Moving Through Discouragement
It feels like odd timing to post about discouragement, because it’s Thanksgiving week and we’re all suppose to be feeling thankful, right? But I think during the holidays it can be ESPECIALLY important when hard emotions come up, to let them coexist with all of the celebration and beauty of the season. Whether you’re in a space of discouragement and disappointment, or you’re walking beside someone who is, this post is for you.
This month marks the two year date that my body crashed really hard. After fighting unknowns for eight years, it was done living in survival mode. We entered into what would be a longer and more painful healing than anyone expected.
This week was a heavy reminder of how long the journey of restoration can sometimes still be.
Maybe you’re holding a weight of your own, or walking through some heaviness. Pain in any form, and to any degree, can feel suffocating, and often there isn’t a simple way out. But in those spaces, when you can’t move out, you can move through with a little more ease if there’s a light in the darkness.
Maybe you feel like your hope keeps being deferred.
Maybe your shadows feel too thick to even take the next step.
Maybe you hold memories that are so painful this time of year.
Maybe where you thought you’d be this season isn’t at all where you find your current reality.
Pain and heavy disappointment is so valid.
Maybe we can’t jump over the pain, but together with kindred spirits, we can keep moving through it well.
Around that time two years ago, I was shown something about moving through shadows that has been a pillar for me. My precious 13 year-old friend Anna, who experiences empathy through the eyes of down syndrome, knew I wasn’t doing well.
A couple weeks later I got a gift in the mail. Anna had taught a community yoga class as a fund-raiser and small businesses and yogis in our favorite little town of Melrose, Massachusetts all linked arms. They did it to hold up a beacon of light for a stranger.
We can’t always take hardship away, but the shadows are vulnerable to light, and it makes them shrink back. Light adds oxygen when it feels hard to breath. Anna knew that, so she held up a light for me.
I decided to invest the gift in the supplies to learn print-making (a very random conclusion, I know). It became a form of therapy and still is, and every time I send an imperfect hand-made card to someone else, it reminds me of how vulnerable the shadows are to the light.
So friend, if you feel the heavy weight of discouragement right now, may you remember the power of light. Not to take it away, but to be a beacon that helps you move through.
You don’t have to wait for a generous gift or for someone to love you or validate you in the way you long for, because the simple act of sending a little light to someone else, is healing for them and also for you. There’s power in redirecting our attention to remind someone else that they aren’t alone in the fog.
Sister, you are so loved. You aren’t alone. You have so much to offer. You’re gonna make it. The darkness won’t overcome you. No matter how hopeless, how long, how confusing. I’m sending some fresh oxygen into your heart today and I pray you feel it lighten your load even for a moment. And when you feel like you can’t move through the shadows, hold up a light to help someone else through theirs. A card, a text, a phone call, a bundle of cookies. It might not take away your pain or theirs, but we’re pilgrims on a journey and we need each other.
Footsteps taken together bring momentum to stagnant hope.
If someone comes to mind who’s been your Anna, a light through your shadows, forward them this post or tell us in the comments below. And then go love on someone, because you are so loved, so validated, and so destined for wholeness friend. Keep moving through. 💛