There is no doubt that life presents us with unmitigated challenges on a daily basis. However, what we choose to do with these adversities makes all the difference in the world. There is absolutely nothing etched in stone that tells us how to deal with hardship, pain and loss. There is no written manual that states how one loss outweighs another loss. There is no written manual that declares that our pain is less or more that another person's pain. Still, there is no written manual on how to survive this earthly plane. There may never be getting over it. Yet, there is getting on with it.

Our true reclamation into living again is through our pain. I know that sounds incredulous! Despite the years we are all great at stuffing our pain inward, the universe has this remarkable way of providing all of us with brilliant opportunities to seize that pain.

I am not asking anyone not to feel their sadness and happiness concurrently. I am not asking anyone not to have expectations that are unreasonable. I am not asking anyone not to sometimes feel discouragement and a sense of helplessness. What can be done is for all of us to feel that mass confusion, that disappointment and that pain and manifest it into a more generous and loving gesture. Despite the paradoxical and harrowing emotions we feel, we are given the opportunity to be able to reclaim and reestablish a very deep and very loving connection to ourselves and to others. Without this rekindling, we all deny what is deeply fundamental to all of us: Living a more human centered way of living, a way that touches the very springs of our soul. Living life fully and being touched by it makes our heart sing. In the midst of surviving everyday, doing, making everyone else's life manageable, it is easy to forget our own life.

It is time to awaken! As our daily pulse of living and trusting becomes more vivid, we must rally with ourselves as opposed to rallying against ourselves. We cannot change what we will not acknowledge. In essence we all have this inherent ability to commit to the openness of our heart, despite our pain. Such a choice enables us to live on purpose. Like pain, hope is boundless. We can affirm from our soul a sense of great empowerment to embrace the pain and participate in it without harsh criticism. Ultimately, we will feel more integrated, more supported and more constructive. Pain will bring us far. It will offer faith, trust and hope. More importantly, pain is a wonderful reminder that being vulnerable lets us see that we are still alive.

Live now. The greatest thing we have is life and where there is life, there is hope. Have hope for the human spirit. Never underestimate the power of it. It is okay to stand alone with ourselves and share the sunlight as much as we share the rain. We can share the contradictions of life as much as we can share the splendor of it. In our worst nightmares, we can be easily enveloped by our losses. Yet, in our sweetest dream, we can be blessed by the gifts of them. In order for us to live we must risk the pain. I know how difficult. As we wake up, we will gently grasp and gather the threads of our lives with a dignified hope. In closing, trip the light fantastic.  In essence, celebrate!