words and dreams (K.Blais)

I had a dream the other night about someone really important to me. In waking, I was overcome with feeling melancholy and “saddish” (if that makes sense). While dreaming I was trying to convey how much I truly cared for this person, but my words seemed to have little effect. The individual in my dream seemed to be unfazed by my words which seemed so clear to me, and, it was indeed saddening. I woke up almost in tears and I carried that feeling of sadness with me throughout the entire day. 

I’ve been dreaming a lot lately, vivid and clear dreams that often seem so real I could retell them as if I have actually lived them in real life. I’ve also noticed that my dreams of late have reflected my real life thoughts and feelings, even concerns which have boggled about in my mind throughout the day. 

I have a number of friends whom I care about very much that are going through difficult times with various issues in their lives. My heart goes out to them and my thoughts and prayers are always with them, but I also think how important it is to hug them when they need it and to tell them how I feel, and not just in my dreams. 

In real life, there are times when I worry that the people I care about don’t know how deeply I do care for them. While I always strive to use words full of meaning and to choose them wisely, I wonder sometimes if the words we say have enough value to make people truly believe them. Yes, actions do speak louder than words, but, as I’ve said before, words can be extremely important too. They are, afterall, one of our main forms of communicating with one another. 

Have words lost meaning? Have we used, reused, and overused them so much that others cannot find their intended value sincere? 

We are now submersed in the season of sharing peace, love, and joy. How do you intend to spread those things? Will you share more of yourself with others? Will you choose words that adequately and genuinely express how you feel about those in your life? Will you be more aware of the words you choose to use, how their meanings are interpreted, and how their interpretations might differ from your intentions? 

Will you speak and stand up for those who cannot speak for themselves, even if it means that you are one voice and are standing alone? 

This Christmas, and there beyond, will you choose your words to tell others how much you appreciate and love them? Will you make sure that your words have the meaning and value that you intend for them? 

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My Fall Down The Rabbit Hole (K.Blais)

In a fall down the rabbit hole, an individual sets off on the path with a goal, gets sidetracked by various events and changes direction several times along the way, eventually ending up somewhere unexpected, typically without having satisfied the original purpose of the quest. Nevertheless, the path often leads to serendipitous discoveries. Furthermore, … the meandering path may eventually turn out to be more productive than a more direct one. (Courtesy of http://whatis.techtarget.com)

  

I fell down the rabbit hole again. Contrary to Alice’s great adventure down the rabbit hole, I haven’t been off on any exciting or intoxicating adventure to a Wonderland of sorts. Nope, just living my regular life, putting one foot in front of the other.

I ‘settled’ into life again though, content with going through the daily motions and adhering to the various hectic schedules in my family’s life. I didn’t push myself to write a lot, to challenge my thinking (or anyone else’s), and my perspective didn’t vary much. I guess in the security and calm of the rabbit hole I focused on quiet for a bit.

In the quiet of falling down the rabbit hole I stopped carving out time for writing and for doing those things that I had originally planned for my own “quest”. I quit fighting against the grain of trying to fit it all in and to make it all work. I went MIA on the literary world and on other parts of my world as well. But… I began to miss those who I had developed strong bonds with, those who supported me in my writing and the other aspirations in my life, and I realized from the quiet calm of my rabbit hole that I simply only needed to reach out, to poke my head up into the light to see that those people missed me too. 

I became sidetracked by other components in my life, none of which I regret because they have led me to now appreciate and explore life in other directions. My goals have changed because of this exploration. My perspective has been jolted a bit, but in that awakening my reality has been altered. Things I once believed to be true have been challenged, but this is not a bad thing. In fact it has been exciting and adventurous (in its own way).

In meeting new individuals I have learned that unusual and different is interesting and refreshing. The known is comforting, but there is something to be said about stepping out of our comfort zones as well. Talking to and reaching out to new people, people who share common interests or don’t share in them, can vary our perspectives in a much needed way. Even talking to someone in the grocery store lineup can change the direction of our day takes us.

I was introduced to someone the other week. The woman I was being introduced to expressed that she felt that maybe she had met me before. I knew we hadn’t met, but I had seen her comments on my blogs through our mutual friend’s Facebook profile. When I told her this, she said, “Oh that’s right – you’re the writer!” Initially I was a bit surprised that anyone would officially call me that, but it was enough to make me stop and think that it was time to emerge from the rabbit hole.

A writer writes, I thought, and that is what I need to do. Couple this with some actual requests that I post again was enough to kick start me into action. Yes, it’s a busy season, and yes, blog stats say most readers drop off reading this time of year because they are so busy with their own lives, but personally I need to refocus on what truly matters in my life. 

My reemergence from the rabbit hole is on my own terms though. I’m not promising that I can still meet the demands of posting every week and that I will finally take steps towards getting published. My goals have changed and I have meandered a bit, but I’m still the same me, my own Alice of sorts, figuring life out and trying to make sense of this crazy world which I am blessed to live in and to be a part of. 

Perhaps the other ‘stuff’ in our lives takes up too much time and energy that we have lost focus on the things that we should be giving our most time to: our loved ones, our hopes, and our dreams. 

Maybe we all need to take a peek out of our rabbit holes and take a good look at the world around us – have we surrounded ourselves with things that make us proud to be who we are or have we become someone or something we swore we never would be? 

The View From Down Here (K. Blais)

I wrote a love letter to a boy once. In it I told him about the things I liked, one of which was lying under the Christmas tree and looking up at the branches. 

  

I remembered this “love letter” the other night. The idea had struck me in the quiet of the late hours that I should revisit my childhood and lie down beneath the lit Christmas tree. Truth be told I could only get my head and shoulders under it, but as I gazed up at the branches the love letter popped into my head. 

It wasn’t the love letter that inspired me to write this post however, but as I thought about the letter and I wondered if the boy I wrote it to even remembered it, I thought about the secrets we keep. 

I never told anyone about the letter. In all actuality that very same boy is married to a friend now. I’m sure we would all probably laugh and joke about the letter if it ever got brought up, but it seems content to keep its own secret for now. 

As I lay under the Christmas tree and gazed up at its branches I also thought about how different it looked  on the underside and how my perspective of my tree was entirely changed. The angle in which I could see the ornaments was completely different and while the tree was still pretty, it definitely looked less glamorous from underneath. 

I wonder if we only let people see one side of us, the glamorous side, will they ever truly understand us or what goes on under our branches? 

I told a dear friend recently that it’s ok to be weak in front of others that care about us and that it is completely acceptable to show that we have feelings that can be hurt. I truly believe that there is nothing wrong in letting others know that they have caused hurt. It really doesn’t make us weak, or less, or give others any power over us. In fact, it reminds everyone, including us, that we are human and that we feel. It is no secret that if you prick us, we will all bleed. 

But yet so many of us tend to keep so much of ourselves hidden, even the wonderful things that make us who we are. Some of us may feel that people will like us more if they only see certain sides of us. Some feel that they don’t want to be seen as ‘soft’ or ‘sensitive’ or even ‘too emotional’. We keep a lot of our “mushy” stuff hidden for fear that we may scare others away. 

Life is too short for regrets though. Perhaps we should all start baring a bit more of our undersides to others. Maybe if we started to share more of ourselves, the world would become a less complicated place. While filters are good (and we should definitely think before we speak and say something hurtful), maybe we need to filter a bit less and love a bit more. 

What if we all focused this Christmas season on telling others how much we care about them? What if we spread peace, love, and joy by sharing more of ourselves? 

Maybe we don’t have to keep so much of ourselves a secret. Even those things that we perceive as flaws can be intriguing and captivating to others. 

Perhaps we should be more like the Christmas tree – shining bright, beautiful in our own way for all to see, from no matter what angle. 

How’s Your Conscience? (K.Blais)

con·science
ˈkän(t)SHəns/
noun
an inner feeling or voice viewed as acting as a guide to the rightness or wrongness of one’s behavior.

synonyms: sense of right and wrong, moral sense, inner voice

Soooooo, how’s your conscience doing lately?

When you lie your head down at night are you able to peacefully reflect on the day and all of its blessings or do you lie awake because of things you’ve said, behaviours you’ve displayed, or because you didn’t speak or act when you should’ve?

Did you live the day by the Golden Rule or did you continue throughout the day without thinking about how your words or actions may have affected others?

Did you speak to others with respect, even if you didn’t agree with them or their opinions? Did you treat others’ feelings with care so as not to embarrass them or cause them to feel ashamed for things either you misunderstood or for something beyond their control?

Did you attempt to be honest with yourself and with others? Did you take responsibility for your own behaviours or did you attempt to blame the purpose or cause of your actions on someone else? Did you make excuses or find reasons to be ‘right’, instead of being kind?

Did you attempt to justify the choices and the subsequent actions you took, however poor those decisions were, by rationalizing that somehow you ‘did what you had to do’? Or did you acknowledge your own choices as poor and vow to strive to do better the next time?

Did you try to be a positive role model for your children, children in your care, or children around you? Did you lovingly guide those children to appropriate behaviours and manners in dealing with others? Did your own actions reflect those you want to see in our future generation?

When you fell short, did you reflect on where you went wrong and how to avoid doing so again in the future? Did you ask for forgiveness when necessary? Were you able to find peace with yourself and others in talking things through and making amends?

When others approached you with their feelings and wanted to discuss concerns they have, did you keep an open frame of mind or did you become defensive and spring on the attack in order to point out their wrongs as well?

When you lie your head down at night or look at yourself in the mirror the next morning, are you able to accept the person you’ve become?

At the end of the day can you give an honest answer to the question : how is your conscience?

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Is Your Life The Perfect Storm? (K.Blais)

Have you ever thought about your life as the perfect storm? Let’s think about it for a moment.

A “perfect storm” describes an event where a rare combination of circumstances aggravate a situation drastically. (Wikipedia)

Has there ever been a time or times in your life where you have thought that nothing else could possibly go wrong and then something else did? Have you wondered and/or had regrets about the choices you have made? Have you ever wished that you had tried a little harder, done something else that may have made things somehow different than they are right now?

Many of us have had regrets, have wished for “do-overs”, or have yearned for the road less travelled. But consider this: perhaps everything that has happened to us, the good, the bad, and the ugly, has all come together to make the perfect storm which is now our life.

The ‘perfect storm’ is a bit of an oxymoron if you think about it and consider its true definition. There is nothing perfect about a storm which creates a calamitous situation, other than that the storm is the perfection of the elements which came together to create it.

I considered this as I drove home tonight. Maybe our lives are each the perfect storm in their own way because our lives are themselves “the powerful combined effect of a unique set of circumstances” like the actual phenomenon itself.

In my own self-reflecting, I considered that perhaps I have experienced betrayal and hurt from those I thought would always support me because I was meant to reach out to others who I would learn would stand by me to ride all the waves in the ocean.

Perhaps it was supposed to be that I would find myself needing to search for ways to improve the quality of my health and my lifestyle and in that search I would find a new friend and establish a great support system with others.

Perhaps the things that have happened in which I have felt wronged, attacked, slighted, or ignored, have all happened so that my own self confidence and self awareness would grow.

Maybe we are meant to lose or suffer loss somewhat in life – our jobs, our dignity, our friends, our loved ones, in order that our situation becomes aggravated enough that we are driven to change. Maybe we are meant to lose so that the storm pushes us in the direction where we can win.

Perhaps we fight, we battle, we live, we learn through all the negative and aggravating experiences in our life so that they all come together to build us into the people who we are today. If we consider it this way, then we need the negative, the bad, and the ugly, to allow us to grow and to ‘perfect’ ourselves.

All of our experiences combine themselves into the rare and unique set of circumstances which God has intended to be our life. While in most contexts anything described as the ‘perfect storm’ is most likely to have severe and negative consequences, if we think of our life as a series of factors and components which have shaped us and formed us, then maybe we can realize that our own chaotic lives are perfect storms indeed.

Calm Amidst Chaos (K.Blais)

Many of us find ourselves racing from the minute we get up in the morning to the minute we lay our heads down again at night. We rush to get up, to get breakfast and lunches made, and then we rush out the door to get to work or wherever the day may need us. We rush around at work trying to get things done, to achieve our own goals, and live up to our employer’s expectations. We rush home to our families to get supper on the table, to get to extra curricular activities, and then to get home again to get the kids and, eventually ourselves, to bed. Our day is filled with chaos, however organized it may be, and seldom do we feel or find any moments of calm.

It occurred to me today while chatting with a dear friend, that our lives are indeed chaotic and at some point there does seem to be a need to change that. In fact, my dear friend was the one who expressed this very need! Her statement got me to thinking: Where can we find calm amidst the chaos of our everyday lives?

For some of us, myself included, we rarely take time out for ourselves. We are so busy being a parent, a spouse, a friend, a (insert job title here), that we forget that before we were all of these things, we were a person first. Interesting how we can lose ourselves in being everything else to everyone else.

Now please don’t misunderstand, I am by no means implying that being those things to others makes us any less of a person, but when our responsibilities towards everyone else take priority to taking care of ourselves, even when we need it the most, that is where we can run into problems.

So, back to the question, where can one find calm when the world around us is chaos?

Surrounding yourself with positive people is a great place to start. Your closest friends should be your confidantes, your cheerleaders, the ones who go to bat for you when you can’t bat for yourself. Surrounding yourself with positive people will help you to avoid the trap of “falling into the negative” (a quote from my dear friend). And it’s ok to do fall from time to time; that’s where those positive people will help lift you up and get you righted on the waves of life again.

Calm may also mean finding something to do for you, whether it is to find a healthier lifestyle in regards to diet and exercise, or to find a hobby or pastime that you are passionate about. Decide that calm will be something that you do only for you. Think “Me Time”.

Don’t be afraid to take a break. Take some time away from your loved ones, even for a few moments, to take some deep breaths and to refocus yourself. Squirrel yourself away to read, to soak in a warm bath, or to just sit quietly to pray or meditate on life. Unplug from technology for a bit and try to remove yourself from the negativity society tries to ram down our throats. Instead, focus on the good, the uplifting, and the positive. These things can bring calm into your world in the simplest and smallest ways.

Our world will continue to be chaotic from time to time and not much may change that short of winning the lottery and moving to a deserted island. In reality, things may slow down a bit here and there, but the important thing to remember is that amidst the chaos calm can be found if you simply know where to look for it.

Less Is More (K.Blais)

Saying less is definitely saying more. Sometimes saying nothing at all is even the best approach.

It’s been a while since I posted. I hadn’t intended on taking a break, yet again, and it’s not that I didn’t have anything to say, because I did.

It occurred to me today as I contemplated a blog post topic that sometimes saying less is more.

One of my biggest pet peeves is when people use words carelessly and don’t seem to realize the effect their words have on others. Many don’t consider, or want to acknowledge perhaps, that there are some of us who take words and how they are used very seriously.

Yes, I am one of the many people who listen to (or read) carefully the words people use and how they actually are being said and then derive the intended meaning from them. Is there anything wrong with that? No, I don’t believe so. Does that make me vulnerable to people? Maybe it does. We are all different and some of us may find it easier to let things ‘roll off our backs’ than others. Many of us don’t believe that words are just words and that we should not take them too seriously. I think words deserve a lot more respect than that.

It bothers me to no end when words are thrown around carelessly towards others, comments are posted on social media without thought as to whom they may affect or hurt, and that it seems everyone has a “right” to speak first and think later. Yes, we are all entitled to our thoughts and opinions, but not at the cost of hurting others or attempting to make them feel badly about their successes or things beyond their control. And “jokes” are only funny when both people see them as so (just because a ‘just kidding’ is added doesn’t make hurtful things ok to say).

Sadly, many of us that these words and comments are directed towards take these things directly to heart. We process and re-process the words, comments, and statements over in our minds as a way of trying to understand why they were said and how to deal with how they have made us feel. Even those who shouldn’t matter that much to us (you know the ones who wouldn’t jump puddles for you) have a way of affecting us with their words, whether we want them to or not. We may try to say that we don’t care, but in reality we do. Does that give them unlimited power over us? I don’t believe so. Some of us just may feel more deeply and be more sensitive than others, a difference which is to be respected not controlled or abused.

I realize that this blog post echoes many of the thoughts and perspectives that I have shared over the last three years, but I felt that they could bear some repeating.

Think first, speak only after much considered thought.

If it isn’t positive, productive, or true, don’t say it.

Words can hurt just as much as sticks and stones and can do even more damage.

Not everyone feels, thinks, or believes the same things that you do. Respect those differences.

You truly don’t know the battles or successes that people face each day, especially when you haven’t bothered to try to get to know them. Refrain from passing judgment.

Not everyone receives and interprets information the same way that others might. Some people just don’t know. Some just may not understand.

It is more important to be kind than it is to be right. Being right doesn’t make you a better person.

We were put on this earth to help one another, not to compete with or to be better than one another.

Use your words to help and to heal. Choose them wisely.

Go ‘Wild’! (K.Blais)

Other than writing and gardening, one of my favourite pastimes is reading and right now I’m reading Wild by Cheryl Strayed.

This book has really given me pause to stop and think about the paths that each of us take in life and how, while we personally may seem to be doing all the wrong things and making what we perceive as mistakes, those ‘missteps’ actually have led us to exactly where we are right now.

If you’re not familiar with Wild, it is a memoir based on the experiences of the author, Cheryl Strayed. The book is largely a reflection of the choices she had made in her life and what led her to the decision to hike the Pacific Crest Trail as a woman alone. The book outlines her adventure on the PCT all the while lending itself to flashbacks in Cheryl’s mind of her childhood, her mother’s death, and her divorce shortly thereafter.

Cheryl’s adventures throughout her story have in some cases startled me, scared me, and at the same time been a source of envy for me. How many people are brave enough to give up everything they have in order to hike alone on an unforgiving trail in order to ‘find’ themselves? Not many, I don’t think.

Perhaps Cheryl’s own choice of adventure is a bit extreme for most of us, but I admire her courage nonetheless. I’m not sure that I myself would dare to make the hike on the PCT (or anywhere else for that matter), but I can relate to her searching for her own path to peace.

Before this summer started for me I made the decision to have a ‘great and fun summer’. I wanted to have adventures of my own, to do things I normally wouldn’t, and to let loose a little as a stress release of the previous months. (I don’t foresee myself hiking much in the near future, but I have spent a lot of time in my gardens and flowerbeds, my own version of ‘Wild’ I suppose!)

Truth be told, most of us don’t feel the strong urge to do daring and dangerous things, but stepping out of our comfort zones every once in a while can be good for us. Going on the odd adventure with a close friend, challenging ourselves to do something which we are afraid to do, even expressing our feelings to another person are all things which can be a little ‘wild’ to us too.

There’s nothing wrong with a little adventure, heck there’s nothing with a big adventure either. I’m pretty tame with my adventures so I could not be a hypocrite and tell anyone that they should hike the PCT or journey to a far away land, but many of us go on our own adventures each and every day.

Adventuring allows us to alter our reality for a bit. It allows us to become vulnerable in new situations and in new places. Adventuring can allow our confidence to grow and our horizons to broaden. We can become different people, if only for a short while. Adventuring can enhance our soul, stimulate our thoughts and our senses, and give us the ride of a lifetime.

Even if your adventures aren’t huge, even if they don’t involve mountain climbing or hiking 2,700 miles along a trail, they can still be your own. Your own adventure could be a walk down an unknown path, talking to someone you don’t know, or scaling the face of a mountain. Really an adventure can be anything you make it.

What adventure will you go wild with?

The Power Of Words (K.Blais)

Over the past couple of days a very dear friend of mine has been telling me of her struggle with standing up for and protecting a loved one who is largely unable to speak for and defend herself. Today, in our conversation, my dear friend was excited to tell me that her diligent efforts had paid off – her loved one’s care was being investigated and would drastically improve. My friend enthusiastically stated, “The power of words – this just goes to show you how powerful they can be.”

I agreed, hands down. I was also struck for a moment as I pondered her statement about how powerful words are and can be, how I had written a few months ago about my war with words and how damaging or destructive they can be. In this moment though, I realized with the certainty of the example she had just provided, how wonderfully constructive and how powerful in a positive way they can be also.

My dear friend had used her words to advocate and to prove what she needed to. She hadn’t demeaned anyone or degraded them in pleading the case of her loved one, but she had used the necessary words in such a way to express her feelings and how important it was that the situation be investigated properly.

Words are powerful. They can build up and they can tear down. They can prove and they can disprove. Words can lead to belief or disbelief depending on how they are used. They can lead to anger or love. They can allow us to forgive or they can permit us to continue to struggle with our pain.

My friend’s situation also led me to thinking about my own life and the issues therein which I have been struggling with and the peace which I am seeking with them. I realized too that we all need to advocate for ourselves using our words when it is necessary to stand up for or defend what we believe in. We also need to use our words to adequately and clearly explain our thoughts and feelings so that they are properly understood by others, especially when we are hurting or in emotional pain.

Last week I mentioned how therapeutic writing often is for me. Writing has gotten me through some tougher moments in my life, has led me to realize that I need to focus on the positive, and that no matter how hard things can get, there are always blessings and strengths which will see me through.

Writing is about using words to explain our thoughts. (The sweet thing about writing is we can also choose our words more carefully and accurately; there is always the backspace or delete button when things don’t “sound” quite right.) I often prefer written correspondence to verbal in regards to delicate manners especially, as I can select my words with more care and precision, rather than stumbling over the words which sometimes don’t come quickly enough into my brain and elegantly out of my mouth.

When we use our words to say, “This is how I feel. This is what I think,” we are essentially empowering ourselves. We are allowing ourselves the permission to say, “Hey, I’m important enough for this to matter”. Words can give us confidence and assertion to say what we think and feel is going on.

Sometimes we can get it wrong though. We can think one thing, when something entirely different is the reality. We can erect immense walls of hurt feelings that no one could ever climb, especially when we coat them with an icy glaze.

We can use our words in all the right ways and still get it all wrong.

But there is still peace in being wrong. Our words can lead us to finally facing what it is that is troubling us most. Those words can lead us to realizing that while we believed things to be one way, they aren’t necessarily that way at all. Using our words can lead us to putting an end to practicing our pain, to forgiving those who have hurt us, and to embarking on the path to peace.

Words can reopen doors which we once thought were shutting for good. Words can thaw the icy film.

Words can heal when we are just willing to use them and to hear them in return.

The Path To Peace (K.Blais)

Where do you find peace?

Is it in the quiet moments of the early morning when the house is silent and the world is only beginning to wake up?

Is it in the comforting presence of a quiet talk with a good friend?

Is it in the moment that you look out the window and see the pure and simple beauty of the earth and realize that the clouds, trees, and mountains have no stress and for a moment you feel like you are one of them?

Is it in the serene moments of prayer, faith, and personal belief?

In all the turmoil and ups and downs of the last few months there have been many days when I have felt anything but peace. I have let my own thoughts and doubts become my worst enemy and I have let the opinions, words, and actions of others attempt to eat away at my self-confidence. There have been moments when I have doubted my self-worth, my own abilities, and even my sanity. I have self-diagnosed myself in so many ways, probably none of which are true… probably.

I have struggled. Yes, I’ve had it pointed it out that I have and am struggling still. I’ve struggled with forgiveness, with understanding, and even with being able to move forward. I have struggled in allowing all of those things to happen, for various reasons, but in all of these ‘struggles’ perhaps I am finding peace.

You see, I don’t need my struggles pointed out to me. I don’t need to be sung the same song over and over again. I don’t need any advice in how to quit practicing my pain. What I need is to allow myself to find peace to move past, not even forward or upward, but just past. And sometimes that moving past is still done in darkness. Sometimes it means that walking beside someone in their darkness is more important than offering them your light on the other side.

There comes a time in our lives where we begin to see people and things for how they really are. We begin to truly see who we can rely on, and even though they may be as flawed as we are, we know we can depend on them. There comes a time when we realize that opening up to some people is only going to cause us disappointment and pain and so we keep to ourselves for a bit. There comes a time, maybe we call it growing old, when we start to realize that trusting ourselves and our own instincts is what is going to be the best for us and our loved ones, because perhaps we are the only ones with our best interests at heart.

Maybe finding peace isn’t about an intentional quest or journey we must embark on. Maybe there aren’t 10 or 15 steps to moving forward, past, or wherever we’re headed. Maybe peace is just about accepting a struggle for what it is: a struggle. Maybe peace isn’t about having someone offer you light on the other side. Perhaps peace is about forging your own way through the darkness and realizing the light isn’t where you need to be right away anyway.

Peace can mean something different to all of us, but maybe peace is accepting, acknowledging, and embracing our struggles. When we acknowledge a problem, that’s half the battle, right? So perhaps peace begins with the acknowledgment that things are not ok. Perhaps we may need to embrace the fact that our struggle does mean something; that it’s not meant to be brushed off with simple words or phrases that seem to say a lot but mean nothing. Perhaps peace is accepting that things are not ever going to be the same because they’ve changed. Maybe the peace is in realizing that things MUST change.

One thing I do know is that writing is often therapeutic. Sharing and talking to kindred spirits has made me realize that there are many of us who ‘struggle’. Part of my path to peace has been realizing that I do not need to feel that I struggle alone. There are others who are willing to open themselves up and share their feelings, to join someone in their struggle in darkness, and to walk with them to wherever the path may take them.

That path to peace, even through the dark, will evermore be more important than the promise of a light waiting on another side because it is the journey there which will make all the difference.

Perhaps the most important thing about finding peace is the path we take in finding it.