It's going to be OKAY

Life is stressful, people can be hurtful, the world is full of disappointment, destruction, and cruelty. Just the same there are incredible things happening all around us from the smallest of changes, to the simplest of expressions, to the collection of caring individuals inspiring hope and the strength to go on and progress forward. 

If you are feeling the gravity of the world weighing you down, it's going to be okay. You've made it this far. Take another step forward and another after that, the world will continue to move forward just as you will too. 

I felt like I had to fix the world (what millennial doesn't think that?)

When I was younger I stressed about everything and I worried even more. I felt like I had to fix the world (what millennial doesn't think that?). I thought nobody else cared as much as I did and that, as the saying goes, if you want something done right, do it yourself. So, I tried. And not only was it exhausting constantly worrying about things I had no control over, but it began to break me down over time and I started to realize I was losing control of my own life because my dreams of fixing everything were so broad I couldn't even see my own minor issues. After suffering from regular anxiety attacks and having countless talks about plans that would never happen, and the disregard the rest of the world seemed to have, my friends would willfully nod in agreement but never contemplated the complexity I thought I had unraveled in my head. One day a close friend and I were playing guitar and we struck a chord that harmonized perfectly. It just hung in the air. Without thinking or lifting our heads the chords began to flow. We didn't know what we were playing or what would come next but in that moment, a profound peace came over me and this weight I'd been caring around fell away. Through this melodic unintentional meditation, I had found my peace. I wanted to replicate that feeling, so I started to study meditation, and the art of "letting go". Silent meditation did not come easily for me and my A.D.D mind though, but practice makes perfect and I gained control of my anxiety, my fears, and my worries. I'm still not sure how that one moment sitting in a smelly garage playing guitar changed me, but it's impacts have been lifelong (thus far). I know now to focus on myself and continue to live, help where I can, trust others will do the same, and enjoy life every day knowing everything will be okay. 

We all go through ups and downs, ebbs and flows. But what's important is how you take care of yourself when you do hit those ruts. When you're feeling lost with your head fixated on your feet, look around and experience the beauty in your surroundings. All the terribleness is temporary. There are always clear skies after a storm. If the destruction is overwhelming when you look down, look up. You have an opportunity to see either the bad or the good. There is always a balance, whether we choose to see it or not.

Living in Texas, our state has been ravished with unimaginable devastation and heartache. Entire cities are under water or have been leveled from Hurricane Harvey. We've experienced biblical flooding in the fourth largest city in the U.S.A. and we're just starting to see the damage come to light. To top it off we now have people from Florida dealing with similar problems and fighting their way back home to see what's left. Through it all we are making the choice to let this destruction consume us or smile, knowing it's all going to be okay. We have each other, we have the power of the stranger that extends an arm to help pick you up. We have an entire state (and nation) where diversity, ethnicity, gender, and religion don't mean anything as we come together to rebuild hope. During trying times, we remember who we are and the results are astounding. Through this horrible storm that has stolen lives, homes, and livelihood, it has invigorated us. It has given us a sense of purpose, a reason to come together, a reason to help one another. This storm may have left a path of destruction after it's passing, but the results won't soon be forgotten. 

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Don't lose hope. Don't give up. Put a smile on your face and know that we're all in this together and we will be there to carry each other in troubled times.

All it takes is a smile to start an infinite chain reaction. That's it. One simple expression can quite literally change the world. Smile and know that you will be okay and each day has an opportunity for happiness and success.

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Don't stress. 

Don't worry. 

Don't get overwhelmed.

It's going to be okay.

-Matt