Life is just so life sometimes. I was speaking with a friend the other day about some challenges she’d had over the past few months, the most recent being the unexpected deaths of two close friends. For better or worse it became a conversation on comparing difficult life notes. And I wish I could say this conversation was an anomaly amongst friends lately, but it’s not. I’ve been passing kidney stones for the past six months, the closest thing men come to birthing a baby I’ve been told, and experienced the loss of a significant relationship, so our combined themes seemed to focus on pain and grief. And sometimes life is exactly that – painful and very sad.

I have a beautiful calendar with inspiring quotes which I just flipped to December. This month’s nugget is from Anne Frank, who is, frankly, always an inspired read. In her words, “The world is full of suffering. It is also full of the overcoming of suffering.” Anne Frank named something that was so universal we’re still quoting her some eighty years later.  Life is tough at times, painful at others, and it has a way of bringing us to our knees.  Sometimes it’s AIDS, cancer, or kidney stones (I’m not implying the latter is in the same category as the first two, but it is throw yourself down on the floor painful). Or losing your father, best friend, or a marriage. But Anne Frank inspired the world because she persevered and turned one of the most devastating chapters of human history into helping the world heal. Thank you, Ms. Frank.

So as my friend and I shared our stories, there was an awareness that came like the rising sun on the morning horizon. She had a milestone birthday coming in a few weeks and it was going to be time to celebrate. Yes, celebrate during a time when our pain might still be present. And then the awareness landed – that’s life.

And just as it’s so important to cry our tears, grieve our losses, and experience our pain, conversely, when a baby is born, or a child graduates from high school, or two souls join forces in holy matrimony – we just have to celebrate.

We get to call in joy, share good food and drink, toast, dance, sing, and maybe even fall in love, while remembering that life is light as well as dark, laughter as well as tears, re-birth as well as death. And like the seasons, all these experiences come and go so dress accordingly. Rumi said, “Treat each visitor like a friend, as they may be clearing your proverbial house out for your next new adventure.” Okay, I’m paraphrasing Rumi a bit, but I don’t think he’d mind because, like me, he wanted people to take a bite out of life and keep chewing.

Life is light as well as dark, laughter as well as tears, re-birth as well as death. And like the seasons, all these experiences come and go so dress accordingly. @barryaldenclark (Click to Tweet!)

We keep going because some part of us knows this too shall pass, and life will get better.  Oh, sure, at times it gets worse, but our spirits inevitably recoup and remind us life is a process, and there’s bound to be something on the other side of a tough time. And experience shows us there usually is, and sometimes that something is a beautiful miracle.

Is today the best day ever? Well, maybe, or maybe not, but a loss is a loss, kidney stones are gonna pass, just like the tough times, and it’s gonna be some holiday, birthday, wedding or special occasion soon, so let’s celebrate those moments full bore.

In the wise words of Madonna, in one of my favorite songs of all time HOLIDAY, she sings, “Holiday.  Celebrate. If we took a holiday. Took some time to celebrate. Just one day out of life. It would be, it would be so nice. You can turn this world around. And bring back all those happy days. Put your troubles down. It’s time to celebrate. Let love shine. And we will find. A way to come together and make things better. We need a holiday.” Madge knew, we have to celebrate exactly because life is just so life, the good, the bad, the joy, and the sadness. Welcome them all, dance, sing, and enjoy the cake! It’s the reminder that along with the sour, the sweetness is always there. Always. So take a Holiday. Celebrate. It’s probably just time.

Barry Alden Clark has coached thousands of individuals in connecting more deeply with their hearts, their life purpose, and helped create a pathway for these folks to move forward in a direction more aligned with who they truly are. He & his creative partner Eliza Swords are currently delivering uplifting content on social media every Wednesday via “Best Day Ever with Barry and Eliza”, a Facebook and You-Tube phenomenon reaching thousands of people around the world. They are also inspiring love and joy through creating heartfelt and entertaining content via their production company Pure Honey Ink. Currently they have projects in development for social media, film, television and publishing. You can reach Barry at

Image courtesy of Court Prather.