A bent tree leaning in the wind with the ocean over the ledge in the background

We are bringing “Darling Letters” from your inbox to the blog! We love the art of letter writing and believe it helps build authentic community. Our editors and contributors have thoughtfully written encouraging letters to cut through the busyness and speak straight to your heart.

I remember how the inflection of her voice changed when she told me that Father’s Day was hard for her. It made sense. My childhood best friend never had a relationship with her birth father. So when the Hallmark holiday came around each year and hit social media and card aisles, it hurt. 

It made her feel left out.

That was the first time I understood what it meant to be without something that you deeply long for. For me, that feeling of being left behind has grown increasingly in the area of dating, marriage and starting a family of my own. Every time another friend gets engaged or I receive a baby shower invite in my inbox, I am so excited to celebrate my friends.

In the same breath, I pensively question: What about me? Will this ever happen for me? Why not me?

I used to feel shame when these thoughts would come, but I’ve been learning to hold space for them and allow grace for the grief for what isn’t and the celebration for what is. I stand somewhere in between that tension, making room for the tears that come in the waiting while also celebrating the long-awaited victories in the lives of the people around me.

I’ve been learning to hold space… and allow grace for the grief for what isn’t and the celebration for what is.

Their victories have been hard fought battles. As I stand with a loose grip on both joy and sadness, I believe mine will be someday too.

It’s a hard space to navigate, but as I find my footing, I’m realizing there is beauty to be found here. Beauty in the tension of grief and celebration, of a dream deferred and a dream satisfied. The same way I make room for a friend in her longings and feelings of being left out, I can do the same for myself. As I do, I find courage to keep putting one foot in front of the other.

I’m realizing there is beauty to be found here—beauty in the tension of grief and celebration, of a dream deferred and a dream satisfied.

With hope,
Stephanie Taylor, Online Managing Editor

Is there an area of your life where you feel like you are lacking or as if you are left behind? How can you hold space for your own grief while making space to celebrate others?

Image via Judith Pavón Sayrach 

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