It’s cold out and the sky is more often a pale shade of gray than blue these days. The wind bites at my cheeks and tears pool in my eyes every morning. One can almost always be found sliding down my cheek. Sometimes the smile on my face feels like a different person. One I have to put on. She probably even has a different name, who knows…there are definitely days when she is not me.

Does any of that sound familiar? Am I speaking anyone else’s language? I bet I am. Can we talk about it? Please?

Sometimes you reach out to me and tell me things that are vastly unique to you and your personal life experience and yet are stunningly familiar to my own. Shame? Yeah, I got shame. Doubt? Every. Single. Day. Regret? You bet. Trouble getting out of bed? Uhhh…yes. A case of eating my feelings? Yum, and yes. Fear? I’m afraid so. Insecurity? For sure. Loneliness? More than I care to admit. Anger? You wanna bet.

…Shall I go on?

The list is a mile long and an ocean deep. It’s called HUMAN. Welcome to life on planet earth. Glad you could join us. Sorry it’s kinda messy.

This week felt like a universal struggle.

Sometimes I wish I could gather everyone up. Sit in a circle. Share the shit. Say what hurts. Hug it out. Wipe the slate. Clear the hate. High five over some injustice. Validate the yuck. Gahhh…sometimes you just need a little validation. Yeah, you are enough. Yes! That sucks! Seriously? That happened to you? That freaking blows. That’s horrible. That’s heartbreaking. For real? I’m so sorry. Just some validation.

A big fat me too. Ya know? Someone to hear. Someone to see. Someone to call a jack story for what it is and adios it. We gotta do this for each other. We gotta sit in the circle. We also need to sit there and share the good, cause there is so much good…

I have found some light this week.

I started an art journal and sent my long held belief that I lack any creative artsy bone in my body packing. Is it good? No. But it’s good enough for who it’s for, and that’s me. It’s for me. It’s feeding me.

I started an online beginner exercise group and I remembered personally what it felt like to start. I recieved so much more than I gave this week. These women are something. They don’t maybe realize it yet, but they are to me. They’re going to see. They are feeding me.

I rode a bike and worshipped for a solid hour. It was magic. Pure magic. I felt the sweetest whisper in my ear during that ride that what people really need is more Jesus. He very bluntly just said, “More of me Elaine. More of me.” And aghhh, if that’s not truth…it is. It’s truth.

I did sit in a circle Thursday night with women I adore and just laughed. Laughed my butt off. Wasted a stupid amount of time. Barely did a workout and yet felt fully refreshed and amazing. Laughter might be the cure for just about everything. It feels so dang good. Schedule some laughter in.

I watched my brother in law be sworn in today as a district judge. What a testament to hard work and integrity. My sweet sister stood and held the Bible, and my heart just swelled. I love her family and her husband is incredible, but it’s all for not without her and that got said today. It was good. Validation.

Today’s journal entry was “Shades of Blue”. I looked up every synonym for the word blue in every manner of speaking and wrote it out. I wrote it out for me. For you. For us. It wasn’t really that scary.

There is a lot of blue. A million shades. A lot of hurt. A lot of sad. It can feel like an ocean. It can seem like a silent illness we shouldn’t discuss. It can scream at us. It can whisper like a devil sneakily in your ear. It’s going to do all those things. Call it out. Speak it. Sit in the circle. Laugh. Color it every shade. Sing at the top of your lungs. Love through it.

I’ll be right here doing the same.