Florida Life

My life wouldn’t be the same without this annual concert

I’ve come close to losing all hope. But I’m glad I haven’t. I’m glad that I have a support system that has gotten me through the darkest times. I’m very fortunate for the blessings I have. Beyond that support system there is an organization that has inspired me time and again. To Write Love on Her Arms is an organization born right here in Central Florida and it has touched the lives of thousands worldwide. Each year they hold “Heavy and Light”a concert of sorts. My life is made better because of this night.

To Write Love on Her Arms is an organization that seeks to help those that deal with heavy things like depression, addiction, anxiety, and self-harm. “Heavy and Light” is their annual concert that spreads their message of hope, and it is a fundraiser for TWLOHA too.

I’ve attended four years in a row. Each year, “Heavy and Light” has marked a meaningful moment in my life. My first year, 2015, I was at the edge of a critical decision. I knew life the way I was living it wasn’t ok. I needed to make a huge change, a divorce in fact, but I didn’t quite have the courage to go down that road. That night a message of hope resonated with me and soon I changed directions, and found a better path. The next year I attended “Heavy and Light” as the divorce neared finalization. It was a very emotional return to “Heavy and Light”.

Last year I stood in amazement, watching the performances while reflecting on how quickly and wonderfully my life had changed. I was free to be me. My friendships had improved and I had begun dating someone, and it was getting serious. This year’s “Heavy and Light” is perhaps the most emotional one I’ve attended so far. In just a year’s time I’ve become a wife and a mother. It is astonishing. The gravity of it all hit me as I stood in House of Blue Orlando for yet another year of “Heavy and Light”.

Each year I’ve attended I eventually look around the room and notice the different people in attendance. Each year I observe the various reactions. Each year I make it a point to visit the back wall where there is always a place for attendees to express their feelings. This year’s message was “What Heavy are you carrying and what Light do you love sharing”. It is always emotional to read everyone’s responses to such questions.

Each year I watch as little Landon, the nephew of founder Jamie, joins him on stage. It is beautiful to see how much he’s grown each year.

Each year I visit the merchandise table and end up with at least a t-shirt or something more. You see, To Write Love on Her Arms started twelve years ago when a group of friends gathered around one person who needed help. They decided to sell t-shirts to raise money needed to get their friend help and treatment. And so buying a t-shirt continues that legacy that has grown to help thousands of people around the world.

TWLOHA offers a place to get hope. A place to know you’re not alone. A place that says it’s ok not to be ok. I love their social media feeds because they offer little pieces of hope and inspiration.

I am glad that TWLOHA exists. I’m glad that a night like “Heavy and Light” exists, offering everyone in attendance and watching the live stream an evening of hope and real conversation. And a little selfishly, I am glad this all started in Central Florida. With as much weird and difficult news that often comes from my home state, it is nice to have something as meaningful as To Write Love on Her Arms spreading hope around the world.

Learn more: https://twloha.com/


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