28 Day Challenge: MOPS and OLW | Day 2: Stormy Nights

“We have an obsession with extremes, when in reality life usually lands somewhere in the middle. We think we have to pick pone, when in reality it is always both. Light and dark, hope and fear, kindness and risk, wonder and mundane. It is both big moments and small moments and both are good. We are people who are meant to live by both sunlight and moonlight. Why should we think that choosing one extreme is the path to wholeness and fulfillment?” – Mandy Arioto

I hate admitting this, because it is hard and it never gets easier – but the most beautiful, joyful, rewarding moments of my life have consistently come from my darkest challenges. The moments that take my breath away – not in a good way.

And here we are in this time of extremes. Extreme hate. Fear. Blame. And extreme kindness. Unwavering support. Strength. Love.

That is not a coincidence. The truth is, that our biggest love comes most often from the darkest places. To believe that one is better than the other, one is more desired than the other, one is more necessary that the other is just false.

They are equal. That is who we are.

We are our best moments and our worst moments. We are our biggest challenges and our most wild successes. We the things we fear and the things that fear us.

And so I choose to believe, that in a time where I struggle to find words, connection, understanding – that the best thing I can do is to continue to bring the best aspects of myself to each day. To bring unwavering strength. To bring the biggest love, the most kind support, the best listening ear that I can.

And I hold myself to a standard which requires truth, honesty, and respect not just from myself, but from all of those around me.

Because I believe that when we are held to a higher standard, when we force ourselves to be brave in the face of fear and uncertainty, THAT is when we are most beautiful. THAT is when we are most loving. THAT is when we are our truest form of self.

 

So, what is my favorite thing that happened in the dark?

Caleb, whose life with us has been fought and advocated for, with tremendous sacrifice, for three years and whose joy for life fills my heart completely. Max, whose life came at the cost of a career that I would give up a thousand times over just to enjoy another minute wrapped in my arms. Adeline, whose very being brought my body to its lowest point, then dug a little deeper, and whose smiles fill my heart with a joy I did not know was possible. And Chris, whose love brings air to my lungs, peace to my mind, and joy to my heart.

Love is born from heartbreak. Strength is born from weakness. And light is born from darkness.

So I say, bring on the moonlight, for it lasts only until daybreak. Let us dance in the darkness and salute the sun, which we know will come, once again, over the horizon.

xoxo,

Julie

 

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For several years Ali Edwards has started her year with a word. No resolutions or promises to break, just one little word® to check back on for guidance or reflection. As she describes it, “You live with it. You invite it into your life. You let it speak to you. Follow where it leads. There are so many possibilities.” After a challenging 2016, my choice for 2017 is to become SECURE. Each month, I’m focused on a different aspect of securing who I am, where I am, and what we’re doing. I hope you’ll join me on this journey. For more of my one little word, follow my tag one little word.

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