Moonlit Inspiration

I saved this meme to my phone a while back, and it popped up in one of my memories for this date. This message is one I think many of us need to hear. When we’re going through difficult times, when we’re questioning our lives, our loves, our hopes, our plans, our history, or our choices, it’s easy to decide we’re lost and to feel we have nothing to offer. But that simply is not true. It never is. We don’t stop exuding the positives we have just because the negatives are raging in our heads.

I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately. Looking back on my life, I see the disconnect between the person I thought other people must see and the person I actually was showing the world by being myself. I spent decades feeling broken and unlovable and not actually even likable. That was my sad, internal view of myself. It was all I knew of me. That was not, however, what other people saw of me. I’ve always had friends; some of them have stuck around since my childhood. In my dating years before I met my husband, I nearly always had a boyfriend. No one else saw me as the worthless potato I saw when I looked in the mirror, but I was so indoctrinated by the voices I had heard growing up that I was not able to see the reality of my life. If I had truly been unlovable, I wouldn’t have had friends. People, god bless them, continued to see in me what I could not see in myself. Maybe I wasn’t whole, but others still saw my shine even though I could not. This revelation has been amazing to me. And I am grateful to every single person who has been able to recognize my value even as I continued to assert that there was none there.

We all have a shine that others witness. We all light someone up, a spouse, a friend, a sibling, a parent, or even a pet. When we’re feeling at our worst, others often fail to see the same dreadful image. If the people in your life aren’t holding up a mirror to show you how special and loved and worthy you are, maybe it’s time to find new people. And if people are holding up that mirror to share the reflection of the beautiful light bursting forth from within you, I hope you are able to see it, own it, and revel in it. If you aren’t ready to acknowledge that eternal light in you just yet, hang in there. Someday, somehow that light will get through and force you to reckon with your imperfectly perfect, shining, beautiful, kick ass self.

If you get a chance today, take a few seconds to hold up a mirror to someone who looks like they could use a little encouragement. You just sparkle their radiance right back at them. Tell them they are luminous. Remind them to shine on.

“Who on earth d’you think you are? A super star? Well, right you are. Well, we all shine on, like the moon and the stars and the sun.” ~John Lennon, Instant Karma

Thought Experiments

Every night we take a walk with our thirteen year old border collie, Ruby. I like to think it’s the high point of her day. Often the walk is just Steve and I, but sometimes we can cajole the boys into coming along. Tonight we got to enjoy their banter. Luke was world building, designing a college. He calls these imaginings “thought experiments.” Joe was, of course, bickering with him about some of his ideas, and I had to jump in and tell Joe that he doesn’t get to tell Luke his ideas are misguided. I’ve been telling him that for as long as Luke has been his brother.

We often walk the same route. We look for the toads that appear after dark. Tonight we saw a tiny one and a big boy we decided to name Chonk. The moon was full and small clouds glided in front of it intermittently. At one point, the moon had a cloud handlebar mustache.

When the world is crazy, these walks are my zen. Ruby has done her best to keep us going out into the world, even and especially during a pandemic. For thirteen years, she has been our constant keeper. She reminds us how lucky we are to be a family, to have each other, to have someone looking out for us.

Times are changing, though. Joe goes back to college soon. Luke is applying for colleges now too. And, sadly, our beautiful puppy girl is nearing her unfair end. Our days on this earth are the same as the clouds floating over the moon tonight. They’re sailing by, indecipherable from one another, here and then gone.

I said these walks are the high point of Ruby’s day, but they’re actually the high point of mine. They remind me of all the good things still left after childhood’s end.