“God, give us health and strength. We’ll steal the rest…”

Truth time, everyone.

I’m struggling.

I feel that this is an important thing to write about today, not because every other day is so perfect, but because I realized this afternoon just how much of the shiny surface we all see online. As lovely as it is to celebrate the successes, it’s equally important to celebrate the resilience, of which there is none without struggle.

Too dazzled are we by the glimmer that investigation into how it got to be so very sparkly is rare.

I won’t burden you, dear reader, with the details of my despondence today. I will simply tell you that there are pieces of my life that don’t fit as I feel they should, that cause me grief and anxiety, that make me feel worn down with frustration.

But I will tell you what helps me see these pieces and push through anyway.

And yes. I did learn it from The West Wing.

John “Fish Hooks” McCarthy was a corrupt New York politician in the 1920’s. As the story goes, he stopped by St. James church on the Lower East Side every morning and recited the same simple prayer.

“Oh Lord, give me health and strength – we’ll steal the rest.”

No beef with Fish Hooks, but I make a point to pray for more than just myself, and “God” has always been a more comfortable address than “Lord” in my mind, so I alter my version ever so slightly. Catholic myself, lapsed though I was for some ten years, I do still have great appreciation for Mr. McCarthy’s sentiment.

Health and strength. Those I’ve got. They’re not perfect. I don’t always feel particularly strong, but I know it’s there. I may not be the most healthy human alive, but alive I am.

The rest will come.

While I’m not a white collar criminal with 3,000 acres of Brooklyn to my name, I’m not nothing. I’m made of whatever stuff has gotten me this far. It can get me further whether I know it right this second or not.

I’ll steal the rest.

To be honest, sometimes it really does feel like cheating. Like something I’m unworthy of or something I haven’t done enough to earn. I’ll admit that I’ve certainly been luckier than most. I’ve had plenty of opportunities, some I’ve taken for granted and others I’ve cherished. Isn’t it then my responsibility to go on? To do the best I can with what I have?

I’m struggling. But I stole a little faith this morning.

Maybe I’ll steal some courage tomorrow.

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