I took this picture of my sweet puppy snuggling up to me, with his little floofy head nuzzled into my chest because my heart was so full of love for this sweet creature. He knew his mama needed some comfort.

Because I spent much of the last 24 hours crying. Not just crying. 

CRYING. That kind of crying that comes from deep within, and turns you inside out. The one where you can’t seem to stop because the floodgates have been opened. Hold on to your butts, we’re wringing the washcloth. Everything is coming out.

I was crying in my own grief and heartbreak. Crying for the collective pain I’m feeling for everyone right now as we move through these challenging times. Crying for the depth of kindness humans possess. Crying for the depth of cruelty and absurdity they equally possess. Crying for the beauty and power of the human spirit to triumph against all odds. 

Crying because I have always felt this world so intensely.

When I was younger, I didn’t understand it. I thought there was something wrong with me, that I felt everything to degrees it seemed others didn’t. 

As I’ve gotten older but more accurately as I’ve come to know myself more deeply, I understand that the intensity I used to fear is part of my superpower. It is part of what helps me understand and connect with you, dear reader. 

It’s why I know so much about the importance of allowing ourselves to feel and process our emotions with no judgement, rather than stuffing them down or running from them. 

I didn’t berate myself after this sob-fest. I didn’t beat myself up or tell myself I “shouldn’t” feel a certain way. Nope. I tried life that way and it just made everything worse. I let myself cry. I journaled. I cried. I angry-journaled. I cried. I took a 90 minute Epsom salt bath. And cried. Because I needed to move it out. 

And today? Well, today, I have a little bit of an emotional hangover and may be dangerously low on fluids, but the heaviness has lifted. 

I share this photo and this story because I want you to know it’s okay. It is OKAY. This is life. REAL life.  It isn’t always sunshine, rose petals and awesome hair days (many thanks for the kind compliments on my hair in the last videos, y’all). Nope. Life is messy and beautiful and hard and incredible, sometimes all in the same day. 

So vow to me now that you will never again look at someone’s IG or Facebook and think they have a “perfect” life, or that you don’t measure up. At the risk of placing an R.E.M. song in your head, everybody hurts. Everybody cries.

As we’ve been so acutely reminded in the last two months, we are ALL human. That is the great unifier. 

And being human means sometimes shit gets messy. 

We have sunshine and we have storms. 

Storms pass. 

So does the sunshine.

And both will come again.

Welcome to the Human Experience. 

Fasten your fucking seatbelt…

…and through it all, sparkle on.