A lot of people are talking about how challenging they are finding this lockdown and it’s not surprising. It’s cold, it’s dark, we’re tired of it, we’re worried by it – hardly surprising that it’s quite such a challenge.Not only that, but you may also be looking to others to help you out of your own mood and I understand that. Many people step forward to do so, they want to help. In truth, I want to help anyone I can and I’m a pretty upbeat person but I was thrown when just before Christmas I unexpectedly saw a friend in the street and she wanted to unload a whole lot of stuff, all of it very genuine challenges and quite big ones at that.The problem was, just because I can often make it look easy to help others (you do the same, I know you do), I was at a vulnerable time myself – six weeks without a day off, tired, stressed and worried about the same things that most of us were worried about running into Christmas. In short, I listened as well as I could but I really wasn’t any help because on that day, I was running on empty.I came home and added to my own low mood the knowledge that this wonderful woman had reached out to me and I hadn’t come through for her. I felt even worse.There’s no uplifting end to this, I failed her, but I think there is a “learning moment” as follows. Us TOYL-ers (that’s catchy, who came up with that…?) are experienced, wise women. We have life lessons under our belt, we know that it can be hard but we also know what is important, deep down. Friendship, kindness, being kind to ourselves. I think the last one is the hardest one of all. So, here’s what I’d have liked to have said to my friend on that cold, December morning when I was freezing as she unloaded, so caught up in her pain that she was oblivious to anything else.“These are all big issues and these are all serious issues. They affect those you love hugely, indeed some of this has already hurt them but you cannot control any of this. Not. One. Bit. You can only watch as the sequence of events unfold and garner your strength for the next blow and stand strong, ready to pick up whatever debris life throws at you. “But, however low you feel now, you are strong. Inside of you there are talents, skills, strength and brilliance that you’ve kept hidden. Find those gems and bring them to the fore. Show up with all that you have because if you don’t, how will the world ever know what you had? How will the world ever know how brilliant, strong and wonderful you are if you don’t summon it all from within you and you must, because the blows keep coming.“Yes, you will be low, but you must get back up. You must, because that is what we do, all of us and sometimes we will be there to help but, in truth, you have to find strength from within you, just you, to make peace with all that you are sent. You already have the solution within you.” Now re-read these last few paragraphs as me talking to you about Lockdown. As Glennon Doyle says “we can do hard things” and more will be asked of us before we are finished, but it is within you to be strong, so bring it all to this last push on Lockdown.