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Reality Checking

"Courage, love. You are a warrior. You say you are broken, but I see the fight in your eyes. Lean on your backbone. Wipe the fear from your face. Stand up, my love, and recognize your strength."

-Liv Armelle

It's been a rough couple of weeks. Heightened emotions, the sharp edges of raw anxiety have been chipping away at us all.

We are rocked to our core.

It can quickly lead us straight into the ditch of catastrophizing.

Loss. Opiate overdoses, alcoholism, suicides; the devastatingly dark turn this human journey can take.

An influx of opinions, articles, and statistics…all can be informative and simultaneously terrifying. They can create a kind of collective panic attack. Throw on images and stories of families being torn apart in our own backyard. We can easily be left breathless, angry and overwhelmed. We can lose our anchor, our sense of serenity and balance. We can lose faith…our faith in something, anything, bigger than we are. We can lose our faith in the sheer strength of the human psyche. We can lose our faith in humanity. We can easily become immersed in a world of "what if’s" We can become paralyzed by our worst fears, throwing gas on the fires created by all our most brilliant ideas of right and wrong. We can become paranoid. We can become judgmental. We can forget who you are. We can forget who we are.

So I thought it might be an important moment for a reality check, because reality, and perspective, matters. I thought it might be helpful if you were reminded about who you are, about who we are. I thought it might be of some use to remind us all of some sacred truths…

  • Life is, at times, hard, like really, truly, brutally, agonizingly hard…and it must be. It is through struggle, through darkness and disequilibrium, and through all the moments of “in through the nose, out through the mouth”, left foot, right foot breathing, that we evolve emotionally and spiritually. I know, I know….this so beyond sucks…and yet there it is. We gain strength, courage, empathy, character and so much more through struggle. It is a developmental necessity.

  • Love and humanity is bigger than rage and inhumanity. It just tends to make less noise and doesn’t make for riveting tv. It can take longer, but love always prevails. Always. There are far more loving, compassionate human beings out there than not…and they want to help. They desire to be part of the solution. While some engage in debates and finger pointing I believe most of us simply see hurting hearts and those hurting hearts call to us. Consider the responses, on both a national and global level, to the issues mentioned above. For every tragedy, for every loss, for every story of hopelessness and despair, for every gut-wrenching image, the outpouring of stories of healing, of recovery, of transformation and action….The resounding “how can I help? The sheer magnitude of love and compassion will take your breath away if you’re paying attention. Because sometimes we need to have examples of who we are not shoved in our face to remind us of who we are.

  • Finally….deep breath…The vast majority of those struggling with severe depression, mood disorders, anxiety, addictions and loss do eventually find healing and wholeness. They find their way through and to the other side, and their stories serve as a beacon to all those coming behind them. They illuminate the path to freedom. This in no way discounts the tremendous pain of those effected by the incredible losses due to mental illness, or the need for diligent engagement. But again, perspective matters, as fear can render us frozen in time and space robbing us of all that is right in front of us, of all we are capable of. It steals our present moment from us. It can also keep us firmly in denial. Awareness is critical. Stepping up and reaching out is everything. Empathy matters more than ever. Perspective and taking a collective deep breath also matters more than ever, because those who lose their battles are not the norm and believing they are serves no one, least of all you.

You are a warrior. I see your strength and courage. I know you believe you are broken. I see your pain. I see your torment and your frustration. I hear your anger. I see your fear. I sincerely do.

But please know this as well….

I see the fight in your eyes

Peace & Love Always

Xo, Beth

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