When I was a kid I played with Legos a lot. Back then we didn’t have themed sets and all kinds of specialized Lego pieces. I had one set, basic colors, and a few windows & flowers & fence & roof pieces. By default, I always always built a house. On top of the typical green square base I’d choose my base bricks, often going for the thicker double Lego to have a stronger house. Then – and this was the most important – I had to layer the bricks in a staggered fashion in order to have a solid house that wouldn’t easily fall apart upon torpedo (by some ridiculous “friends” who thought tearing my house apart was fun). In this way, this Lego house metaphor, I’m building myself back up, one layered brick at a time, weaving in the bricks, big and small, wins, losses, and lessons learned.
Sometimes it’s small bricks, tiny wins, as a mom, daughter, professional, and homeowner – every time I mow the lawn (since I was 38 before I ever learned to do this), or when I present my professional work as a keynote speaker, or when I call my mom (something I’m not very good at), or when my son’s teacher tells me how much she just absolutely loves him. Those little wins layer in and fortify me; they make me stronger, more confident and better able to weather the storms.
Then there are big victories and big losses. These are the big, 2×8 bricks that shore up a whole side of my house. These are the game changers. The life adjustments. The this-is-so-hard-but-I-just-have-to-do-it things. The difficult decisions. The hard things in life. You’d think things like this would tear a hole in your defense that isn’t easily patched, and sometimes the repairs do take a while, but then you build it better, stronger, more able to take a beating. Sometimes you think that hole will never heal and then, miraculously, you’re whole again.
I’m repairing my foundation. Shoring it up. Making sure it doesn’t easily crack or crumble during the next air raid, if there is to be one.
Life is hard, dude.
Build yourself up, be strong, weather that storm.
Don’t forget to love. It’s why we are here.
Don’t forget the people who care. They may not always know how to help. ASK THEM. (I’m trying to be better about this!)
Don’t take advantage. No matter how much people love you, they are not responsible for you. Be strong. Build yourself up. Make sure you are proud of what you have become.
At the end of each church service when my pastor gives the benediction she puts her hand up and I can visualize this golden ray coming through her hand to the top of my head when she says, “may the grace of God be with you today and every day.” When she does this, I feel a surge of blessing pouring down my head & neck & flowing out to my extremities. It’s the grace. To me, it means so much; it boosts my strength, power, humility, understanding and self-awareness. It’s in this way that I want to offer you grace so that you feel the higher power – God, if you believe, or just the collective power of our human race, together – surge through you and help you in your life every day.
With grace, hope & all positive things,