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When you want to give up, remember this.

I sat in the meditation chapel staring at the colorful paper chain hanging on the wall.


Do you know the kind I'm talking about?

The handmade kind.

Where someone lovingly cut a whole bunch of construction paper into thin strips.

Then bent one into a circle.

Adhered the ends to itself.

And someone else linked another one through it.


That kind.


This particular chain was in the small meditation chapel of the hospital I was in.

I'm not going to lie. I didn't read them. It would have been too much to take it in.

My heart was already brimming -

brimming with an energy that I sensed fully, but words don't adequately explain.


That fullness came reading the entries in a "joys and sorrows" journal at the door of the chapel.

And a small plaque, with words written by a mom - from a loss she experienced all too soon.

I didn't read the details of each paper link.

Instead, I held them as a whole in my heart.

Silently saying my chosen words in a meditation to them as an "offering".


As I looked at the paper chain, I was literally reminded of how connected we are.

Each of those paper chains, linked to the next. Never alone. Not in grief. In despair. In hope. In joy.

See, I went into the meditation chapel because spaces like that re-connect me.

I know that's not true for everyone.

In fact, I know that for some, entering into a space like that feels just the opposite.


For some, they are more connected in nature.

Or with people.

Or in song, or art. or...the possibilities are endless.


Yet the end result is the same.

We feel connected.

Because we ARE connected.


I almost hate to say it because it sounds so trite.

Yet I know it is there is an inexplicable sense of freedom -

that comes from accessing that inextricable connection.


And it's available to all of us.


I wonder - if I said to you:



"There's a paper chain on the wall. It's holding our communities' joys and sorrows. It works like this: Someone writes down something on one of those strips of paper. Something that feels big to them at this moment. And links it to another's.

I like to think of it as a reminder that they are not alone - you are not alone. We are not alone. And you are not alone in what you are experiencing right now."


And then I asked you "Would you like add to yours?"


I wonder what you would write.


If you're in my email community and feeling brave, hit reply and tell me.

If you're not yet in my email community, click on "daily dose" right up at the top of this page.

Sign up and join us.

You belong here.


All my love for you,


Ashley

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