t get through the day. The first tragedy occurred when my father involved me in his gruesome suicide.
Shortly after the loss of my father, my marriage began to unravel. Without going into the personal details of the disintegration of my marriage, I will say that just as divorce is extremely painful for most people, the loss of my husband, whom I loved deeply, felt too much to bear.
I sunk into a heavy depression and couldn’t imagine ever feeling whole again.
There were days when I wallowed in bed but for the most part I got up each morning and went through the motions of my life. One day, when I was feeling particularly hopeless, a dear friend said, ‘Ronda, you don’t have to feel better today. You don’t have to solve all of the problems in your life right now. Poco a Poco—do the best you can, today’.
Poco a Poco literally means ‘gradual; little by little’.
I loved the idea of ‘Poco a Poco’ because it meant that I didn’t have to tackle the problems in my life at once. All I had to do was accomplish a few small things each day to move myself in the right direction. Poco a Poco became my daily mantra.
The astonishing lesson I learned was that life’s problems could be conquered one tiny movement at a time.
If you took drugs yesterday and you take less today, you’ve made an improvement. If you want to lose weight, you don’t have to join a gym and eat nothing but broiled chicken and vegetables. You can simply cut one unhealthy thing out of your diet, and replace it with one small healthy thing. If you are buried in debt, you don’t have to pay off every bill this year. You can gradually shift your spending habits in the direction of financial security.
We’ve all heard the adage, ‘Rome wasn’t built in a day’, meaning that it takes time to build something great. While we pay lip service to this concept, it is an act of compassion toward ourselves to remember that this concept applies to the construction of our own lives.
No matter how hopeless your life may seem, no matter how much pain you might now be feeling, you can find your way out of the darkness. Just remember: Poco a Poco.