I sat down to tackle this week's Wednesday Word and honestly found myself at a loss for words. Today we're talking about cherishing and I was surprised to find myself struggling with the topic. I understand the meaning of the word, both in denotation (the literal definition) and in connotation (the adapted meaning cherish has received in my own mind), but when I tried to think of things I actually cherish, I was coming up short. Sure, I can say what everyone says: I cherish my family, the friends who have stuck by me through good times and bad, memories of amazing days or moments, and so on... But for some reason that little list doesn't make me feel like I am truly catching the spirit of cherishing.
As many of us do when we are stuck on something, I turned to Google. Running an image search for "cherish" brought up hundreds of inspirational quotes on fancy backgrounds, all perfectly Instagramable and ideal for tossing up in the middle of my post to add depth to my writing. But none of them inspired me. For example, "cherish every moment" made me scoff - I can think of hundreds of moments I will never cherish. Not in a million years. I can appreciate the "cherish it because you're alive and still have it better than others" mentality but that's not what makes me tick. Naturally there's "cherish the ones you love" because that seems to make so much sense - until you look at a long history of loving people who never deserved it in the first place. It's hard for me to cherish time that was ultimately hurtful and wasted. Perhaps "cherish happy moments" gets through to me a bit; when I tried to think of things I actually cherish, there were flashes of smiles or a glimmer in someone's eye or a remembered sense of elation or other overwhelming emotion. Even still, I'm not sure "fond memories" are necessarily "cherished" in my heart.
Then I found a quote from Mark Pothier, who said "don't dwell on those who let you down, cherish those who hold you up." I honestly don't know who he is, but it's a good quote, and it helped me understand what I do truly cherish. Surprise, surprise - it was on my original list, I just hadn't realized why it was on my list in a personal context. So what is it that I cherish? The very small handful of people who have, for the past decade or more, been there always. I've gone through the wringer more than a few times over the years, and every time I come out stronger, but it's not because of me. It's because of the people who are there supporting me, believing in me, and doing whatever they can to help. There are many times when these people actually can't help, and they get frustrated and look for other ways. They don't give up on me. And that is what I cherish. I wish I had more of these people in my life, but I am intensely grateful to have the few I do.
And to those people (you know who you are): THANK YOU. Without you, I would have given up ages ago, and probably wouldn't even be here anymore. I certainly wouldn't have made as much of my past few years as I have without the unrelenting support of my inner circle. Sending big hugs to all of you, all across the world!
Wednesday Word is hosted and coordinated by Deb Runs! Want to see what other bloggers had to say about what they cherish in their lives? Visit the Wednesday Word linkup page and share the love with other writers. Don't forget to check back every Wednesday for an entirely new set of the Wednesday Word!
What is it that you hold dear and cherish? Who helps you through your darkest times?