Out of the darkness, light and gratitude.

This winter was tough for me.  I’ll tell you all about that a little later, but for now I just wanted to get a quick post up to let you know that I’m back! I am better.

The only way I can think to describe the cloud over my heart these last few months is soul crushing despair.  I’ve struggled with depression before, but never to such an intense degree.  It’s difficult to describe to someone who has not experienced it; suffice it to say I would not wish it on my worst enemy.

But there is a silver lining.  As the darkness started to lift, I noticed two things.  New things.

(1) I started to feel a new lightness in my heart.  The feeling that if I was able to get through this experience, I would be able to get through anything.  The perspective that no matter how bad I was feeling, it paled in comparison; a few stormy days with moments of sadness or pain do not mean the sunshine will never come again.

Don't let a bad day make you feel like you have a bad life. I need to remember this especially for today...

(2) Clinton Kelly (from What Not to Wear) recently said: A solid core of happiness, I believe, comes from expressing love to those who deserve it and accepting love from others because you know you deserve it.   

I have the great fortune of being surrounded by extraordinary people who believe I deserve their love, care and grace.  For the first time in my life, I have been able to see myself through their eyes, feeling their loving acceptance, rather than my own hurtful judgement.  Believing for the first time that maybe I DO deserve it (the love, that is).

Connecting instead of isolating, receiving support and encouragement instead of settling deeper into my sadness, and the sneaking suspicion these wonderful, smart people couldn’t ALL be wrong about me probably saved my life.  They kept me from giving up.   They walked with me, putting one foot in front of the other, taking one step at a time through the muck, towards a core of happiness, until I finally got better.

So this gorgeous performance of this beautiful song is dedicated to them.  Thank you for not giving up on me when the darkness inside me was making me feel discouraged and small.  Thank you for helping me see beauty and humor, when I didn’t feel like laughing.  Thank you for being there for me, when I felt like I had taken all I could bear.  And most importantly, thank you for loving me for my True Colors and teaching me that they are beautiful and it is OK to embrace them.  Love you guys!

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