The best advice I ever received

Before I tell you, let's first get something straight. When someone says, "this is the best advice," it's because the words they are about to repeat came exactly when they needed to hear them.

More than that, the advice came exactly when they were ready to hear it.

The advice I'm passing along is a perfect case in point.

Nine years ago this month, in April 2004, I was getting ready to have brain surgery.

By getting ready I mean freaking out almost daily.

A friend Jess emailed me after hearing through our network of friends what was happening.

As a young girl she had been through a very serious surgery of her own, therefore had some knowledge on the subject of what getting ready for surgery was like.

Her email was really short:  I heard, I'm sorry, here's something that may help.

She said, "Sometimes you just have to say This Sucks."

Before Jess' email, I was a pressure cooker of stress and worry. Holding it all in for fear of what might happen if I let some of it escape. I might never get out of bed again.

While reading her email, I let out a sigh.

She gave me permission to feel what I needed to feel when I needed to feel it.

I still woke up with my alarm every morning and commuted to work. In fact, that release allowed me more easily to do it.

I have since found this advice to be hugely comforting in those moments when I am at a loss for words in my own life, or with someone I love.

"Well, this sucks," I'll say with a knowing smile. Sometimes it really does.

And then you set the alarm like usual.

What is the best advice you ever received? Please share it!