A long time ago, when Luke and Lane were babies, I went out for a drive by myself. I drove this loop that took me right in front of the beach in Coronado. I was raw meat during those days. Raw. Meat. A little like how I feel today. Like we’re still pushing to get settled. Like things aren’t muscle-memory yet. Like we’re still in between. Ready to feel like we have energy again.

When I feel like raw meat, I have a tendency to believe that if I were doing things differently or better, I might be able to save myself from the struggle. My mind starts racing around, trying to jump through all the hoops that the toxic tapes are mandating. This is exhausting business.

As I drove—creeping as slowly as traffic would allow—down the stretch of road that parallels the beach, I saw a miracle.

A big daddy was carrying his little girl. She was sandy and sun-smooched and her head bobbed up and down on his shoulder as he walked. Her limp arms were dangled over his shoulders as she slept.

“I get it,” I said out loud in the car. “OK, I get it.”

Some days we will feel pulverized. Absolutely meat-cleavered. Our fretting about how we might do better or be more or how we could have avoided the struggle if we would have been a prettier or more talented person will ONLY, EVER make things feel so much worse. We will zing and ping and ding around in a stratosphere that has nothing to do with what actually matters. We will exhaust ourselves to the point of paralysis.

The father-daughter moment broke into my zinging. Those two were about the deeper anchors of life: love, care, nurture, trust, grace.

If today is a raw meat day for you, and you are fretting and turning on yourself and believing that if you were just better you might not feel so totally pounded, I invite you to breathe a few deep breaths and turn your mind toward the father and daughter with the waves behind them, just walking down the street toward their car after a full day by the sea. Simple. Very simply. And, yet, profound.

Think about what is true. What remains. What matters. Think about holding and being held. Resting. Connecting. Think about loving and being loved. Think about beauty. Think about the broad grace, the spacious place.

These deeper anchors will help you turn away from what’s toxic and help you turn toward what’s true.

Amen.

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