The Spark Newsletter: The Prickly Side of Life

The Spark Newsletter: The Prickly Side of Life

The Prickly Side of Life

Life brings infinite joy, wonder, and fulfillment. But what happens when life gets a bit prickly? Sometimes we go along with our "flow" and everything falls into place. We are meeting deadlines, building intimacy in our relationships, and taking care of ourselves. KERPLUNK! We hit a bump in the road and life feels prickly and painful. Some of the prickles are normal parts of daily life---the angry person at the supermarket, the neighbor who parked in your spot, the insurance company who overcharged you. Othertimes, the prickles are more unbearable: loss, inhumanity, self-loathing, and disappointment. 


During a walk, I stumbled upon an area called "cactus corner." The plants were so beautiful, but at the same time, so prickly. These cacti symbolize our lives: rich and magnificent, but painful and uninviting at the same time!


How do you cope with the prickly side of life?


Creating Your Own Pain

It's easy to blame other people and situations for our pain. We are victims of our own thoughts when we say statements such as my husband brings me down, I would be happier if I had more money, If only I were twenty again, Life was better when I was younger. However, in each of these situations, we set ourselves up for more pain by not taking responsibility for our thoughts and reactions to our situations. Our attitude and mindset affects the quality of life.  

Actor, Melora Hardin. Photo Credit: ABC/Maarten de Boer @iheartmaarten

In this article, actor, Melora Hardin, talks about how our social and individual attitudes about aging are backward. These attitudes and our inability to 'let go' and grieve losses contribute to unhappiness and poor choices. Hardin shares how her perspective and acceptance of inevitable life processes take the "prickly" out of life. Fumiko Takatsu, Face Yoga Teacher, shares how self-care and a positive attitude through mindful activities lead to fulfillment. 

Embrace Your Inner and Outer Cactus! 

Several months ago I was taking a walk when I stumbled upon an area called Cactus Corner. The prickly cacti caught my attention. They were so beautiful, but at the same time painful to touch. As I immersed myself amoung the various plants, I thought about how a cactus is a metaphor for my life (and perhaps yours too!). This article sheds light on cactus symbolism and meaning. 

Escape From The Prickly Side


Photo Credit: I Am Pawso/Light Your Sparkle; Do not reproduce

Creative projects and giving back to the community are healthy ways to escape from life's ups and downs. In the next few months I will be launching a children's book, I Am Pawso, focused on helping children and their caregivers cope with stress and the prickly side of life. Pawso, my rescue cat, shows me every day how to love, accept, and be kind to myself. Just like me, he struggles with anxiety which makes life challenging at times. However, he has the resilience of a cactus and the heart of an angel. I hope you will follow Pawso's journey as one way to heal and thrive. 

Thank you for subscribing to The Spark.


My name is Casey Hersch. I am a licensed clinical social worker and founder of LightYourSparkle.Life.  When I created the Light Your Sparkle community, the connections between childhood trauma and autoimmune disease inspired me. Several years later, my mission to bring awareness to these connections remains even as I expand this community to include anyone who seeks hope, perspective, companionship, and empowerment. 


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