One in three Americans feel as if Life has gotten too much for them.
I have a half dozen friends who are under assault from life.
Three have blogs. Three do not.
I write to all six, and they to me.
Life doesn't ask permission.
It just sucker punches you.
And when you are down, many times it seems to delight in kicking you repeatedly.
Many of us feel as if we have too much on our plates, as if we cannot take any more --
yet people are depending on us -- at a time when we feel even our legs are undependable.
Mother was half Lakota and seemed to have all the answers when I was little.
Two things stood out to me about her:
Her calm attitude ...
and her steady gaze no matter the storm.
During a bad spell in my child's life, I asked her why life was so difficult.
"I do not know if there is one answer that will satisfy you, Little One. I think there are many answers out there in life waiting for you to find them."
Mother saw how underwhelmed I was by that answer and kept on:
"Life is a journey taken one step at a time.
Nowhere is it written that our steps must always be strong -- only that we must make them, no matter their length."
She ruffled my hair.
"No storm no matter how strong can defeat even the weakest step because it is an expression of hope."
I saw with a start that her eyes were wet.
"Every step taken is a prayer answered. Every step is a spark that defies the darkness of despair."
Mother tweaked my nose gently. "Defy the darkness, Little One."
I remember sulking. "You make it sound easy."
She kissed the top of my head.
"Not easy, Little One. Necessary. And for a time, you will have me to help you."
I said from a dry throat, knowing even then she would one day die. "Th-Then what?"
Mother tweaked my nose again.
"Then, you help someone else as I have helped you."
"And that will make my hurt go away?"
She smiled sadly.
"It will give you someone to hurt with and be strong for ... a healing mix."
Mother's eyes grew wet. "Really."
HOW DO YOU COPE WHEN THINGS ARE UNRAVELING AROUND YOU?