Reasons to Keep Going
When it feels damn near impossible.
Because you are here, against all odds, on a mostly blue planet suspended in a vast and unknowable sky.
Because one day, you’ll get to tell the story of how you made it. How you were brave and resilient, despite it all.
Because your vision deserves as much respect as anyone else’s.
Because you care. Feeling heartbroken, enraged, depleted, burned out — simply feeling — stems from care. That is a beautiful thing. The most beautiful thing. Don’t lose touch with it.
Because the fortune cookie said, “Life always gets harder near the summit,” and maybe it’s right.
Because your actions can honor those who came before, those you miss, those who are unable, those whose words and hopes and wishes live on in what you bring to the world.
Because maybe there is a reason, an order, a why.
Because you matter, likely more than you know. Think of all the people who’ve made a difference in your life, in ways big and small — the early boss who took a chance on you, the teacher or coach or friend’s parent who encouraged you, the passing compliment delivered right when you needed it, the person who held the door when you’d just about given up on humanity. You’ve had that effect on someone, too.
Because puppies. And their round puppy tummies and not-yet-grown-into-them paws.
Because life is full of plot twists, and sometimes when you least expect it, you’re launched into one that’s better than you can imagine.
Because the sun shows up every morning. And the world keeps spinning. When all else is lost, there is hope in this kind of consistency.
Because you’ve made it this far.
Because every October, clouds of monarch butterflies migrate nearly 3,000 miles, their paper-thin wings using air currents to travel distances rivaled by commercial jets.
Because this too shall pass.
Because none of it ever made sense in the first place, even in the moments when we thought it did.
Because throwing your hands up is exactly what they — the naysayers, the demons, The Man, the struggle — want. But the question is, what do you want?
Because if you stop for a moment and get really quiet, there is something that whispers from the deepest part of you. It will move you to tears, of love or rage or truth or beauty. And it bids you to keep showing up, keep trying, keep fighting.
Because if you look closely enough, inside every flower there is a story about the winter that came before it.
Because there’s a lot more to the story, but it’s yet to be written. And the wording is up to you.
Card of the Week
Here is this week’s card for the collective, as well as some thoughts to carry into the days ahead. As most modern readers will tell you, the tarot is not about fortunetelling, nor is it about neat, definitive answers. The cards are simply one path to reflection, a way of better knowing ourselves and others through universal themes. If this reading resonates with you, great! And if not, no worries. Take whatever may be helpful and leave the rest.
This week’s card is The Empress. Throughout this reading, I’ll be using she/her pronouns in reference to the character of the Empress. But the energy of this card is applicable to all.
I’ve always found it curious that humans purport to be the most intelligent species on the planet. I mean, yes, we’ve traveled to outer space. Created tools and technology, transportation and architecture, language and stories and art.
But what can be said of instinct?
While we may be born with intuition — a sense of knowing that logic cannot explain — many of us do not honor it.
Meanwhile, there are widely documented cases of animals evacuating areas before storms or earthquakes, or alerting humans to impending danger long before it was predicted.
Sometimes, I’ll look around at all of us, with our rain gear and our complicated orthopedic footwear and think, “Really? How can we think we’re superior when we need all this stuff?”
This week’s card encourages us to reflect on what it means to nurture oneself. What basic needs have we been neglecting in favor of so many complicated distractions?
A crowd favorite, The Empress speaks to new beginnings, growth, and creativity of all kinds. She is strong and graceful, regal yet down-to earth. She has the proprioception of a seasoned yoga teacher and the stage presence of Beyoncé. Some cast her as Nature personified, the maternal figure of the tarot deck.
All too often, we may be disappointed by those we expect to care for us, whether blood family, chosen company, or those in positions of power. We may look to others for support but find it isn’t on offer. Likewise, we may spend a great deal of time nurturing others, but when it comes to our own dreams, interests — even our health — we come up short.
This week’s card wants to know: How do you show up for yourself? How do you listen to your own internal guidance? How do you pursue your best interests?
The Empress steps forward to remind us that each of us has the power to bring wonderful new things into this world — ideas, dreams, creative solutions. They can be gentle. They can be subtle. They can be strange.
And they are needed now more than ever.
Whether we heed it or not, we are all born with our own innate power. It is a force so boundless, so mysterious, that most of us will never come close to testing its limits. This card reminds us that no matter what models we have — and no matter what our culture celebrates — power takes many forms. It may be quiet, slow to build, simmering under the surface. It can be subversive, clever, kind.
For better or worse, humans are not always keyed in to our natural rhythms. The constraints and demands of society often speak louder than any internal force — when to move, when to sleep, when to go, go, go.
The Empress asks us to come home to ourselves, to fully inhabit our experience of being a creature in a body. To turn our awareness to the sensations of being alive.
Power begins with knowing yourself. Trusting yourself. Learning to love and advocate for yourself. Learning to be vulnerable.
In the days ahead, The Empress asks you to fill up the well — with rest, play, art, movement, nutrition, literature, whatever it is you need.
Take good care of yourself.
Only then can we fix our sights on the horizon, join hands, and create the world we wish to inhabit.
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