(By Selenia Vera) Most of us can relate to this example: You’re doing just fine, heart content, emotions at peace; all in life is seemingly going well. When suddenly, someone says something, an experience or event takes place and in a moment, you feel your peace and joyful resolve leave you.  Before you know it, the warmth of God’s love and goodness seems to be blocked. It happens faster than you can blink. It’s a mystery—your thought life swept up in the seduction of self-talk, your body now paralyzed. You sigh, breathe deeply and welcome regret into your conversation. He whispers, You wish things had been different in your life, your relationships, experiences. You wish you had known better, done differently, everyone around you seems to have what you would like to have—in their relationships, life circumstances—emotionally, materially, spiritually, physically, intellectually, professionally.

They’ve won, and you have lost. You immediately muster up smiles, but no one notices. You cover up so no one suspects. You are silent, and no one relates. Locked away in loneliness, your heart aches. The happiness of others only seems to make your pain feel worse. Social media taunts you: “You are not enough, never will be.” Envy, jealousy, grief, anger—you feel hopeless. You coast along, muttering through emotions now flooded by the slow raindrops of failure. Self-pity, your familiar friend, wraps her arms around you and holds her spoon up, offering it as if it were ice cream. It’s icy alright, just one spoon will freeze you paralyzed. CONTINUE