Life has been quite difficult for some lately – me included. Things are not working out as we have needed them to or hoped they would. Didn’t get that job. Paycheck was shorter than expected. Spouse has (fill in the blank). And on, and on, and on. My email box and text messages are filled with the pains and anguish of women who have beat down so low lately that they can’t seem to find their legs to walk anymore. They are limbless and lifeless, their spirits crying out one last time for help before the darkness closes in on them. I know that darkness well.
I don’t have easy answers for any of them. I don’t even have an answer for the quandaries in my own life right now. But I find myself being called upon still to help with the only tool I have: the faith of a mustard seed. I am telling them to go into their closet and sit, then breathe deeply, and then sit and wait. Prayer is a powerful phone line to God – the universe. The truth is, you see, the spirit needs to be replanted. Hard words to hear; lacks a material solution to their problems – and mine – I know. But that’s on the surface of things.
Life is filled with travails – valleys to travel through, mountains to climb. And when everything seems to be falling down around you, one MUST learn how to stop, go into the closet and breathe. Life isn’t supposed to be easy. It’s our reactions to it that makes the difference between overcoming or giving in. The former requires faith and persistence; you’ve lost your legs, then drag yourself, honey. Just don’t stop moving. The latter is the easiest of all; just lay there and die.
All of this is an illusion created by the power of our mind to distract and derail. Stop hiding behind fear and not tell anyone you need help. When you do finally ask, embrace that the help may not come in the form you want it to, but what is there is there for you. Perception is everything.
I want to leave you with one of my favorite inspirational poems by Langston Hughes, “Mother to Son.” The voice of the mother in this piece is down, but not out. She realizes that no matter what is going on in her world, she must teach her son to never give up – that life ain’t supposed to be no “crystal stair.”
Mother to Son
Well, son, I’ll tell you:
Life for me ain’t been no crystal stair.
It’s had tacks in it,
And boards torn up,
And places with no carpet on the floor—
But all the time
I’se been a-climbin’ on,
And reachin’ landin’s,
And turnin’ corners,
And sometimes goin’ in the dark
Where there ain’t been no light.
So, boy, don’t you turn back.
Don’t you set down on the steps.
‘Cause you finds it’s kinder hard.
Don’t you fall now—
For I’se still goin’, honey,
I’se still climbin’,
And life for me ain’t been no crystal stair.
Be encouraged. Be open. Be love, loving and loved.