By Eric Hodgdon

The very morning after my 15-year old daughter Zoi died, my sister Holly was awakened by the bright sunlight shining through trees across the street from my house. A few weeks later, Holly painted this for me. It symbolized that light always shines through the darkest of times in our lives. To this day, the painting is the first thing I see when I open my eyes in the morning. I am grateful to have it.

Like the painting, early on in my journey I could see a faint light on the other side of a chasm that had just opened up in front of me. This chasm was a combination of unknowns, questions and challenges. It was a perfect recipe for me to just stop and not move through it. Yet, it became my mission to fight for my family and all of Zoi’s friends, to find the pathway to their “light.” And, if they couldn’t see it yet, then it was up to me to at least help them put one foot in front of the other. The hope being, that they too would eventually see their light on the other side of their chasm.

Have you ever been in a situation so big that you couldn’t see your way through?

Here’s the thing: we often avoid crossing our chasms in life. And, when we don’t cross them, we remain in a survival-mode. We wish that things were better. We wish didn’t have to deal with this. We wish that this never happened. I get it. I was there for a while, too. This survival mode, however, is supposed to be temporary, yet some tend to live there for a few reasons:

  1. We feel hopeless that better days no longer exist.
  2. We don’t feel like we have a purpose to move forward.
  3. We feel directionless.

Some of our biggest challenges in life come at us when we least expect it. We may find ourselves standing at the edge of the chasm, trying to see something, anything that provides hope. And, although there are questions, unknowns and a tremendous fog that is in front of us, it’s really our fear that stops us. Fear tells us that we’re about to go through something difficult without guidance, and that we are alone. It tells us we won’t make it through to the other side. And, most of all, when a glimmer of light does show up as hope, fear is right there to tell us it’s not worth moving towards. Fear loves it when we don’t move.

How about becoming empowered by our struggles, and thriving because of them? How about feeding the light by moving just one step closer to it? What if every step that we took forward, reduced fear by that same amount?

The chasms are there for us to learn something. Focus on the light, always. It’s there to guide you through your chasm, to teach you strength. Its presence is a constant reminder to fight on!

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