I crumpled on the bathroom floor unable to take another step.

Ice cold tile shocked the palms of my hands and stopped the flow of tears.

“Shake it off,” mocked the rational side of me. I had places to go and obligations to fulfill.

How are we supposed to keep going on days like this? Days when the world attacks from every front and there appears to be no way out.

Is it possible to push through and bloom (even flourish) when times are tough?

Like Houdini astounding the masses, I’ve discovered the secrets to managing emotions, overcoming obstacles and breaking through barriers that tried to keep me dormant.

As my hands used the hard tile for leverage to get back on my feet, I recognized (maybe for the first time) the power I had in pushing back. I had a choice to let circumstances cause me to collapse or dig deep within and choose to take a stand!

I was reminded of a flower that mesmerized me in the park. It’s presence startled me not just because it was growing from beneath the walkway, but in spite of the fact that there was no possible explanation for this unexpected beauty to be blooming here!

Lovely, yet tenacious.

Delicate and determined.

The flower found a way to push through, defying the rocky cement.
The reality of our circumstances may be as solid and unyielding.

The secret is to maneuver a way; finding a crevice of hope where light shines through.

I’m not suggesting you live in denial. Even more powerful is recognizing the truth that you are only responsible for your own actions. As much as we try we can never control the thoughts and actions of others. So, why do we so readily allow them to dictate ours?

And when the obstacle is no one’s fault but our own? Is that good enough cause to throw in the flag admitting defeat? My favorite book declares God’s mercies are new every morning! If our creator sees fit to grant us a fresh start to every day, who are we to refuse this second (or third) chance? It may be a chance to be pruned so new growth can bloom.

The most fragrant seasons of my life were the ones that I had to learn lessons and grow from.

Finally, keep reaching up and out. Ironically, a short time after I finally was able to leave my house I received amazing news. News I would have missed had I not bravely reached out to a friend. Two short hours before I wanted to curl up and cancel my appointments. I truly believed that I couldn’t make it through the remainder of the day.
That flower may have grown for a short time beneath the cement. There was soil and rain. But without the sun it would eventually cease to exist. When we determinedly rise up, we push down the darkness. We weren’t created to live without the joy and warmth Light provides.

When the world seems to be pushing you down from every direction, choose to push back and take a stand! Reach out to someone today to join you on this journey.

Some days we need a hand up, other days we bring the joy and warmth.

Let me know how I can join you in blooming through the hard times.