Although Easter looked different for us this year — and possibly for you too — I still have enough sweet and savory leftovers in my fridge that I probably shouldn’t cook or bake anything for a few days… So in case you’re in the same boat, I thought we could have a little virtual coffee date today instead!
But don’t worry… I still have lots of delicious brand new recipes coming your way very soon!
So grab a big ol’ mug, fill it with your favorite coffee or tea (or maybe this homemade latte, this yummy mocha, or this super easy chai latte!), and pretend like we’re inside of a cute little coffee shop sitting across from each other and catching up on life.
And as we sipped our drinks, this is what I would share with you…
Things are weird right now.
That’s just the best way I can put it.
My daily life actually looks somewhat similar to my regular routine. I already work from home, bake a lot, wear sweatpants almost every day, use the gym equipment in my garage for workouts, and mainly leave the house to run errands, shop for groceries, and walk my dog…
But I know a lot of people’s lives look so very different.
Setting up makeshift offices in the dining room, skipping the gym, kids home and studying through virtual classes, cooking and washing dishes for nearly every meal, going a little stir crazy with cabin fever, stress and anxiety levels rising a little — or a lot — almost every time they step outside…
As well as countless people who have lost their income, their jobs, or their loved ones.
I feel so incredibly blessed that my family and I, as well as my Amy’s Healthy Baking business, are still alive, breathing, and functioning. Because there are so many people whose lives look so different… whose lives are falling apart before their eyes.
Maybe you’re like me and your life is just a little uncomfortable at times… yet still completely manageable.
Or maybe you’re one of the people who has lost everything and feels so hopeless as you fight to make it through the day without dissolving into tears or crawling back under the covers… because it’s just so hard to even get out of bed.
No matter where you are right now, the former or the latter or anywhere in between…
That’s totally okay.
It’s okay to feel lost and confused. It’s okay to feel worried or afraid. It’s okay to feel frustrated and angry. It’s okay to feel hopeless and alone. It’s okay to question why this is happening, why your life has to look so different… and whether things will ever go back to normal, back to the way they were.
It’s all okay.
This season of life may look very different…
Yet you’re still here.
Even in these moments, amidst the doubts and uncertainty… amidst the solitude and separation… amidst the slowness and stillness…
You’re still alive and breathing.
Your life still matters.
And you do too.
You still matter.
It’s easy to feel overwhelmed in this slowness and uncertainty. Your regular routines may have disappeared, along with the familiarity and comfort they provided.
Maybe you’re eating different foods, ones that might not be as healthy as you’d like, and your workouts may look different too, if you even have time to squeeze them in between watching your kids and juggling phone calls and cooking meals and re-sanitizing everything that enters your home.
Maybe you’re lonely, missing the daily interactions and casual conversations you had with friends, coworkers, and even neighbors in the street, possibly trying FaceTime and Skype just to see those familiar faces that you know and love so well, yet still feeling a little empty, isolated, and alone as soon as those calls end.
Maybe you’re worried about losing your job or losing your loved ones, waves of concern washing over you throughout each day, wondering how much longer they can last or how you can keep everything in your life intact, while trepidation and fear keep gnawing at you, the hole inside of you growing wider and deeper with each new round of “what if’s” that appear.
In these moments, the ones filled with anxiety and doubt, it’s so easy to be hard on yourself. It’s so easy for your mind to tell you to pull yourself together, try harder, and do more… to criticize you for what you’re thinking, feeling, and going through, especially when so much of the world has it worse than you right now… and to call you a failure for feeling a little frayed at the edges or for starting to fall apart.
Those words and thoughts coming from your mind can be so abrasive and harsh. They can hurt so much, piercing your heart and deflating your confidence faster than a leaky helium birthday balloon… especially when you feel like you have nowhere to go, nowhere to hide, nothing to distract you, and nobody to talk you off that ledge.
But it’s not true.
You’re not a failure.
You’ve never been a failure… And you never will be either.
You are an amazing human being.
You’re here. You’re alive and breathing. You’re trying your best.
You’re taking things day by day, hour by hour, minute by minute… Maybe even breath by breath.
And that’s okay.
That’s all okay.
It’s okay if you don’t exercise every day. It’s okay if you eat cold cereal and cookies for dinner. It’s okay if you wear sweatpants all day. It’s okay if you fall behind on your work. It’s okay if you skip showering for a third day in a row. It’s okay if you can barely even get out of bed.
It’s all okay.
Your worth isn’t tied to what you eat, what you wear, what you look like, what you get done, or what you say, think, or do.
Your worth isn’t tied to any of that at all.
Your worth just is.
You’re a beautiful, wonderful, and incredible human being…
Regardless of what you or your life looks like right now.
It might not feel like it as you glance around at your current surroundings. You still might go through times where you feel like a failure, like giving up, or like nothing will ever be okay again… especially the moments when you’re staring at the ceiling, lying wide awake in the middle of the night, or when you’re looking out of your living room window, seeing the empty streets and hearing nothing except the swirling stream of thoughts racing through your mind.
You might feel helpless… hopeless… or like it’s never going to end.
Like there’s no possible way for you to ever recover… or for things to ever look the same.
And maybe you’re right. Maybe they won’t. Maybe life will always be different, in the aftermath of everything now crashing through your life, like the waves of a storm forcefully pounding against the sandy shores.
This season may look different… The rest of your life may look a little different too… And that’s okay.
You are still worthy. You are still good enough. So truly good enough.
So be gentle with yourself. Take care of yourself. Treat yourself with compassion and kindness. Forgive yourself — truly forgive yourself — for the areas of your life where you might feel like you’re falling short.
Just like spring will eventually turn into summer…
This season of life will eventually change too.
Maybe your life bounces back to exactly the way it was before. Or maybe this season leaves a mark, a scar, a little reminder of the hard things you endured… And maybe your life will always look different.
Whatever happens, it’ll be okay.
You will still be a beautiful, amazing, and worthy being. Worthy of compassion, care, respect, and love… Especially the kind that comes from within your own heart and soul.
You always have been worthy of love. You always will be. You always are.
Even now… Exactly as you are right now, in this very moment.
And you truly deserve every bit of that beautiful love.
So here, in your present situation amidst your current surroundings…
Maybe you’ll be able to find a few little pockets of peace and comfort. The cozy smell of your first cup of coffee, the warmth of the blanket wrapped around your shoulders, the melodic chirping of birds in your backyard trees, the dainty spring blooms as their petals unfold, or the soft golden glow of another rose-colored sunset.
Maybe you’ll let go of the resistance, the anger, the frustration, the doubts, or the fears caused by what’s going on in your life — even if just for a moment or two — and let yourself be okay with not being okay.
Maybe you’ll start to turn inward. To turn away from the news, the social media feeds, and the exhausting chatter of your mind, constantly racing from one topic to the next, ceaselessly peppering you with anxiety and fear… and instead, turn to the gentle whispers coming from your heart and soul, those soft yet reassuring words that say yes, if you just keep breathing and just keep hoping and just keep holding on… everything will eventually be okay.
Maybe, one day, you’ll realize you had the inner strength and courage that you needed all along… the strength and courage to keep breathing, keep going, and keep trusting that you’d make it through these difficult days… and not just survive, but really and truly thrive once you got to the other side.
Maybe. Just maybe.
And I hope you do.
Because it’s true.
All of it is true.
Despite what you’re going through… Despite where you’ve been… Despite what’s still to come…
You are so brave and so strong. You are so capable of holding on and making it through. You are so capable of continuing on this journey called life, moment by moment and breath by breath… And truly flourishing on the other side of these thick forests, deep valleys, and crazy times we’re in.
And all along, in every single one of these moments…
Your life still matters.
You still make a difference.
You’re still important — so incredibly important — and completely worthy of the life you’re dreaming of.
You still matter.
Always and forever…
You still matter.
So keep going. Keep breathing. Keep holding on.
Keep putting on foot in front of the other.
Take care of yourself. Be gentle with yourself. Forgive yourself. Give yourself the permission to be… to simply be.
Because even in these times where life feels so uncertain, unpredictable, and confusing…
You matter. Your life matters.
You’re worthy. You’re good enough.
You will make it through…
And you always, forever and always, are such a beautiful, special, loved, and so incredibly worthy soul.
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