I know there are so many of you, right now, that are getting ready to walk into a holiday season where life is messy. Where you are sitting at your table wondering how this became your story. Where you are counting pennies or worrying about health. Where you feel alone.
And I want you to know how much I see you, how much I value you. And I know, honestly, my friend, how hard that space can be. I know the tears behind the eyes. And that’s why I’m writing. Not with cliche answers, not with words of “buck up and be strong”, but with words of a friend, of a soul who has walked those steps.
Of one who has been in that space, has walked through, and because I made it through feels an intense passion to be the one who stops, who remembers, who is the voice that says, “I see you.”
I see you.
One of my most favorite songs ever is “Both Sides Now” by Joni Mitchell. I seriously can hardly get through it without feeling a dichotomy of feelings – of tears and sadness, joy and sorrow, but most of the time it gives me this pause, this perspective to be undeniably grateful for life no matter the circumstance.
Sometimes we think we know our stories, we know our path, and yet, life happens. And when life happens there we are, stuck spinning around and around trying to make sense of a life that doesn’t seem to fit the story. I felt that the year of my divorce, the year my son was diagnosed with Celiac Disease, the year there wasn’t a cent for the holidays.
We all have these stories that don’t make Hallmark’s line-up. We all have these places that aren’t in any book, any card, but are undeniably raw and real.
And we are faced with this choice, this breath, this moment where we have to decide, “do I pick up and breathe deeply and suck the joy out of the life, the rest of the story? Or do I become bitter, resentful and resigned to the circumstances?”
So, to you, instead of telling you to do this or that….all I’m telling you is to simply find the joy in the simple, the small. In the smiles that come, in the snow falling, in the breaks. In good news or the smell of coffee. In the little things.
It’s being willing to see differently.
You see, my favorite line of this song goes, “I’ve looked at clouds from both sides now, from up and down and still somehow it’s clouds illusions I recall ….I really don’t know clouds at all.”
I don’t think we ever get to really know life at all either.
Not in the way we think when we’re young.
I truly believe life unfolds, life changes, life unwraps as we live it. And there are the seasons of hard, the seasons of good, the seasons of lack, the seasons of wonder….and our job, our mission is to not make it perfect.
It’s to love. Just live in love.
That’s all, my friend.
Just love. Don’t be perfect, don’t fix it all in a moment. Don’t worry about not having answers.
“Well something’s lost, but something’s gained…In living every day.”
Just love. Just live love.
And thank you, Joni, for inspiring me to dream, to love, to let go.