The Light Up Ahead

Lisbeth Essays, Life

I am never convinced that anything I write is more helpful or useful or beautiful than Springsteen’s simple “Hold on brother, there’s a light up ahead.”

That’s what we want, isn’t it? Someone to tell us to hang on, to endure, to persevere. That there is a relief coming from whatever battle we have suddenly found ourselves in the midst of, or a break from whatever sadness has wrapped its cloak around us. That somewhere, somehow, life is going to improve in the future. Or maybe it’s just me.

But I want it.

And I think you do too. That’s why you’re here, reading, right now. And that’s why I write it: I need to hear it, again and again and again. It seems like every single one of my notebooks over the years has this entry in it: “Hold On.”

Life gets dark sometimes. We lose jobs, we lose friends, we lose loved ones forever. We come in last place, again and again. It’s easy to get angry, to get sad, to get bitter. Go ahead, get mad … for a little while. But then, if we are smart, we pick ourselves up and we get better. Because it’s just life, after all — the grand march that’s been going on since humans first started walking the Earth. You aren’t the first one ever to lose. And you won’t be the last.

The good news? Hold on, brother, there’s a light up ahead.

“If we live long enough in this world, we will have our hearts broken. Do they heal? Well, maybe not fully, completely, ever. But in the cracked and broken pieces, that’s where the light shines through. We walk in the world forever after with more depth, more sensitivity, more compassion. Our love affair with the world begins with a broken heart.” — Marilyn Sewell 


Lisbeth Essays, Life

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