A dear friend of mine, a woman stronger and more at peace with the world than I’ve ever known, is going through a rough patch.  A roughly, prickly patch that is starting to weigh her down.

When she realized she was wading through this patch alone, she reached out to her friends for support.

When I first listened to my friend’s troubles, I thought, my goodness, if this amazing woman can have her foundation rocked, what hope is there for me?  But then I realized, we all have the same troubles.  We all trip over the same pitfalls.  No one is immune.  This is a learning experience to understand how we can weather these kinds of storms together.

The following are my words I wrote to my friend:

Oh, my dearest! My heart goes out to you. You have such a beautiful outlook on life- I’m sorry that’s being challenged right now.

Stress is a bitch, isn’t it? With all the crap I’ve been through in the last few years, my immune system decided to wage war on my thyroid and my adrenal glands decided to shut down. After every blood test, all my doctor says is ‘you have to find a better way to manage your stress.’

But you know what? The power of the mind never ceases to amaze me.

Look at you.  Despite all the signals your physical body is sending to let you know it’s feeling the stress of your current circumstances, your mind is well and whole. Your mind is able to look at your life, identify the causes and triggers of the stress you are dealing with, and it’s able to make choices to pull you through. Your healthy and complete mind is also what has allowed you to reach out and seek the love and support that will pull you through this time. So, no matter what your body may do, take comfort in knowing the amazing power of your mind.

It’s so hard to stay connected to that self-confidence that allows you to just have trust in the universe. I find myself struggling with this constantly. We have to remember that everything in life is a cycle, though. (I’m wanting to sing The Byrds’ “Turn, Turn, Turn.”  For everything, there is a season…) There are upswings and downswings, and knowledge to be gleaned from every phase. But when you feel like life is just throwing you that downswing, it is so hard to keep your faith in the absolute trust of the universe.

Often, I liken myself and my stress to a boat out in the ocean that keeps getting hit by wave after wave that crashes onto the decks. I think, ‘How many more waves can I withstand before my boat starts to break apart?’ But really, when I step back and think about it, I should be saying to myself, ‘Hey, despite all these crashing waves, my boat is still in one piece, and I’m still sailing forward.’  I think it’s natural to focus on the grief and not realize how resilient we really are.

You, my dear, are the strongest, best built boat I have ever come across. (I know, I’m taking the boat analogy a little far.)  These waves don’t stand a chance against you. Plus, you have the whole Ya-Ya flotilla sailing out to surround you and be by your side through this storm, reminding you to trust in yourself, to trust in the universe, to trust that this is a cycle, a circle of life that is necessary for you to learn and grow and fully embrace your life. We won’t let you steer off course.

Love you, girl.