anyone else get frustrated with the whole #storyofmylife that you just keep coming back to?
anyone else get sick and tired of the same old battles with the same old things?
anyone else get panicky as December rolls around and you think… what was the point this year?
anyone else feel like sometimes their life is just a never-ending cycle?
anyone else feel frustrated with themselves, frustrated with what feels like lack of progress?
anyone else ever just wish there was a way to start completely over, not have to be reminded that they keep stumbling over the same freaking pothole on the same freaking street on the same freaking roadtrip they’ve been on their whole lives?
yeah, I feel you. I get it. I know the struggle.
sometimes all my Christmas excitement is an easy escape from what feels like losing my mind over the terror that maybe I haven’t changed at all… maybe I’m unchangeable… maybe I’m stuck with this same slow stumbling that I’ve walked with all my life. maybe I’m not meant for anything but a cycle of “well, I tried, I guess.”
and every year I have to just step back and breathe for a minute and learn, yet again, to extend grace to myself and expand into the new territory that the learning so graciously gifts me.
so take the next few thoughts below, as small & shakily as they are written, and let them breathe life and acceptance and hope into your weary little soul. they are my offering to you.
because you are loved, you belong here, and you are reading this because this is where Divine Love has brought you to refresh your spirit. ❤ (do click on the little embedded links for tons more encouragement from my past blog posts of 2016. they are some most-loved of the untidy grace community, and such good reminders and reinforcers of each of the thoughts below.)
2016 wasn’t a waste because you are surviving. even if it’s shaky, even if you’re barely hanging on, even if you’re bedridden, sick as a dog, severely depressed, trapped in a secret battle, or mourning deep losses. you’re here because you’re a survivor. you’re alive because you’ve weathered some violent storms. you’re welcome here because you’re part of precious humanity.
2016 wasn’t a waste because slow & stumbling is still moving forward. as slowly as you need to go, as many times as you may fall, you are still falling forward. you are still moving in the right direction. you are still scaling mountains, even if it is only a centimeter at a time. you are a climber, no matter how often the mountain seems to crumble beneath your fingertips.
2016 wasn’t a waste because there are still people championing for peace. even if you are too exhausted and too battered to leap into the fight, there are the beautiful few who are still choosing to warrior on and not give up. don’t despair, dear heart. they will bear the weight until you can carry your cross again.
2016 wasn’t a waste because you are not your struggle. you are underneath there, gently growing and finding your way to the surface. you are underneath all the rubble of your mental illness, your deep despair, your endless grief journey, the mask of busyness you wear, your unbearable chronic pain, your gnawing feelings of inadequacy… you are underneath it and you are ever-so-softly expanding, breathing, gaining the courage to rise.
2016 wasn’t a waste because our tribe is still strong. this place is still safe. this space still holds belonging for us all. this community is still one of love and compassion and empathy. we are still holding strong against a harsh world. we are still here, and we are not leaving. I am still for you. He is still for you. we are still one. we are not disappearing. we, in this untidy grace family, are learning together through the fear. we’re only getting louder. bolder. braver. kinder. gentler. fiercer. I’m so very proud to be here- speaking, writing, holding space.
2016 wasn’t a waste because our scars make us warriors. even if you’ve been chewed up and spit out this year, even if you’ve felt like losing hope, even if your heart has a few fresh wounds… they have only built you into a more powerful warrior. they have only created new reasons to fight for justice and love and peace. they have only dug bravery deeper into our souls.you are constantly, always and in all ways, in every moment still becoming who you already are– the scars can’t stop that. the arrows they flung have only become your instruments of healing & freedom.
2016 wasn’t a waste because you’re not either. in fact, you’re marvelously woven into the greatest love story of them all, and you’re a force, my friend. your voice is powerful even when it shakes. your heart is a megaphone even if only you hear what it has to say. you are made good, and you’re covered in blessing- it’s in your DNA. your soul is a gentle creature, loved and made to love. your story is a singular wonder, and the love you have to offer is a once in a lifetime blessing. give your offering to the world.
we’re almost through.
let’s not give up, now, okay?
we can do this together.
& I’ve got some truly wonderful community planned to kick off 2017.
I won’t leave you hanging ❤
I love you, fire-breathers!