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First off, I want to thank everyone who commented on my Facebook post and my blog post. I honestly have spent years wondering to myself “What would people honestly think of me if they knew the truth? If they knew who I was?” I am not going to lie I was surprised at how many people commented, liked/loved my post, and how many sent me messages of kindness and love. Thank you for reminding me that you love me and for helping me see that we can influence each other in ways deeper than we think.

I was overwhelmed with the response, and with all of the love that was shared with me. I know that it also helped me remember that there are so many good people in the world and we have not lost hope in humanity and our ability to be kind to one another. So thank you for your comments, kindness, and your love. I am truly blessed to know you and I truly know I am better because of the friendships we had/have/share.

Getting to the Mountains, Valleys & Analogies Now…

I have been thinking to myself when we are going through hard times or rough patches we typically refer to analogies like climbing a mountain, or looking for the light at the end of the tunnel, or trying to keep my head above the water.

But why? Why do we use these analogies instead of others? The conclusion I have come to is that these analogies offer us hope, inspiration, and dare I say motivation. They help us remember that even when things are rough, there is meaning behind the pain. They help us remember that fighting and striving through this stuff will help us become something better. It encourages us to believe and hope that something good can come from a painful experience.

I wonder what it would be like if we changed the analogy. What if we said we were going down a mountain down into the valley or that we were in the light while going through a tunnel, or that we were floating on top of the water by relaxing just a bit, and taking some deep breaths.

How would changing a basic analogy that typically describes getting through something rough into one that describes the same experience in a different way?

I have been learning that joy is not a destination, the top of one mountain is not a destination, Because even half way up a mountain I can see an amazing sunrise or sunset. Finding the end of a tunnel is not my destination either because I came prepared with candles and flashlights in my tunnel, so I am surrounded by light. But when I put it all together that is my experience, and by changing my analogy, I find myself experiencing joy in the tunnel, joy climbing and descending the mountain, and joy swimming in the ocean.

That is not to say that other feelings and emotions don’t exist as well but I am learning I can feel the joy and happiness right alongside pain, and sadness. By taking deep breaths and looking around outside of myself just a little bit I can see, there is joy surrounding me if I am willing to look for it.

By this simple shift, I am changing my perspective and what I see in my experiences. I am finding it is much easier for me to see all my blessings and the many things I am thankful for. It is so much easier to make it through the week instead of only being able to make it through the day.

I am also learning we all have those days where we can only focus on one day at a time, and that is more than good enough. Even on the days where I want to sit down for a minute or stop climbing the mountain, I am finding that by looking around I can find something that helps the light stay bright and my arms and legs aren’t so sore. Making it easier for me to get up and go at it again the next day. But it all starts with a willingness to change my perspective and look around for the joy that is there alongside the hard/tough/rough/sad/grief/pain/etc.

So here’s to making tomorrow a happier day even if it is still a challenge.