In the Glare of the Glitter

What we can learn from the loss of fashion icon, Kate Spade

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Years ago I saw a Kate Spade advertisement as I was emerging from a New York subway station that read, “She had a cocktail in her hand and glitter in her hair.” Isn’t that the image we all had of Kate Spade? Charming, whimsical, fun and carefree.

My heart is heavy as details of Kate Spade’s death continue to flash across screens around the world. It’s hard to fathom that a savvy Midwestern gal who became a fashion icon with a very American aesthetic would be in such despair. It’s almost unimaginable. Almost.

The truth is that we can all get lost in the glare of our own glitter. That image we project so dazzlingly outward can blind the beholder to the immense pain we may carry. And when our tightly held image of having it all together begins slipping through our fingertips, all we can insist on is “I’m fine!” as we tromp forward hoping to make it to the other side before we drop our basket.

We women have a way of maintaining so many roles simultaneously and with such poise that when the weight of all we are carrying begins to overcome us, we struggle to cope. The glittering image we project of grace and confidence slips from our own view, while it may remain to those outside of our lens.

Does this resonate? It does for me. I am in a season of caring for small children with lots of needs while desperately trying to maintain a sense of self identity beyond that of “mommy”—a word that my children yell out constantly like a game of Marco Polo. Do you, like me, find yourself struggling to cope and yet pressing on in the hopes that you will magically right yourself and resume your glittering as normal?

Ladies, when we find ourselves struggling to cope and have lost ourselves in the glare of our own glitter, we must not despair! It’s not our own failing, but the weight of all the expectations, internal and external, that compels us to keep our composure while we crumble.

When those who love us most in your life ask, “How can I help you?” let’s commit together to handing them our proverbial baskets. When someone says with love and concern, “I am worried, let’s confront this,” let’s respond with “I am too” and relax into a safe place to rest. Let’s release our expectations, shift our perspective away from what we believe is expected of us and focus on what is best for us. Then, choose to restore ourselves for ourself.

We cannot choose hope without shifting the focus from the external to the internal. Choosing hope is about looking inward and finding the best parts of ourselves and nurturing them without judgement or concern for optics. Choosing hope is about letting go of who we thought we were and choosing to accept and love the woman that we are. Choosing hope is about recognizing that the glitter is not a decoration we toss on ourselves like an accessory, but rather it is the essence of who we are. It projects to the world regardless of our attempts at creating an image. It is the very sparkle that Kate Spade left through an aesthetic that endures as, I pray, she went peacefully into a place of eternal contentment and joy.

Friend, if you are struggling to cope, you are not alone. Your suffering is seen, and it is real. Do not be afraid to reach out because there is a Case for Hope. In the moments of deep despair, grief and anguish in my life, I could not have made it through without the guidance and love of a Licensed Professional Counselor, a trusted group of intimate friends and my patient, supportive husband. Ultimately, it’s this case for hope that led me to create Living Hope, a community of individuals all over the world who are practicing and pursuing Hope in the midst of adversity and struggle.

There are so many resources available—loved ones, support groups, licensed professionals, hotlines and organizations—that will meet you where you are and guide you to a place of peace and restoration. No one should live in despair. Not even you.

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