Through hard times, hold fast. When you see only dust and debris, hold patience–dust settles. Through sadness, hold joy. Through hopelessness, hold onto the smallest thread of light, and fiercely. Through groundlessness, dig deeper, and tenaciously grip all that you can, which holds you in place. Through agitation, blow off the steam, or simmer potently, reducing it again to that which is essential, and hold to action. When your soft, gentle kindness is taken for granted, and misunderstood to be something…else; naiveté, foolishness, or the absence of power, hold your heart. Retract into your shell; it is there to hold you, safely. Soundly. Let those who would push into your softness bump up against it. Through ugliness and indiscretion, gloating and division, hold that kindness firmly inside, and show them your shell. And if your shell is smooth and elegant, so that eventually that which would harm you simply stops to admire the sheen, let them, and be kind. And if your shell is rough, and marred from battle, let them glower onto every small crevice until they grow bored, and let them, and be kind. If your shell is covered with spines and all that is sharp, let them push themselves against your spines. Hold fast. Let them grow tired, and run out of dressings. They will move on, and you can let them, safely from inside, where you will wish them well as they travel off. Never judge your shell, for it has purpose, and goodness, no matter its form. Hold cheer; we were made for these times, and we are all here together.