When I first started speaking and writing, I was 19 years old. I look back on those times now and I was just so naive. I’d grown up in sort of a bubble.
What you realize very quickly, I think, is that life is messy. Life is messy. And it’s sort of one of the great themes of these 25 years of speaking and writing for me, this idea that life really is messy. And I can have these very clear and logical ideas in the solitude of my writing place, but real people in real places have to live them in real ways in the midst of what is very often a very, very messy world.
At Dynamic Catholic, we invite the Ambassadors each month to submit prayers, and I get a report at the end of each week with all the prayers. It’s amazing, it’s astounding . . . I mean, I can’t even put into words what it feels like to sit in the chapel and read through those prayer requests.
I cannot get through a set of those prayer requests without tears. It’s just not possible. It just, it couldn’t be human.
And I think the lesson is that everyone’s struggling with something.
I remember when I first got cancer. I remember walking out of the doctor’s office after he told me I had cancer. My head was just spinning, and my realization was that nothing else in the world has changed. Everyone is just going around their business, going about doing their thing.
Nobody knows what you’re struggling with, and nobody knows what I’m struggling with. We’re all struggling with something. And I think it’s important that we realize that everyone’s carrying a heavy burden. It’s important that we realize everyone’s struggling with something. It’s important that we realize that everyone is fighting a hard battle. Because when we do realize that, we treat people differently.
So be gentle with yourself, because you’ve got your own struggle. And be gentle with other people, because everybody is fighting a hard battle. Because life is messy.
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