I found myself sitting in my office this week, papers strewn across the floor, tears running down my face. I felt like a failure. You ever been there?
Deep down I knew, I mean I REALLY knew I was not a failure. It didn’t even make sense to think I was one. I’ve done so many things that should prove this to me. And, when it comes down to it, as long as we’re still breathing how could we possibly be a ‘failure’ anyway, because we’re not done yet, and each ‘fail’ is also just another opportunity to learn and come closer to success.
I know all these truths, as I’m sure you do, but there are still moments in life when it’s pretty hard to believe them. If you’re a follower of my Facebook page you may have seen me post that it’s been one of those weeks where many things that are out of my control just kept going wrong. I reached my tipping point that night in my office and my inability to handle those circumstances without turning into a worn out, frustrated piece of mush was the source of my tears.
Within about fifteen minutes (thanks in part to some words of support from my husband) I was feeling like my regular self again, remembering that everything that’s crappy is actually nothing more than a circumstance, separate from me, and I don’t have to let any of that garbage rule me or steal my ability to still enjoy life, relax, and express my creativity. It’s beautiful—the fact that no matter what is going on around us we can just breathe, learn what we can from the situation and—to be cliche—keep on keeping on.
This idea is one that often pops up in my writing, probably because it’s a lesson I keep having to come back to. In the novel I hope to release in a few weeks the main character, Autumn, has things go wrong in her life in massively bigger ways than things just went wrong in mine. This tragedy shakes her. It threatens to destroy her. Her world seems dark. But, it also forces her to reassess her life, her beliefs, and to become stronger than she ever was before. With the struggles I went through this week, my hope is even stronger that the lessons Autumn learned will inspire my readers as they make it through their next struggle, whether they’re experiencing it now, or years from now.
Life doesn’t always seem that great. And that’s okay. I could quote numerous sayings from brilliant people that wax poetic about just that, and I’m sure you could too, and that’s because it’s a universal truth.
Instead, I’ll leave you a quote that’s on the cover of a journal above my computer screen. I have no idea who said it or where it comes from, and I’m not going to bother searching to find out. Let’s just imagine it’s a message from that place deep inside us that speaks the truths we need to hear.
Peace. It does not mean to be in a place where there is no noise, trouble, or hard work. It means to be in the midst of those things and still be calm in your heart.
It’s the start of Thanksgiving weekend for all my Canadian readers. As you go through the next few days, whether you’re sharing a meal with friends and family, spending time in nature, or just enjoying an extra day off, I hope you take some time to be calm in your heart—no matter your outside circumstances. And be thankful.
And when you think of that thing (or things!) you’re thankful for, please share it below. You never know, it just may remind another reader of a gift he or she also can be thankful for.