"Work on being in love with the person in the mirror who has been through so much but is still standing."

Still standing! Yes! Today, I am giving myself a little love by celebrating that I am still standing. I invite you, today, to identify experiences that helped you stand in your own darkest of times. You’ve been through so much; please, stop, and give yourself a big hug! You deserve it!

I have been crumpled on the floor and curled up in a ball. I have felt paralyzed and pulled the covers over my head in fear. I have hobbled in an effort to walk. Yet, today I celebrate. I celebrate because I’m still standing! I crumpled, I curled, I crawled, and hobbled. I think I will always walk with a metaphorical “limp.” My experiences have humbled me.

The utter brokenness I felt, led me to being broken open. Broken open in expansion of my heart. Broken open to what I call “moments of sustenance.” These fed my strength and courage. These moments of sustenance come from all kinds of sources. The warmth of the sun on my skin. A laugh or smile in a moment of exchange with another. Tears that express my grief. The silliness of my precious little granddaughters as I connect over FaceTime. Collaboration with others. A heartfelt, healing exchange (which happens in countless ways) with people, nature, animals, music, art, movies. A truly endless list.

To me, these are moments of pure Love. It connects me to something greater than myself. It reminds me of the connection to everything. It happened today when a section of a song came into my head. I could only hum the melody, but soon the words followed. Then an “aha“—two sentences in that song were given to me as a gift of courage and strength that I needed in that specific moment. Tears of gratitude streamed down my face. My heart expanded into this Love that could not have been more pure.

There have been many times when my heart has been so broken and in pain when comfort or love felt anything but close. In some of those most broken times, and moments of such despair, when rising up to put one foot in front of the other felt like an impossible task, I reminded myself of the “moments of sustenance.“ As I remember one of these moments that saved me, it becomes another moment of sustenance. The moments build—hope arises. And, I am able to stand! I honor that you are standing too!

What moments of sustenance brought you here?

Cheri Thomas

Cheri works as a Peer Support Specialist for RI in Arizona. She has experienced loss and grief which has led her to write for the masses to bring voice to those in similar situations. Cheri possesses a deep passion to share with, encourage, and inspire others on what she calls the Journey of the Heart.