In Times of Trouble

In our thoughts, we walk unaccompanied. No one can hold our hand and roam those wicked halls with us. Even when we are surrounded by people, side-by-side on sidewalks, pushing carts in aisles, touching thighs on overcrowded transit systems, ticking in offices—we are alone. Certainly so, when we are struck by the lingering, discouraging mood of—I want to quit, I want to give up, I can't take any more! And there, we're apt settle on those thoughts and resolve that there’s absolutely nothing wrong with our resignation.


After all, we should quit the things that do not fit us, shouldn’t we?


Some of us feel as though we are "lacking sufficient qualifications" for life. But those worries crumble, as worries do, and become less substantiated when scrutinized and held accountable by logic. Individual lines of progression (in life) are not linear. Our songs do not travel indefinitely in the direction of up or down. Our songs crescendo repeatedly, and they push forward to a fade-out end. In the down trajectories, hope exists. It is in the subtle unpredictability and flux of progress and the reminder that "down" is temporary.


It may also help to recognize the ephemerality of whatever bleak notions we harbor (as thoughts are inclined to run) in order to conclude that a better choice for us may just be to "hang in there" and "carry on."


Still, when something in your life feels askew to the point of mental and physical imbalance, that shear shifting weight may feel impossibly hard to stabilize.


We all know it...


Clouds gather overhead, a gentle rumble rolls into a roaring clatter. Heavy rains and winds lend to ripping flood wash, causing movement in a place where things are supposed to be permanent and still. Your body sinks further into a rubbled aftermath, and your brain gets trapped and lost in the debris.


I too have been there.


At my murkiest points, when I was stuck in the mud, spinning wheels at the end of a “long and winding road,” with seemingly no direction or hope, in a place where my own light was pulled by the undertow and dimmed, there was one particular song that shown a guiding beacon home.


“Let It Be” makes me cry every time, in a good way. It’s the kind of cry that brews and brims from long stifled troubles, and when it bursts, it evolves and ends in a gentle, reassuring downpour of content.


Ultimately, I know, deep down, that everything is going to be okay. I know that I am not alone, because I refuse to be.


When you need shelter and protection against life’s brutal gusts—I propose you live within and hold “Let It Be” like an umbrella. In every chord and McCartney line—you will feel stress spring from your soul, as this song places its hands upon your shoulders to relieve your burdens and lift you allowing you to “shine until tomorrow” and to witness the clouds part, in faith, revealing that “there will be an answer.”


And that answer is…





If you or someone you know has a mental illness, is struggling emotionally, or has concerns about their mental health, there are ways to get help.

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© 2020 Kat Shook