Dear Dan, Kay, Tre, and Scott:
I was shocked and saddened to read this morning that the publication PS I Love You will shut down on June 30.
First of all, you’re my favorite Medium publication to read and one of the primary reasons I open up the app each day.
Second, your publication not only helped me become a better writer, but a much better human, husband, father, friend, son, and citizen. And I thank you for broadening my mind and opening up my heart to so many richer possibilities for enhancing my life.
Third, I know this situation sucks! And to be honest, I’m furious about it. But I’m sure you must’ve thought long and hard about the decision before making the final call.
However, if there’s anything we can do to save your publication — bake sales, fund drives, sit-ins, protests, a letter-writing campaign, moving my mother-in-law out of the guestroom to make a dedicated office for you — please let us know.
Endings are always the start of something big
I understand little about the business operations and financial requirements for how publications at Medium work. But I know you’ve put your blood, sweat, and tears into making PS I Love You one of the best reading experiences on Medium. And contemplating the idea of ending the publication must’ve seemed as unimaginable to you as it does to us — loyal readers.
When I think of Medium, I think of PS I Love You and a few other publications as the core pillars of this platform. And I can’t fathom how it will go on without having your presence, words, and wisdom to keep us centered on love.
Some roadblocks and setbacks in life are unexplainable. And we can wear ourselves out trying to figure why and how they happened. But some things in life are necessary, not by us, or them — “The Man” — but by the universe.
Life is always throwing us unexpected curve balls that disrupt our plans and cause a period of turmoil in our lives. We all have our stories of painful endings: I lost my son’s mother tragically and my only brother unexpectedly. And PS I Love You helped me cope, understand and move forward from those difficult times.
And as a business owner, I’ve gone through 30+ years of periodic “near-death” experiences that gave me ulcers and injured relationships. But PS I Love You was there again to help me see the bigger picture and healing power that love and wisdom provide.
You know if you’re happy with your body, your looks, or your relationship. You know if you purposely avoid mirrors. You know if you feel unsatisfied, taken advantage of, or if the attraction is gone in a relationship.
And guess what?
You need to sit with your knowledge for a moment. You need to stare it in the face. You need to silently beg it to show itself full-on and scream the truths you already know in your ear.
Then you need to speak the truth aloud. You need to put it into the universe, so it can’t magically slide back into the recesses of your mind where it can hide.
And yep, I know it’s going to hurt. Depending on your situation, it’s going to hurt a lot.
But it’s the only way to begin the healing process. The process you’re wise enough to know needs to happen so you can be happier.
Next steps to deal with your truth
Saying the truth does have power, but only as a force to move you forward. Think of self-help groups like Alcoholics Anonymous. The first thing they do is openly admit the truth about their addiction.
This seems like a small step, and by itself, it doesn’t really seem to change a lot. But it’s more powerful than you think. Because the more you acknowledge your truths, the stronger you get.
And now you’ve got to use that strength to make those painful truths work for you.
Step one: Tell your truth to someone else
If you’ve finally admitted your truth to yourself, the next step is finding someone else to tell it to.
Sit down with a person you trust and spill the beans — all of them.
But before you do, tell them to listen first and talk later.
Tell them you’re attracted to another man. Confess that you vomit your meal up so you can keep the weight off. Admit you have to drink three glasses of wine every night just to relax. Disclose that you’re disgusted with your weight or your job.
Then give them time to respond. Tell them you want to know their thoughts.
They may try to tell you another version of your truth. Most likely, they’re simply trying to lift your spirits. And that’s okay. They’re your friend.
But they’ll probably have comments. They may tell you they already knew your truth a long time ago. They may tell you they feel the same way about their own selves or their own lives.
And that’s what you need to hear. You need to know you’re not alone, that you have a tribe of people either dealing with the same painful truths or standing there ready and willing to support you as you work to conquer yours.
Step two: Be ready to do some hard work to change the ugly truths you’ve acknowledged
Writer C. Joybell C. says:
“The only way that we can live is if we grow. The only way that we can grow is if we change. The only way that we can change is if we learn. The only way we can learn is if we are exposed. And the only way that we can become exposed is if we throw ourselves out into the open. Do it. Throw yourself.”
You’ve admitted you’ve got some work to do on yourself or your relationships.
Now “throw yourself.”
I know it’s scary. Do it anyway.
Baby step it if you need to.
Sign up for a gym membership. Buy some home workout equipment. Do some research, decide on a diet, and head to the grocery store.
Sit your partner down. Tell him or her your relationship needs work. Don’t assign blame, but do say you’re unhappy, feel invisible, or fear the romance is gone.
Take the first steps to change. Small steps of bravery lead to many beautiful things.
They motivate you to go further. To push for what you really need from yourself or others.
What’s most important is to remind yourself that things will never change if you don’t start moving forward.
Step three: Be prepared for backlash from others or feelings of self-defeat
Those truths you knew and ignored will not go away instantly. Even when you’re fighting your best fight to turn your life around, mistakes will happen.
You will miss a day at the gym. Your partner may be angry or be defensive or worse when you tell him or her your relationship needs work.
And not only are you going to want to revert to your old lies or your old actions to protect yourself , you’re probably going to do it.
And guess what?
It’s called being human.
Show me someone who’s never screwed up and I’ll show you a liar.
The difference is this time when you mess up or when things get heated, don’t step away from the fire.
Say your truth aloud again.
Tell yourself you need to fix it again.
Focus on the consequences of not fixing it.
Then continue the fight.
Keep pushing. No matter what confusion or chaos or crying emerges, keep pushing.
Change is not easy. But then again, neither is dying knowing you could have had true happiness.
The bottom line:
Winnie the Pooh author A.A. Milne says,
“You are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think.
If a fictional bear can see be wise enough to know the truth that you are stronger and more powerful than you’ve ever let yourself believe, than I know you can see the same truth as well if you just start doing the work.
Be brave. Be strong. Be smart.
Be ready to admit you’ve made a mess and need to fix it.
Then fix it. And keep cleaning up until the mess is gone.
You can do it.