Knowing what to say or do in difficult times when those we care about are suffering isn't easy, but our efforts—small and feeble as they might be—are greatly appreciated by those we offer them to.
Yesterday, in response to reading There Is No Good Card for This, I shared snippets from some of the emails my soul sisters and I exchanged during difficult times.
But that's only part of the story. In supporting others through difficulty, we deepen our relationships, and find ourselves filled with gratitude, even in the midst of our struggles, because of the gifts of encouragement we can offer one another.
Here then are some of our words of Thanksgiving (though many more have been spoken and remain in memory only):
I woke up on this first day of the New Year with renewed hope. I think 2017 was the most challenging year of my second half of life…. Thank you both for being my rock, my anchors, my companions. Honestly, I would not have made it without the strength of our bonds. I am so grateful…. I wish for us strength, courage, creativity, and hope for 2018.
Today I'm coming out of hibernation and the first thing I wanted to do was to write to my two soul sisters.
I am doing well and seem to have entered a new and unfamiliar stage in life—where I am challenged to accept my good fortune.
It makes me happy knowing how fulfilling your life is.
Just wanted to let you know I’m thinking of you…still feeling a bit of the after-glow of being able to spend some very special moments together.
My heart swelled with gladness reading about you getting away for some spiritual renewal…. Thanks for taking me along in your heart and mind. I will be elevated all week with you there, laboring for love and worshipping. Hallelujah!
Thanks for being with me in spirit! Honestly, I always know that you are in my pocket or on my shoulder. What a comfort you are.
We will hold you in our circle with us with thanks for the flourishing of your gifts.
I can picture you driving through beauty, breathing fresh air, having a day of worship, peace and rejuvenation and deep emotion.
I’m so happy that there’s psychic space in your life again for creativity, social relationships, and romance!
It was wonderful to hear your "voice" tonight via email and to catch up a little on your life a little.
Wow, thank you for calling me into your labyrinth journey yesterday and for the virtual day together welcoming the new and unknown, doing the best we can (and then NOT worrying about it), raking leaves in the spring sunshine, and ascending and communing in prayer. Balm for the spirit indeed. It was lovely just reading about it.
I'm so excited for you. So glad to know there are friends nearby to receive and welcome you.
How rewarding for you to know you are making a profound difference in the lives of others. Life doesn’t get any better, in my opinion!
Thanks for your affirmations.
It’s such a blessing to share the highs as well as the lows, and all the in-betweens in our lives.
Thanks for “being” together with me last night, it was so meaningful to share my incredible day—I will always remember yesterday and how it came to a close with my sisters.
I'm so excited to be living into the fullness of my second half of life with so many enduring friendships … and two soul sisters. Feeling blessed.
Dear sisters of light and laughter, I’m appreciating our ongoing email exchange and the deep generosity of spirit flowing among us.
—And to you, dear friends and readers of this blog post: May you find light and laughter in your darkest circumstances and may your hearts be open to the gifts of recognition and encouragement, large and small, well executed or awkward, offered by strangers and friends alike on this journey through life.
I am a writer who, in December 2011, fortified by a new MFA, empty nest, and changes in my husband's employment, relocated from my native California to Washington state to see what would unfold next.