An illustration of a woman's silhouette with her shaw blowing in the wind

The collective trauma and grief of this year has left us raw and teetering on an edge, and yet, here we are. Still so bravely doing our best to put the next foot in front of the other.

Laughter or tears: Never knowing which way it will fall, and having the vulnerability to be on the cusp of either.

Look at us still engaging the daily ritual of hanging in there and steadying our breath. Taking it one day at a time.

I’ve never wanted to squeeze the hands of so many and so tightly, just to affirm we’re seen, we’re doing this and we’re hemmed into this together. I feel so grieved for us and, at the same time, so proud of us.

I’m proud that you’ve been enduring.

I’m so proud to see you’re still standing.

I’m proud of you for being a first timer, making a mess of it a million different ways and never getting so discouraged that you gave up. That really is something isn’t it?

I’m so proud of how you’ve balanced, maybe teetered, on the edge of it all—wholehearted and clinging tightly.

I’m proud of you for doing your best, especially when it was all you could do.

I’m so proud of you for remembering to take a deep breath. 1—2—3—4—5. There, you just took another.

I’m so proud that when you fell, you found the courage and the grace to get back up and try again.

I’m proud of you for holding space for the hard stuff—the disappointments, the grief and the missteps.

I’m proud you held tightly to truth and stayed curious enough to wade into the grey.

I’m proud of you for bringing some order to the chaos. There were days we watched you save the world, and others it was all you could do just to brush your teeth. Both were OK and enough.

I’m so proud of how you’ve grown, even if you can’t see it yet.

So proud of how you’ve taught by example, through perseverance, by just showing up again in the morning.

I’m so proud of you for laughing and for just getting outside.

I’m so proud of you for being generous, for choosing hopefulness, even when they wouldn’t do the same for you.

I’m proud of you for the matching of socks, the tears spilled on the kitchen floor, for juggling through monotony and chaos.

I’m proud that you didn’t look away.

I’m proud of your courage to look inward.

I’m proud of the sacred ground you stood—where you found your footing, where you took the hand of someone other and where you made good trouble.

I’m proud of how you listened well.

I’m so proud of you for playing and resting in a moment of unhurried delight.

I’m proud of you for finding your strength. You were not consumed. Though fear informed many things, I’m proud of how your fortitude taught you more.

I’m proud of you for saying sorry—for having the humility to admit where you’re growing.

I’m proud of you for setting boundaries and holding the line. You said no, enough, never again.

I’m proud of you for staying—for work that yielded faithful commitment.

I’m proud of you for sermons preached without using a single word, by acting on the next right and selfless thing however small it seemed.

And how proud I am for how you sat in the thin places—when hope was deferred, resources dwindled and when the energy just wouldn’t come.

I’m proud of you for sustaining.

This is hard, you’ve done so much and you’re doing it still, and for that I’m proud of you, of all of us.

Image via Heidi Hundseth Hart

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