”We Will Emerge From The Cocoon, Spread Our Wings, And Fly”

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‘I am closest to my mother, as she is my rock, my pillar of strength, and my world. Not only has she stood by me through all times – happy, sad, and otherwise – but there have even been moments when I had completely lost hope, and her immense belief in me had lifted me up.”

Devastating heartbreak. Sudden illness. Unexpected departures.

Whether it’s a business challenge or a personal situation, tough times happen for everyone.

Trying to “stay positive” and “keep the faith” can feel almost impossible.

And no matter how strong we think we are, unforeseen change can leave us all feeling quite vulnerable and lost.

That’s why it’s important to remember that even though you may feel helpless — you’re not.

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When things fall apart, we sit still.

When things fall apart, we run fast.

When things fall apart, we hang on.

Marilyn Monroe said, “Sometimes things fall apart so that better things can fall together.”

Falling apart is to be expected in the process of life, growth, aging, and death.

What if we stop looking at breakdowns as falling apart, but rather the place between what was and what will be? The time just before things come together in a different way.

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When the caterpillar enters the chrysalis and its metamorphosis begins, we can only imagine that the process of this transformation will be uncomfortable. The cells of the caterpillar literally become what are called “imaginal cells” as the tiny creature grows into something completely different and utterly magical.

Unless the caterpillar undergoes this radical transformation, it will never fly as a beautiful butterfly.

If we don’t break down, we don’t break through.

There isn’t a single successful person out here in the world who hasn’t learned to weather breakdowns and failures.

Pema Chodron said, “Things falling apart is a kind of testing and also a kind of healing. We think that the point is to pass the test or overcome the problem, but the truth is that things don’t really get solved. They come together and they fall apart. Then they come together again and fall apart again. It’s just like that. The healing comes from letting there be room for all of this to happen: room for grief, for relief, for misery, for joy.”

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Mistakes are painful. Sometimes they are life-threatening, or send us to prison, or cause the loss of those we love. Squirming through the discomfort of perceived failure can be downright humiliating.

But when did we decide that worrying and panicking would make any difference?

When you come up against a situation like this remember that on the other end is a golden nugget of hard-earned truth molded from experience. And stretching yourself in that way will lead to expansion.

You get to become comfortable being uncomfortable. We say this a lot. Amazing things rarely happen in your comfort zone, on the couch eating Doritos. In your comfort zone is where you only dream of amazing things happening.

I will never forget the time I was at one of my early team handball practices.  Things weren’t going the way I wanted, I was pissed off, my legs were burning, and I was far from comfortable.  I was in a bad mood and complaining to myself when something literally life-changing happened for me.

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As I turned around to take a look at the other end of the court we were sharing with another team’s practice, I saw that this wasn’t just any team. It was a team of basketball players in wheelchairs. They were going at it hard, leaving everything on the court. Here I was complaining to myself about my legs burning when I realized in an aha moment that I was beyond blessed to have the feeling of these legs burning at all. What would any one of those players give to feel what I was feeling?

Those players could’ve given up when they lost the use of their legs or never started playing at all. But they dreamed of playing and so they did whatever it took to get on the court. Words can’t express how much they inspired me to see my life differently.

Oftentimes when things fall apart, if we just open our eyes, we will see something immensely beautiful.
We will emerge from the cocoon, spread our wings, and fly.

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”The Year We Fell Apart And That’s Okay”

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“Look for something positive each day, even if some days you have to look a little harder.” 

Not because I don’t think it will be (because, okay, it will be). But because that’s not helpful to you where you’re standing right now. That’s a thing we say to each other when we can’t find any other words.

It will be fine. It will be okay. Everything will work out.

These are all real and true statements that apply to you, no matter where you stand. I have enough trust and faith for the both of us that everything you and I are walking through at this moment, we’re both going to come out the other side wiser and happier than we ever thought possible.

But the truth is, those words don’t help. Instead, they usually cut us on a level we didn’t know pleasant words of comfort had the ability to cut.

Because even if it’s true that it will be okay… it’s not okay right now, and sometimes that’s all we can see and feel and hear. Sometimes that’s all we can register inside our weary bodies.

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It’s not okay that someone you loved is no longer living and breathing and giving their gifts and presence to this world. It’s not okay that everything is falling apart around you, that your world is imploding more and more every moment of every day. It’s not okay that the bank accounts are at zero, or possibly into the negative, with no sign of relief. It’s not okay that someone was nasty or cruel to you in ways that shattered your heart. It’s not okay that you’re exhausted to the point you can’t make it through a single day without curling into a sobbing ball on your kitchen floor. It’s not okay that you’re swimming in failure or shame or a grief like you’ve never known.

Whatever it is for you… it’s not okay right now.

So we tell each other it will be okay… because we don’t know what else to say, and we don’t know how to climb into the sh*t with someone and just hold their hand while they cry or scream or rage it out.

I’m not going to tell you it’s going to be okay:-That everything is going to work out.
I’m not going to tell you it will be fine or to buck up.
That you’ve got this and you’ll see it soon.

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Instead, I’m going to tell you that I see your pain:- I understand how much it sucks right now. How your heart is heavy and your spirit is weary. How it’s taking everything you have just to get through the day. I see you. I feel you. I love you. I know… I get it, I really do. And I also know exactly how much willpower it takes to not punch someone in the face for telling you it will be okay. Especially when it feels like “being okay” is completely out of reach, no matter how hard you fight to find your footing and dig your way out of the darkness that’s nearly consuming you. I see your pain and I’m holding you in my heart with all the love I have to give. Because it’s okay that everything is not okay right now.

I’m going to tell you that you’re stronger than you know:-Because you are, my friend. You are powerful beyond measure whether you know it or not. You have a purpose and a contribution to this world that only you can make. I know it doesn’t feel like it when all you can do is find a way to get yourself out of bed each morning when the hours begin to weigh on your chest like a ton of bricks and breathing becomes more difficult the longer you’re forced to be awake and upright. But you’re doing it, love. It may not be at a rate or pace that you want, but you’re doing it. Just by getting out of bed and finding a way through the next moment that smacks you in the face. And you’re stronger than you give yourself credit for.

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I’m going to tell you that trust and faith go a long way:-I’ve never tried to pretend that trust and faith are easy. They’re not. Not even a little bit. But they are all we have when nothing is okay and everything is falling apart. They are all we have to make it through to what’s next. I say this from a place of walking through some seriously dark life chapters.

Chapters filled with depression that nearly killed me by my own hand, with being so broke that I owed the bank money and was being threatened with losing my house. Chapters that ripped someone from my life in the most abrupt and tragic way, and that have torn everything known and stable and secure from my hands. Somewhere along the lines, I found trust and faith, and I’ve never let go, regardless of the chaos around me. Trust and faith. It’s all we have, and they go a very long way when everything feels impossible.

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I’m going to tell you that you’re not alone:-Even though I know it feels that way like you’re the only person in the history of the world who has experienced this much loss and pain and struggle. Even the happiest and successful people have been through some sh*t, or are probably walking through their own storms right now.

You’re not alone. You do not have to do this alone. If ever there was a thing that lifted me out of the depths of grief, it was being reminded that I wasn’t alone. That I didn’t have to do this alone. You, my friend, are not alone.

I’m going to tell you that I love you:-Because I do. Because you’re here and you’re having a bad day. Because you’re human and that makes you beautiful and messy and all things lovable.