It's been a month since I wrote my last blog post. Things have been pretty crazy around here, which (as usual) kept me from writing.

I have so many things to share... and I promise... I'll share more soon.

Today, I just wanted to write something... anything.
However... I can't promise it'll be worth a damn.
At the moment, I'm honestly not even sure which direction this post will take... (so please, bear with me!)

Maybe I'll just share some of the random thoughts I've had in recent weeks...
Here goes:

I've been so exhausted lately. (me and you both, right?!)

Honestly, we're all tired... from this, that, and everything in between.
We're all overwhelmed, to some degree.
We're all hurting, in one way or another.

Each of us is struggling with something.
Some struggles are small; some struggles are massive.
Some struggles are physical; some struggles are emotional.
Some struggles are fleeting; some struggles are constant.

That's the seemingly "bad" news: 
We each face our own harsh reality... a reality, that often... sucks ass.

But the good news is...
Each and every struggle in our lives provides us with a unique set of opportunities: for growth, for compassion, for healing. Within each battle we face... lies the chance for a more fulfilling future... and a stronger, better, more-awesome you.

(Even though... in the present, it rarely feels that way, right?)

However, there's no denying a few certain truths, such as these:

1) In our darkest moments, we often find the deepest connections with others. In turn, we experience a level of understanding, empathy, and comfort... we never knew existed. Through those encounters, special bonds are made, meaningful relationships are formed, and broken hearts are healed.

Thus, lives are changed... for the better... forever.

There's always someone out there... who understands you. If you feel alone, it's only because you haven't found "that someone" just yet.

But trust me... they're out there... .
Trust me... they "get it."
Trust me... they care...

You are not alone.

Yes... in the midst of your struggles, everything feels lonely. Everything feels empty. Everything feels hopeless.

Even still... it WILL get better. It just has to...

Obviously... suffering sucks.
But when suffering is leveraged for good... the outcome of those struggles... is always growth.

Trust me on that.

2) When you reach a breaking point, you're never as broken as you feel.

(Because... believe it or not... you're stronger than that.)

In fact, "feeling" broken and "being" broken... are actually 2 different things.

It's okay to "feel" broken, because it's healthy to feel, in general. It's okay to cry; it's okay to vent; it's okay to need help. All of these things are okay... as long as you're willing to work through your feelings, to move forward despite your feelings, and to experience growth as a result of your feelings.

On the other hand, "being" broken is a mindset. It's more of a choice, an attitude, and a  surrender... made by you... for you.

Just remember: negative choices, attitudes, and personal surrenders... will always work against you. 

Here's the deal: if you believe that you're broken, then you are.

Basically... you can feel certain things, without actually being that way.
You can feel angry in the moment, without being an angry person.
You can feel pessimistic, without being a pessimist.
You can feel despair, without being desperate.

And you can feel broken... without being broken.

Please, give yourself more credit that that. You are never truly broken. You are always truly strong.

Yet... you're only as strong... as you believe yourself to be.

So, above all else: always believe in your own strength. Always believe in your own power. Always believe in you.

3) No one is entitled to offers of help. However, most (good) people deserve help, in one form or another.

Yet, keep in mind: we're all hurting. We're all struggling. We're all suffering.
We all need help. We all need support. We all need comfort.

Each and every one of us...

So... when help is offered, you should always feel lucky, thankful, and blessed.

Every person who reaches out to you, during your tough times... is also going through their own tough times.

Therefore, they didn't have to help you, and yet... they did.

So... acknowledge their compassion. Thank them. And then... to the best of your ability, return the favor... to them... or to someone else.

Pay. It. Forward.

4) Any time you need help... any time you want help... any time you request help... always hope for compassion and empathy... over pity.

Pity makes you pitiful...

And here's why:

'Empathy' and 'pity' ... are two very different things. Empathy implies sympathy, mixed with understanding, compassion, and acceptance. Pity implies sorrow, mixed with misunderstanding, concern, and disappointment. Never confuse the two... and never request one... when you need the other. Empathy suggests respect. Pity suggests disrespect.

5) YOU can do anything.
You can be anything.
You can get through anything.

In truth, struggles simply act as stepping stones... across the ocean we know as "life."

So... if and when those stepping stones... lead you toward a dark place..
Simply create your own destiny:

Jump in, and swim toward the light.

It's worth it to try, because life is worth it.
Life is worth it, because you are worth it.

Be you.
Do you.
Live you.

Your struggles never define you.
You define you.


  1. Thanks Ashley,this was just what I needed today!!!

    1. I'm so glad to hear this! Thank you for reading & thank you for sharing your inspiring input with me :)

    2. yes, we all reach our breaking point.

  2. The perfect thing I needed to hear today because its been a very dark year. Thank you.

    1. Thank you for your sweet words, love. I will be praying for you.. and please know... it WILL get better! It has to! Hold your head high!

  3. You are so right about everything you said. I am going through a major change in my life. It isn't a good time right now, but I know I still have a blessed life. I just need to focus on being me again. Thank you Ashley, as usual your writing is superb!

    1. Thank you, Mary! Thinking of you as you go through major changes and struggles! You're so strong, and you'll definitely get through this!!!

  4. you're an inspiration

  5. Yea I read this at lunch... Good words of encouragement for your readers. Thanks for sharing your personal thoughts. You seem like a loving and caring person who really does give a hoot haha. Have a good day thanks for doing what you do!

    1. Thank you, Joe! I do "give a hoot." (love your choice of words)

      -Ash :)

  6. Once again Ash, ya did good!! Keep on keeping on girl!!!

  7. As always, you are an inspiration to me. I used to be more active in rescue, but now physically can not. It kills me that this door is closed to me (for now) but I try to do what I can, when I can. Some days I lose hope, like today, but your words will keep me going. Thank you.

  8. Thank you Ashley for doing what you do. Not just for the pups, but the words also. This has helped me so much today. And as I said before, and I will say again today. SUCH WISDOM!

  9. There is always that chance when struggles are too hard....when you have fought the good fight for so long and you suddenly realize that you wont win....you cant win. Im there, today. Defeatist? Perhaps...or perhaps pragmatist. I have no more energy to fight....I have no more hopes and my dreams are long gone. There is nowhere else to turn. Im tired of fighting and losing. So tired.

  10. Beautiful. Thank you for sharing this with us, and for all you do.

  11. I needed this so much right now. I received some negative news on the 4th of July and have felt lost about everything for the past couples. This post really helped. Thank you!!

  12. You always have so much to offer, despite the tears that you often shed.
    You make people smile, you make people want more, and you make people want to do more.

    For all of the above
    thank you !!!!


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