Even When You Lose

There are few people in the world whose music has encouraged me as often as JJ Heller’s has. I can’t say how many times her words and sweet melodies have brought comfort and hope to my heart, as well as cheerful songs to my lips.

WELL, last Friday she released a new song that I think is just so beautiful and sweet…

From the first time that I heard this song, the words “even when you lose, don’t lose heart” really struck me. Lately I had been feeling, more than ever, that a life of severe chronic illness is in many ways a life where the reality of each day is that you will lose over and over and over again…and sometimes that can be really hard. It’s hard to try so hard and accomplish so little. To fight so hard and yet still lose.

Every. single. day.

But this song reminded me not to take my daily, frustrating, and discouraging physical losses and failures so seriously. Losing is a huge part of chronic illness, and losing is a part of life. And that’s okay. I just had to pick myself up and keep on trying.

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I used to do handlettering on the regular, but eventually my “losing,” shakey hands discouraged me from the endeavor. But, for some reason, after a day of JJ Heller’s song being stuck in my head I knew I just had to handletter that quote and send it to her as a small thank-you for her wonderful music.

So I started the project the next day with excitement and high hopes. A few hours later I had sketched the design out, painted a watercolor heart, and had almost finished inking the whole quote…when I totally messed up the words “even when you lose” beyond repair. There was no way to fix my mistake and I was so discouraged! I had basically just wasted the majority of my day on nothing. And when you’re so sick that you have almost no strength to begin with, it’s pretty awful to find that you’ve spent it on a failed project that was supposed to be for someone special.

I was super bummed and frustrated, concluding that all I could do now was throw in the towel and call it quits because I had failed. And then suddenly I laughed. How ironic was it that I was losing heart over a failed attempt to handletter a quote about not losing heart even when you fail?

So with a change of perspective I went back to work.

It took me the rest of the day to fix what I ruined, but in the end I completed my little piece of art with a thankful heart for people like JJ Heller who remind us not to lose heart.

Yours Truly,
~Cassia Dee


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