Recently, Facebook shared a picture of me and told me that this is “what I was doing two years ago today.” My, it brought back memories.

When I saw the picture I thought, “Wow, it was only two years ago I was in that place/space.” Today, I am so grateful to be where I am now. Feeling my joy more and more every single day.

You see, on this day in 2013 I look like I am excited and having a grand time with my sister and my friend, don’t I? This is called ‘faking it until you make it’, my friends.

I heard just a few months ago that some of my friends (who would normally go away to this cottage with us) felt bad that they weren’t included and wondered why we went away without them.

Believe me, it was NOT a fun trip. We tried to make it fun. We jumped on the beach and did a photo shoot; I made my first snow/sand angel; we tried to do the things we would normally do on a girl’s weekend away. My sister and friend did what they could to help. However, as they held me that night as I was having an extreme anxiety attack and crying so intensely it sounded more like wailing, I am pretty sure it was anything but fun for any of us.

It was, however, what I needed. At this time in my life, only three other people knew that my marriage was breaking up…that my heart was broken. I was holding it in for family reasons, and boy it was torture and eventually showed up in my body big time.

The reason I share this with you is not to make you feel sorry or sad for me, but because it may resonate with some of you about something you, a friend or a family member of yours may be experiencing right now and to bring you hope.

You see, what is ironic about this picture showing up is that this morning I was sitting here journaling about how amazing it is to feel so much of my joy again. I can tell you this for sure, I truly did not know when I would ever feel it again. I missed it like crazy. I didn’t realize how much I took it for granted. Even the days that I felt some joy, it was forced joy.

Now, there is no forcing. It just is. And every…single….day… I am grateful for this. I do not think that I will ever take this for granted again.

I want you to know that whatever hardship you may be experiencing, whatever loss or change you may be going through in your life, it can get better. It WILL get better if you work at it, get help, reach out, be patient (not my best virtue), learn to love and be gentle with yourself, especially on your bad days.

Please do not ever give up the hope of getting to where you want to be/feel again. I feel a new life coming in this spring, and it feels amazing. Know that there may still be difficult times; there are for me too, yet they are very short-lived now, sometimes only seconds and getting much further apart. You can breathe, talk, walk or cry through them. However the light will come back in as long as you invite it in. Please do not close the door. Keep it open, even if only a crack.

Life is amazing. The human spirit is incredible in its ability to heal. Make yourself a priority. Learn new things. Take chances. Reach out. Get help.

I am living proof that a strong intention is everything. Focus on how you want to feel. The Universe hears our intention; even though you may still have your bad days/moments as long as you have a place that you want to get to or feel, you will. One step at a time.

I am with you. You’ve got this!